green and orange

 

Walking into the city I was struck by how beautiful these copper coloured autumn leaves looked on the mossy pavement.  The moss is a mix of both the most intense bright green and a dark deep forest hue….it’s impossible not to crouch down to stroke it, velvety and soft to the touch, like a huge sleeping bear or something else wild…… even the dark charcoal of the pavement was transformed by the moss and leaf fall.

 

moss and leaves

 

The leaves are copper, persimmon and flame coloured, gold and deep chestnut brown…….it’s such an incredible contrast of colour..already fantastic colours by themselves, together they look breathtaking….like something from one of those fairy tale woods……

 

pancakesque

 

And thinking of fairy tales, I’m reminded by this whopper I saw growing at the base of a tree recently.  The brackets of fungi were easily the size of large dinner plates, though they looked more like fat puffed pancakes waiting to be drenched in maple syrup.

 

mushrooms on tree

 

It was a gorgeous buff and fawn colour with darker umber colouring on the top….it looked so odd, appearing within the last week up the side of the tree.  I love the contrast in colour, the fungi looking so soft and touchable, and the bark looking rough and almost silvery.

Whenever I feel a little less than inspired, going outside always lifts my spirits, seeing how colours and tones appear together in nature helps me with choices in my embroidery or patchwork, and generally I arrive at combinations I wouldn’t have thought of cooped up indoors.

tree in our neighbours garden

 

Every leaf speaks bliss to me,

fluttering from the Autumn tree……

-Emily Bronte

 

Right now it seems that everywhere I look there are sights to inspire…from trees that are in turn mustardy yellow, orange, deep chestnut brown and bright green (this one is in a neighbours garden and it’s such a treat for sore eyes…when the sun is shining it’s leaves look alight and on fire)….

 

red tree

 

To trees that are deep red, carmine and rosewood…….this is such a gorgeous colour.  Some of the leaves are a persimmon orange, dancing in the Autumn sunlight…….I want to knit a scarf in this colour…I’ve seen the perfect wool at my local yarn store and I’ve seen a pattern that I like a lot….. perhaps once all the sewing for the Christmas Fairs is out of the way.

 

horse chestnut

 

Each year I stop and gawp open mouthed at this tree on my way into the city, it’s leaves slowly turn the most incredible shades.  There have been times when I’ve been joined by people walking by and we just all stand admiring how stunning it looks….other times when it is raining cats and dogs I just keep my head down and don’t give it a second look….. but right now it’s a proper treat, mustards and goldenrod, mahogany and rust, tawny and bronze, chartreuse green like bright spring growth…..every few days it changes, but right now I think it looks breathtaking.

 

embroidry stitch inspiration

 

Even the dried Mare’s tail (it’s normally host to a colony of humbug striped snails, they perch right at the tip and sway precariously) is looking beautiful….

 

grasses

 

…the dry stalks and seed pods are a soft buff, almost metallic….they look like rows of carefully worked embroidery stitches….

Years ago I remember reading the phrase “magic is all around us , you just need eyes to see” and I think inspiration is like that too……

 

harris tweed for ruby

 

I’m currently in the middle of sewing an Autumn/Winter coat for a beautiful King Charles Spaniel called Ruby.  I’ve already made her a couple of lightweight coats for cooler weather but this is more for proper cold mornings and frosty evening walks.

I’m using some Harris Tweed (it comes with an authenticity label which will be sewn to the lining to show all and sundry how spoilt she is)….  the tweed comes from Butt of Lewis (Ruby’s owners chose Harris Tweed 228…it’s a gorgeous blend of soft grey, cream, orange, chestnut and charcoal…perfect colours for Autumn)…

I sorted through the button box to find some suitably matching vintage buttons, we decided on these lovely brown buttons.  I call them “grand-pa buttons” as they are always on grand-pa cardigans.  It’s going to be a little bit Sherlock Holmes, a little bit Miss Marple.  Finally, a few reels of vintage sewing thread for any hand sewing and top stitching…(rust red, golden cinnamon and harvest)

While I was pinning and tacking it yesterday, I couldn’t believe how warm and cosy my lap felt, I can understand why people in large cold stately houses favoured Harris Tweed for trousers, skirts and jackets.  It’s also lovely and soft to handle.

