Friday, 19 November 2010

Winter secrets.







I love trees. I love to see them as they are just bursting into leaf; I love them in their full finery when the leaves are new and bright; I love them in their Autumn colours; most of all I love them in Winter.

In the fens of Lincolnshire there is very little grassland - all the fields are ploughed up and replanted each year, which means you get a wonderful vista of bare trees and brown ploughed fields - that I love most of all. One of these days I shall buy myself a watercolour painting of just such a landscape even though I have little wall space which is not already covered with pictures.

Up here, of course, almost every field is a pasture or a meadow, so the views are different. Nevertheless, there is something so beautiful about a bare tree rising out of the hedgerow and revealing its shape. This morning, driving into Leyburn, bare alders were rising up out of the mist - breath-takingly beautiful.

It is one of those days when the fair weather to the West of the Pennines (blue skies and sunshine) is fighting the sea-fret/fog of the East coast. The battle is taking place round about where we live so that one minute it is thick fog and the next the sun breaks through. It was like that on our walk a short while ago.

And it struck me just how many secrets these bare trees and hedgerows reveal. First of all there are the birds' nests - how well the birds conceal their nests at breeding time and how vulnerable they look now that the trees and hedges are bare.
A small crab apple tree in the hedge has gone unnoticed all year until now, when all the leaves are off and it advertises its presence with a crop of yellow, waxy fruit.
The cotoneaster horizontalis just outside our front gate is covered in red beady berries which were hardly noticeable when the little leaves were on the branches. Now they stand out like rubies, waiting to be picked off one by one by the blackbirds.

My favourite bare tree of all is the alder. By the time we got back to the farm after our walk the fog was coming down again. I took a shot of the alders in the distance - not near enough to be really exciting, but it gives you the general idea.

So for me, Winter does have its compensations - there really is beauty everywhere if only we take the time to look for it. Have a nice weekend.

One perk of the awful, dismal weather is that the farmer has time on his hands, so yesterday he gave the kitchen a bit of a spruce up by re-doing the walls with 'daffodil' - doesn't it look nice and sparkly clean (for how long?)

27 comments:

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

First off, I adore the new kitchen colour! What a wonderful atmosphere in which to cook, especially on cold winter days.

I share your love of trees, also. I even spent some time yesterday writing about that very thing for a future posting. Wasn't it Andrew Wyeth who said something about the beautiful "bone structure" of the winter landscape? I always think of that when I observe the bare trees. Lovely.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

I agree there is beauty everywhere and in everything. I love the light in winter. Trees, ah they speak. When I was in Canada earlier this year, we were walking through a park and I swear I could almost feel the trees vibrating with energy, almost like they were speaking. It was a strange feeling and quite wonderful, I have never felt it before and can only hope to feel it again.

Arija said...

How pretty and cheerful the daffodil yellow is for the winter. Like bringing the sun inside and letting it shine.

Trees really show their character when they lose their leaves and every season has its compensations.

angryparsnip said...

I agree with you I love trees and more so in the winter month when you can really see the shape of them.
For at lest two years at school almost every project I turned in had some form of a bare tree. I think I drove all my teachers crazy.

I love the Palo Verde trees of my area. It is leafless most of the year and when in bloom the leaflets are so tiny that you can always see the structure of the neon lime green tree.

Your photo of the Alders, Fog and Fields was lovely !

cheers, parsnip

Loren said...

Wow, that looks like a bird's idea of the ideal winter resort.

Heather said...

Your post is full of poetry Pat. I would hate to live in a landscape without trees and love that shot of the tangle of twigs and branches with the field and hedges in the background. We have something vaguely similar right outside our front window, except there are other houses in the background. The new kitchen colour is perfect for this time of year - you will have sunshine even on the greyest of days and what a joy to have an Aga.

Bonnie said...

Oh yes, there is beauty in every season. I adore the bare trees. They stand like beautiful lacey sculptures in front of the ever-changing screen of sky.

Cloudia said...

now we can love them too






Aloha from Waikiki

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Gerry Snape said...

What a super kitchen....I really love the colour ...a happy colour and just right to get us through the winter. You've inspired me, my kitchen is very shabby at the moment .
I can't live without trees, we plant something every year even though we then wonder hoe big it will get.!

Shaista said...

