Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons #12

For me, November and December are the harshest months. The days constrict to just a few hours and all light seems to get sucked from the air. We are left with a dull pewter greyness that seems to invade my soul making me feel dull and joyless. I look for anything that casts a precious light into this bleakness and was pleasantly surprised to find some cheer on my December stroll.

A bad hair day
A bad hair day

Date: December 06 2015
Weather: cloudy and mizzling
Temperature: Mild (14°C)
Time: 14:00 – 15:45 PM

The linden (lime) trees were in a sorry state, only a few golden leaves hanging on after all the recent gales, their whippy branches resembling some sort of alien creatures. The benches empty, despite the unusual warmth of the day. Continue reading Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons #12

Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons #11

The penultimate month of this year-long challenge. There was a time when I thought I might not be here to finish off the year as a move was on the cards. Still is I hope, but not this year. Still I am more than happy to have had a year to record the changes here in my adopted town and gather some memories.

The trees have gone from green to orange and yellow and umbers and ambers since my last post. The copper beech I can see from my house turned red, then orange and is now a golden-coppery colour. That is the few leaves that remain. Fog and rain since the beginning of the month has had their toll, but today I went out shortly before sunset after a shower to gather in the remains of autumn.

Date: November 13 2015
Weather: sunshine and showers, chilly wind
Temperature: Cold (9°C)
Time: 3:45 – 4:45 PM

I’d hoped to catch a sunset as the sky had cleared after a heavy rainstorm. Grabbing my new lens I wrapped up warm as the temperature has finally fallen to below 10°C in the wind chill and headed up to the square where the last of the market traders were packing away.

Since it was cold and the ground wet from the recent storm I decided to just do a circuit of the castle and see what I could find, but naturally I have to show you what the pollarded limes are doing now.

Pollarded limes (linden trees)

You may notice that the Christmas lights have been hung up between the trees, but I shall try to capture them once they are turned on at the end of the month. Continue reading Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons #11

Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons #10

October already, how the years fly past these days. It doesn’t seem 11 months since I was planning and packing for my trip to Australia and New Zealand. Luckily we have been experiencing an Indian Summer here in the UK. September and October have been mostly dry so far. Misty mornings give way to bright cloudless days until mid afternoon when cloud descends again. Being sunny and unseasonably warm I am not even going to complain about the nights drawing in. For now.

The only issue is that because we haven’t had any cold periods yet a lot of the trees are still very green looking; we need a sharp cold hit to trigger the process that causes leaves to turn colour. Still, I decided that this month I’d take you back along the common where we can get a good view of the town and any colouration of the trees and shrubs from above. Hopefully next month we will see more changes.

Date: October 14 2015
Weather: sunshine and cloud
Temperature: Fresh and sunny (11°C)
Time: 12:00 – 13:15 PM

I’m not going to talk too much this month, I’ll let the pictures tell the story and those of you who have been following this series should recognise a lot of the views.

Old town view and St Laurence
Old town view and St Laurence

There are some burnished golds and copper tints and I see that the meadows have been mown and the bracken is dying down.  Continue reading Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons #10

Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons #9

Month number nine already and the summer is slipping away fast. Not that there has been much of a summer in this region, July and August proved to be wetter than average and colder too. No sitting outside on a warm evening sipping a cold Sauvignon blanc. More a case of looking for the bedsocks.

Entrance to Ludlow Castle

Date: September 11 2015
Weather: sunshine and overcast
Temperature: Mild (17°C)
Time: 12:30 – 14:30 PM

Corve Street – looking south to the Shropshire Hills

September in Ludlow is Food Festival time when the town is invaded by visitors seeking the perfect sausage on the sausage trail. The three butchers compete to create a new one each year. So far I have only tasted the boar, sage and red currant one but can report that it is VERY nice. In fact some are sizzling in the pan as I write this. If that doesn’t float your boat then there is a Real Ale Trail and Pudding Tastings too as well as many different exhibitors, demonstrations and free samples.

We’ll begin then with a few views of the festival and some of the interesting window displays that shops enter each year. I don’t agree with the results, but what do you think? And I shall link these to Dawn’s Lingering Windows.

First Prize: Harp Lane Deli

Second Prize: Jewellers

Third Prize: Emporos

Now for a wander around the town which is a lot quieter than I would have expected on this first day of the festival. But a class of excited youngsters queue up in Castle Square to stroke the ‘dog in the pram’ which makes its presence here every year to raise money for the Animal Hospital. Continue reading Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons #9

Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons #8

Whatever happened to the summer?

Month eight already? This year is zooming past sooo quickly. I have already noticed the night drawing in around 9 pm now. And summer is coming to an end. I no longer hear the dawn chorus and the swifts and their offspring appear to have gone back to Africa. And here in the Marches it has been unseasonally grey for weeks. The odd summer day breaks through, but I crave for more sunlight to get me through the winter.

Roadworks
Roadworks

The challenge asks you to change the time of day; perhaps have a go at night photography; play with your camera settings. I have decided to show some of my monthly location in black and white. Not just any black and white, but a grainy film mode on my new camera. I went out for a nature walk around the castle in the golden hour, just before the sun set. Fancy coming with me?

First have a look at those funny trees I showed you in January, the pollarded limes (Linden). Pollarding is a pruning system in which the upper branches of a tree are removed, promoting a dense head of foliage and branches. It has been common in Europe since medieval times and is practised today in urban areas worldwide, primarily to maintain trees at a predetermined height. Wikipedia

Date: August 12 2015
Weather: Partly cloudy
Temperature:  (23°C during the day, warm and calm in the evening)
Time: 19:30 – 20:30 PM

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Castle Walk

The wild flowers have grown tall and some are almost over. The Rosebay Willowherb (Chamerion angustifolium) that dominates the castle slope are full of fluffy seed-heads. A successful coloniser this flower is known as ‘Bombweed’ in the south of England due to its increasing spread as a result of the clearing of bombed sites during both wars. Ragwort is still in flower, but the thistles are now in seed.  Continue reading Monthly Photo Challenge: The Changing Seasons #8