Once I’ve finished Ruby’s coat I’ve got a huge stack of pieces to finish in time for the Glory Days Christmas Fair in Holt in two Saturdays time…. it’s at Holt Village Hall on the 1st November.  I’ll be bringing lots of hot water bottle cosies, some hand sewn baby quilts and a huge range of Christmas stockings along with some smaller items I’ve been making over the summer and that have been inspired by my marshy meanderings.

 

sewing box

 

Last week when I was having a look round the charity shops I found this little beauty, it was under a fiver and needed a bit of tlc (the lid was hanging off and the braid edging was all unravelling but I knew those were both fixable)  I’ve seen some some sewing boxes that were a lot more money and not half so nice so felt it was a worth while purchase.

 

sewing box bric a brac

 

Also inside was a bounty of sewing treasure…lovely old wooden reels with lots of thread, vintage fasteners, buttons, a box of tiny pins…….

 

darning mushroom

 

And best of all the treasures inside was this marvellous mushroom (I have a particular fondness for darning mushrooms) this one is brilliant, the bottom un-wiggles to reveal a wooden bobbin for your darning wool, and a little mushroom-esque cap which pulled out to reveal a selection of darning needles.  I love little sewing pieces like this which open and reveal tiny compartments to keep things neat and tidy.

 

chain 2

 

Once you’ve finished the crocheting the chain loops around the circumference of your shawl (or whatever else you may care to make) it’s time to work into those little foundation loops and build up your crocheted edge.  I find it much easier to once again place stitch markers into position around the sections where there is a straight edge before it goes in and out or zigzagedy.

Working up from where you previously slip stitched the last foundation chain, chain 2 and then make 2 single crochet stitches under the first chain loop.

 

chain along

 

In the next little loop make 3 sc, and then 3 more in the last loop.

When you come to the edge of the half hexagon, make 2 sc stitches under each loop (there are 8 loops along the length of the half hexagon so you’ll be making 8 lots of 2 sc stitches.

 

corner one

 

When you get to the end of the first section of straight edge, make your last 2 sc and then chain 1 and then work the following pattern.

Under the first loop, make 1 sc, then 2 half double crochet stitches.

 

zigzag

 

Under the second loop, make 1 hdc and then 2 double crochet stitches.

 

joining tripel

 

Under the third loop work 1 double crochet, and then work one half treble stitch (wrap the yarn around the hook twice, insert the hook, wrap the yarn around and pull through, you’ll have 4 stitches on your hook, yarn over hook and pull it through 2 stitches leaving 3 stitches on your hook.  Yarn over the hook and pull it through 2 stitches on your hook.  Yarn over again and pull it through the last 2 stitches on your hook)…….

 

into next hexagon

 

Now go to make a second htr stitch, yarn over the hook twice, insert the hook under the chain, scoop the yarn through under the chain and through the first two stitches on your hook….now insert the hook under the chain of the next hexagon, scoop yarn through the first two stitches on the hook, then scoop yarn round the hook and through the next two stitches on the hook, and finally scoop the yarn round and through the final two stitches on the hook.  This makes a stitch that has two legs which closes the gap between the two hexagons.

 

filling it

 

Now work the pattern in reverse, under the first loop make a htr stitch and then a double stitch.

 

sc into tip

 

Under the second loop make 2 double stitches and then a half double stitch.

Under the third loop which will bring you up nicely to the top of the hexagon, make 2 hd stitches and finish with a sc.

Repeat along the zigzag edge until you come to the start of the straight edge.

 

work to stitch marker

 

When you come to the start of the straight edge (which is shown above with a stitch marker), make the last stitch in pattern (which is a single crochet stitch) and then make 1 chain before working the sc along and under the loops as at the start.

 

point one

 

When you reach the tip of the first tail of the shawl, make the last single crochet, then chain 1……

 

chaining point

 

and then make a sc between the two single crochet stitches of the previous round, make another 1 chain …….

