23 Oct 2014

Days Like These

I'm so fickle.  When snowdrops and daffodils burst into life, I declare that I love springtime. But I like to move with the times so, as the weather gets warmer and flowers and veg grow strongly, summer is my new favourite.  Autumn will always win my heart over with vibrant displays of colour.  Truth is, I just love everything about being outdoors in nature and its moments of beauty.

Walking round the 'hood in the aftermath of gale force winds and sporadic lashing rain, this is what I've been spotting this week:

Looking up ...

Big London skies above Parliament Hill Fields


And  looking down:

Who's spotting who?
I only saw the squirrel in the long grass when his bushy tail appeared as he moved. He was oblivious to people passing by as he rummaged around almost undetected but popped up to face me when he heard the camera on my phone. It was one of those moments.


Still looking down, I saw autumn in puddles … which made me think of the beauty of fallen leaves.



Every autumn I'm completely obsessed with colours and patterns as leaves turn from green through all the yellows to red. There are some great leaf shapes falling and now is a good time to go leaf collecting with children - either for making leaf mould in sacks for the garden or to collect colours and shapes for creative work.

(They call me) Mellow Yellow

(I've started my collection already … )

Ready for pressing between heavy books...


I'm totally energised by blustery and bright weather and just have to be walking outdoors - and that's when colours really start popping out at me. Even after years of knowing about the beauty berry plant (Callicarpa bodinieri), I'm still awestruck by the vivid purple of its autumn berries (bottom left).


These photos were taken over several days out but even after all this awesome loveliness, it was still thrilling to see the mind-blowing colours of the nasturtiums in the garden and one of the poppies is about to flower for the third time this year! 


I have some time off work next week so I'm hoping to get to RHS Wisley. The autumn colour there should be amazing - I'm looking forward to seeing the spindle (Euonymous europaeus) and liquidambar trees. I'd better take a bag for collecting some fallen leaves, I've a feeling there will be more days like these.

23 comments:

  1. I sometimes think I like the season I'm in the most as well. I adored last winter, I really didn't want it to end. But then summer is so blissful, I didn't want that to end either. I think it's the constant changing that is so enchanting. I cleared out the littlest boy's raised bed from all its summer flowers today. Now it's neat and empty and awaiting the next adventure, which will probably start with garlic, which he loves. You have some absolutely beautiful photographs there, especially the top one and the collage of four - exquisite, such stunning colour. I hope you have a nice time next week, and that you manage to visit RHS Wisley. I'm very envious! CJ xx

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    1. You're right, CJ, it IS the constant changing that enthrals us - there's always something new to be seen. Only today I saw cerinthe popping up in the most unlikely places in the garden and couldn't fathom how they'd got there but definitely something to look forward to! Did you boy help you with the clearing of his bed? It's quite a relief, I find, to create a fresh start when plants are on their way out. I like a bit of neat and tidy! Thanks for lovely comments on the photos, must be so frustrating for anyone I'm walking with as I constantly stop to take snaps of things that catch my eye! I can detour to Wisley on the drive down to my parents which is where I'm headed next week so looking forward to visiting both - and lots to blog about on my return!

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  2. The weather is supposed to be better next week... a great time to visit Wisley!

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    1. I hope so! Grey skies acceptable, blue even better, rain a big No Thank You! Fingers crossed! xx

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  3. Gorgeous photos Caro. I really like the sound of your project to develop community gardens. A shared garden is great - especially if you are all growing things you can eat ! Keep up the good work :D

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    1. Thanks, keggy - and welcome to my blog. The gardens here are lovely, but not all are used for food growing. I'm hoping to slowly change that so that there are edible trees and shrubs as well as the annuals. It can be a lot of fun, especially when other people get involved!

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  4. Some of the delights of autumn - I have a draft post waiting to show my autumn collecting too (I don't want you to think I am in any way copying you) lol. I pulled up most of my nasturtiums as they were threatening to take over the world - it has been a good year for them. Enjoy Wisley.

