the home woods and fields

back from Spain at the end of November and the Bale woods and fields have so much colour and life in them still it feels like a real homecoming.

the low sun’s warm yellowy light brings out the soft rosy oranges of old pantiled roofs.

the childish joy of kicking one’s feet through fallen leaves – and the joy of noticing every luminous medallion of a hazel leaf, every tan colour oak leaf, small and large, lobed shapes all different, all satisfying.

the beech tree still has leaves, in fact most trees still have some left

the hazels in the hedgerows a shower of gold

once most of the leaves are off the naked shapes of the hazels in the grove show up their natural tendency to coppice.

hawthorn berries in abundance and birds feeding on them. bullfinches’ soft piping and the occasional black and white rump vanishing into the hedge.

in Cake’s Lane a flock of redwing flip in and out of the hedges as I pass, and several blackbirds rattle their alarm calls.

the field maple have mostly shed their leaves but the sun’s glow ignites the stems and remaining leaves

and bracken stems shine with a brassy, rusty tinge.

holly and guelder rose with bright patterns of red berries; the birds are not hungry enough yet to have stripped them as the weather has been mild through November.

oaks hold onto their leaves longest, and some of the small trees in Cake’s Lane are at their best.

burnt sienna, yellow ochre, indian yellow, gamboge, brown madder, raw umber, green-gold, naples yellow, cadmium orange, venetian red, alazarin crimson, burnt umber, permanent sap green; leaves have colours as  beautiful as the old-fashioned names of artists watercolours.


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