 

work zigzag to point

 

and then you are working the “fill in the gap” pattern again so make a sc, followed by 2 hdc under the first loop, then a hdc and 2 dc stitches under the second loop and so on……

 

work down to neckline

 

Work this little pattern all the way down the inside tail of the shawl ……

 

working the neckline

 

When you reach the neckline work 2sc stitches under each loop until you reach the first loop of the first half hexagon….

 

neckline

 

Under the eight loop make 2hdc.  Make 2hdc under loop one of the joining half hexagon and then work 2dc 6 more times…..

When you reach the eight loop, once again make 2hdc and another 2hdc under the first loop of the next half hexagon.

 

neckline worked

 

Continue around like so…..making 2 dc under each loop apart from the first and last loop under which you make 2hdc stitches.

When you reach the last half hexagon, make 2 dc under the eight loop.

 

second point

 

Continue in pattern up to the second tail end of the shawl, working the “fill in the gap” pattern as you go…….

When you reach the tip, once again make the final single crochet on the inside, then 1 chain, a sc between the two sc of the previous round, chain 1 and then continue in pattern down the other side……

 

straight edge

 

Continue working along the edge, making 2 sc under each loop of the half hexagon, and 3 sc under the loops of the whole hexagon.

 

little gap

 

Between two straight edges you have a a single zigzag, fill in the little gap with the same pattern of sc, 2hdc, hdc etc….. make sure to chain 1 either end as they are the start and finish of straight edges.

 

finished

 

Continue all the way around and then slip stitch home into the second link of the first chain you made.

 

I use UK terminology throughout….. but if you prefer the American then that is as follows….

A UK single crochet (sc) is an American double crochet (dc)

A UK half double crochet (hdc) is an American half treble (htr)

A Uk double crochet (dc) is an American treble (tr) and finally ….

A UK half treble (htr) is an American double treble (dtr)

 

These are links to the previous tutorials for making the shawl.

Finished shawl

half hexagons

joining the half hexagons into the missing gaps

chaining along

 

If you would like to know how to make the grannies paperweight crochet (it’s also called African Flower) then please go here as Heidi gives a wonderful tutorial, she also shows how to join them.

 

stitch marker

 

Apologies in advance as this is a rather heavy photo post and I probably explain things far too much and unintentionally make it sound harder (it’s just when I first started crocheting I found it really difficult if I wasn’t told exactly what I needed to do…hope that makes sense)

When I worked the edging on my shawl I found it easiest to mark off the sections of “straight” and “zigzag” with stitch markers at the start and end of each section of “straight”…this helped me know where I was and when I needed to make an extra chain.

You want to start the edging in the 6th hexagon round from the front (I start here because the join will be covered as this is in the middle and when it is draped around your neck is covered by the shawl’s tails and also your hair.)  I’ve marked the spot with a stitch marker.

 

insert hook

 

Insert your hook (I’m using a 3.25mm one) into the corner gap of the brown trimmed hexagon and make a chain, scoop yarn through the gap and then scoop it through the 2 stitches that are on your hook.  (this is your foundation sc) Then chain 3……and count along 3 of the dc which form the edge of the bottom hexagon, and insert the hook between the 3rd and 4th stitch, make a sc, and then chain 3 again.

Insert your hook between the 6th and 7th dc and make a sc.  Finally chain another 3 and insert the hook in the corner gap of the hexagon, and sc.

 

work along edge

 

Now you are working along the edge of the half hexagon.  This time you are inserting your hook just under the two loops of the stitch on the edge.

 

half hexagon

 

Chain 2 stitches and then carefully count 3 of the stitches of the half hexagon, insert your hook and make a sc.  Chain 2 more and once again count 3 of the stitches before inserting the hook.  Work along to the corner where you make your final sc.  In all you want to make 8 little chains of 2 stitches.

 

zig zag

 

Repeat using 3 chains and count along 3 of the dc stitches of the joining whole hexagon, insert the hook in the gap between the 3rd and 4th dc and make a sc, continue chaining 3 and inserting the hook every 3rd dc and making a sc along the side of the whole hexagon.

At the finish of side 1 make a sc, then chain 1 before making a second sc in to the gap before chaining 3 and then counting along 3 dc on the next side of the green trimmed hexagon.