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    1. Lol!! I think we all have a tendency to duplicate, and not just at this time of year! This post was completely unintentional, I'd meant to take one photo for a wordless Wednesday but, as usual, got a bit carried away! My nasturtiums have been the same; I had a look at them earlier today and thought I'd better get a few more gone, there's probably communes of slugs underneath! Thanks, I'll be going with my camera to Wisley so will post on return.

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  5. Sounds like you've been enjoying yourself and there's the promise of more to come. Have a lovely time x

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    1. As long as I can get outdoors, I enjoy myself. London living can be pretty good when living so close to Hampstead Heath and knowing all the little back streets through years of living here. The city still has the capacity to surprise! Quite excited to be going back to Wisley but also envy you your trip to Westonbirt - you came back with some gorgeous photos!

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  6. A lovely post and wonderful pictures, especially that first one.
    Like you much as I like autumn, and spring, it's being outside in good weather at any time of the year that really counts. Leaf colours are really spectacular now, with the added bonus of plants like the nasturtiums.
    Enjoy your visit to Wisley next week, and happy leaf collecting. Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks, Flighty - I like that first one too. It was taken on the first of the very windy days and I thought how rare to get a 'Norfolk' sky in London. Makes me want to pick up my paintbrushes again! I do love a bit of leaf collecting, especially with the autumn colours, and I press the leaves between kitchen paper under my copy of the RHS two volume A-Z of plants. A good use for a useful weighty tome! I also collect stones and shells on the beach so this is my inner hoarder coming out!

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  7. I have to admit to being a summer girl myself, but I do love the colours of autumn and the bright, crisp days. It's the soggy, dull days which make it so hard for me to embrace autumn. I love the photos you've taken, the huge sky filled with clouds and autumn in a puddle are my favourites.

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    1. Ah, each to their own, Jo! I'm not so keen on the heat of summer and much prefer crisp bright days when I can get out and be busy. Living where I do, there's lots of variety on my walks so even grey soggy days have something to offer - if only lots of puddles for toddlers to splash in! Yes, I love that photo, thanks. The blue of the sky was so intense against the clouds, it was a bit awesome to see!

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  8. Yes I love the changing colours and unpredictable weather of autumn.

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    1. I think we have to be able to embrace all the nature throws at us, Sue, in order to enjoy gardening to the full!

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  9. Oh you're not fickle, not at all! You just appreciate the wonders of nature all year around, and that is a gift! I loved this post, the pics are stunning and I especially loved the leaves you have collected, you have me wanting to dash out and collect some.xxx

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    1. Aww, thanks, Dina! I so love my iphone for the ability to capture moments as I see them, and I DO see them all the time when I'm out and sometimes even when I'm indoors looking through the window! (Or driving in the car, as yesterday when I came home via the countryside and a rainbow lit up a grey sky, it was just a-maz-ing!)

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  10. Gorgeous photos. Kinda makes me want to skip summer and go straight to autumn. But then again, I want tomatoes. So maybe not. I'll just enjoy it vicariously though your post. Cheers.

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    1. Thanks, Bek. I'm reading a lot of Aussie blogs at the moment and they're making me want to skip winter and head straight for spring! Ahh, tomatoes! Yum, don't wish those away! Mine have all but finished (one or two ripening slowly on my balcony) so every last taste is enjoyed.

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  11. I'm as fickle as you are Caro, and I totally agree about the delights of a walk on a blustery autumn day, so envigorating. Add in the sea, and you have my idea of perfection! I must venture down to the river to see if there are any beautiful leaves to kick my way through. Love your puddle photo. And those clouds!

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    1. Funnily enough I was driving by the sea last weekend and just had to get out for a walk despite strong winds. The fishermen waiting by their rods and tents looked very amused as I stopped to take photos of the sun setting and waves crashing but it was just too beautiful to miss! The cloud picture was a happy moment, if the grass wasn't so wet, I could spend hours looking up at the sky!

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  12. I love the colours of autumn we are so lucky having such a contrast of the seasons. Your puddle is so beautiful. Sarah x

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Caro x

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