I did love the poem on rooks, and also the idea of you stopping at a layby to write lines inspired by the mist... yes, November is indeed upon us, and winter secrets are beginning to spill..

Pondside said...

I love a yellow kitchen!
The berries are thick this year. We're supposed to have the worst winter in 55 years (how do they know?)

Bovey Belle said...

Love the yellow too! We have a lot of creamy yellow in our house (to counterbalance it being a tad dark and gloomy) and we have a very similar yellow to that in our now Dining Room (it was the Morning Room until last year).

I love to see the bare bones of the winter landscape too and the graceful outlines of the trees. I noticed that the baby-catkins are already out around here which makes me think that by January, when they are flowering, we will be 6 weeks away from spring. That shortens the winter a good deal!

Tramp said...

The trees here are standing so stark and still this week after the effort of shedding the last of their leaves in last week's gale.
...Tramp

Derrick said...

Dull, dark days aplenty, Weaver, but your kitchen will certainly help to brighten things up. If one thinks about seasonal changes, we are fortunate to have such beautiful aspects in each one; Winter landscapes offer a lot. I also enjoyed your rook stories despite grimacing at the 'beak encounter'!

steven said...

weaver - this is a beautiful post - so many of yours are! i was caught especially by the winter surprises mention as i have been thrilled to find so many birds nests all around the house in various places that are frequented by humans and yet somehow the birds built a little nest in a hidey-hole place and had babies and the babies were there and we never knew!! i really like the sunny new kitchen look! that'll carry you through many a lseety cold day. steven

Titus said...

Lovely post, Weaver. I like the outlines of Winter too.

And love the kitchen colour, and blimey to the farmer. It's taken my husband four weeks to do the living room, and two of the doors still need one final coat of gloss!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Oh the kitchen looks lovely in daffodil! What a nice bright colour as we head into winter!

I love trees too, all year round. I have too many favourite trees, but the alder is definitely one of them

George said...

A lovely post, Pat, and it's wonderful to see someone who is celebrating winter trees. It's true that beauty can be found everywhere in every season. One need only LOOK!

Dave King said...

Superb post. I, too, love the trees when are. You reminded me that Constable used to paint the trees in winter whenever possible, although he was depicting them in leaf, because he wanted to see the structure beneath the foliage.

Golden West said...

That daffodil color will definitely brighten any dark winter day - it looks splendid with the green of the stove!

As our ginkgo tree loses the last of its leaves, we've spied a large nest at the very top - now we know why 5 raccoons came tumbling down the tree trunk so noisily one morning around 3 am!

MarmaladeRose said...

I'm sure that beautiful 'daffodil' colour will get you through the long dark winter ready for the real thing in Spring.

Dartford Warbler said...

Your kitchen will cheer you up on the darkest winter days with that splash of daffodil yellow!

I walk in the Forest most days and I never tire of winter trees. Every day they look different, maybe with rain on the bark or with sunlight playing between the meshed shapes of twigs and branches.

willow said...

I have a certain spiritual connection with trees. But right now, I am green with envy over your lovely green Aga!!

patteran said...

An eloquent defence of the naked tree, Pat! I'm almost convinced, but for all the soon-to-be bare beauty around here, I shall be waiting impatiently for the spring.

BT said...

That yellow is beautiful and fresh, Weaver. I love the trees too. Most of our hawthorn berries have already been eaten by the blackbirds and the holly will no doubt follow. We have a wonderful crab apple tree in the orchard, which we can see once all the leaves have gone from the trees around the edge. You are so right about the Winter and stopping to take in the beauty.

Can I ask you to say a prayer for my daughter's partner Luise. She is in a critical condition in hospital and we need all the prayer we can get to help pull her through. Thank you pat.

MARGARET GOSDEN 2 said...

Is that an Aga in your kitchen, I wonder. I only know about the Ag from watching Posh Nosh, a hilarious 15 minute spoof with which I am sure you are familiar.
Do hope you make a quick recovery - it all sounds very dramatic and apparently you got to the hospital in time. Three cheers for that. Love your header photo. Do keep it there for a while!

Dave King said...

Hi Weaver, have just read of your illness. Wondered where you might have got to. Been missing you greatly. Hurry back to us - but not before you are ready. In the meantime, every blessing for a quick recovery.
Take care.