Work down to the inverted corner(between the blue and green hexagons) and make a sc each side but do not make a chain between them.

 

work to stitch counter

 

Work up to the tip of the hexagon, chain 3 and make a sc into the gap.  As this is part of the zigzag section, do not make a chain and do not make a second sc, but instead chain 3 and continue to work down the side joining the orange hexagon. Continue in pattern up to the tip of the orange hexagon, as this is the start of the straight section, make your sc, chain 1 and then make a second sc to begin your next set of chain 3.

 

work the poiint

 

Continue working up to the tail of the shawl.  As you are crocheting along a half hexagon you are making 2 chains and inserting the hook just underneath the 3rd stitch along (making 8 little chain loops in total)  When you reach the point, insert the hook and make a sc then make 1 chain and insert the hook to make a second sc.

 

around the point

 

Then you rotate your work, chain 3 and sc into the gap between the 3rd and 4th dc of the edge.

 

along the zig zag

 

Continue to crochet along the zigzags formed by the shape of the hexagons.

As this is part of the zigzag section do not make the chain 1 at the top of the hexagons.

 

work neckline

 

When you reach the inside neckline (which is shaped of 5 half hexagons with a whole hexagon either end) work around in pattern which will be 3 chains for the whole hexagons and 2 chains for the half hexagons.

Make your 3 chains and insert the hook in the gap of the brown hexagon make a sc then chain 3 and insert hook 2 stitches along in the half hexagon.  Continue around the neckline like so.

 

inside the neckline

 

When you make the sc in the inverted corners, insert the hook into the gap where 3 hexagons meet, make a sc and then continue to chain 2 and insert the hook under the 3rd stitch along.

 

second point

 

Work up to the second tail,  sc, chain 1 at the tip and then make a second sc before working along the half hexagon making 2 chains and sc into the 3rd stitch as you go along.

 

sc and chain

 

Continue working along the top straight section of crochet, chaining 3 and inserting the hook and making a sc.

 

chain at corner

 

Each time you come to the end of a section of straight crochet, remember to chain 1, and make the second sc before chaining 3.

 

continue working

 

Continue working around the edge of the shawl, chain 3 and insert the hook in to the gap between the 3rd and 4th dc and making a sc.

The red edged hexagon in the above picture is actually the bottom most hexagon of the shawl, it’s a very short piece of straight crochet so remember to make a chain and the two sc stitches at it’s corners.

(whoops I actually made a mistake at this point….. You can see I’ve just made a second sc in the tip of the green hexagon….you don’t want to do this as it is part of the zigzag section, one sc is plenty!)

 

slip stitch home

 

Continue working round the shawl and then slip stitch home in the chain you began.

Do not cut yarn as you will now be working into the chain loops to create the edging.

 

These are UK terminologies (a UK single crochet is an American dc and a UK double crochet is an American Treble ( or if you are into Star Trek…a Tribble crochet)

These chain loops are used as a foundation for you to crochet your edging on.   The same technique can be used to straighten out a grannies paperweight blanket.

 

scarf with cardigan

 

Last week I finished crocheting the blue scarf I’ve been making using a pattern from beautiful Maria of The Casting on Couch……  I thought to make my scarf thinner than in her pattern and I sort of wish I hadn’t as it’s come out a bit on the skinny side, however it’s super long and drapes around a fair few times so I’m still kept pleasantly warm.

I wore it with a sparkly yellow cardi on Friday and got quite a few compliments on the colour combination.

 

scarf with jacket

 

I used a soft wool which I’d bought a few years ago from Loop, the brand name is Shilasdair and is a blend of cashmere, baby camel, angora nd lambswool…it feels lovely against my neck, and isn’t the slightest bit scratchy.  When it was knitted up it looked like the soft and faded blue of a pair of old and favourite jeans.

This is a great pattern and I’m currently planning another scarf but this time I’ll make it as wide as Maria suggests in her easy to follow tutorial.

She’s made lots of new tutorials which are on you-tube at the mo and they are incredibly easy to follow (seriously…if I can follow them then you’ll have no problems) and there are some other really beautiful patterns to buy on her website.

shawl with jacket

 

After more fannying and pfaffing than I thought possible, I’ve finally finished a winter shawl using the grannies paperweight crochet motif (it’s also called African flower but I prefer the granny name)……  it’s a bit scratchy and stiff still at the moment but on the whole I’m pretty pleased with the result.

 

shawl wrapped

 

It’s made up of whole and half hexagons, and then I’ve edged it with a super soft wool from my local yarn shop (I used Artesano DK alpaca.  It’s as soft and wispy as a cloud)   It’s wonderfully warm and I’m sitting here wearing it feeling somewhat on the verge of a hot flush (I’m not really complaining, I’m one of those people who feels chilly in August).

Apart from the fancy wool edging, the whole shawl is made from tapestry wool (most of which came from antiquey and charity shops)….. I love the incredible range of colours that opens up to use (I really think this pattern comes into it’s own when you use as wide a range of colours as possible…..it takes me back to when I was little and would buy quarters of sweeties from the village shop….there used to be a sweet called fair rock which I don’t think is made anymore, but it looked the same as this pattern)  the only down side to using a different colour for each and every row is there are an awful lot of tails to sew in when you’ve finished crocheting, but I think the end results are pretty fine.

 

crochet the hexagons

 

To make a shawl, start by crocheting your hexagons together (the best tutorial I found to make and join these was lovely Heidi’s)  You’ll need to make 32 whole hexagons and then 13 half hexagons.  I like to make my hexagons a bit smaller and so prefer to join them together on the fifth round.  Also I use a 4mm hook for the first 3 rounds then change to a 3.25mm for rounds 4 and 5.

I wrote about how I made half hexagons the other week so rather than repeat myself, the links to those are here….this is how I make my half hexagons and this is how I join them in.

I found it easier to make the shape of the shawl with the whole hexagons first and then fitted in the half hexagons afterwards (it’s a bit like making a jigsaw puzzle).

 

laid out

 

When you join them together you are looking to make a shape that curves around and overlaps in the centre.  (when I first crocheted this up I’d made it a bit too big at the front so I then had to unpick the edge at the front which is why that bottom row of hexagons has a slightly wiggly look*)

 

edge shape

 

And this shows how the point of the shawl is shaped  (it’s a bit hard to see on the first picture as the colours all blend in together)…..

 

joined hexagons

 

I just wanted to show a picture of the *original shawl (or the crochet that I had to unpick that I mentioned at the top)…… it looked fine but when I tried it on while I was working the edge, it looked too much like a bib for a baby and it also stuck out over my shoulders…..

 

These are the links you need to make the basic shape of the shawl.

Heidi’s hexagons

Heidi’s hexagons join as you go

My half hexagons

Joining my half hexagons into the missing gaps

Chaining around

Crocheting the edge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

marrow chutney

 

A couple of weeks ago I made my first batch of chutney of the year……I’m a bit of a chutney pig if I’m honest and happily consume huge mounds of it.  I particularly love it under toasted cheese and when we have leftovers that can be eaten cold with a green leaf salad (in the winter we …okay, the beloved boyfriend is really the one who cooks it…..make a lovely chestnut and mushroom wellington wrapped in puff pastry, it’s so good to eat hot but I also like it cold with some chutney on the side)

I like my chutney super spicy and use lots of fresh ginger, I grate it using a Japanese ginger grater which basically pulps the ginger so you get lots of ginger juice (this is also good in lemon and honey tea if you have a cold…and makes for the best gingerbread too)

This is my basic chutney recipe, it’s also really good made with pumpkins rather than marrow.  It’s a good way to use up windfall apples and tomatoes that haven’t ripened, and generally I find those cheap pumpkins for Halloween carving cook down a treat to make for a thick and sludgy chutney.

These are rough measures for the fruit and veg, a little under on one can be topped up with a little extra on something else.  (the weight is after veg and fruit have been peeled, cored, and de-seeded, apart from the tomatoes,  just weigh those as they are)

 

Marrow, Apple and Ginger Chutney

Ingredients

1 kilo of marrow

1 kilo of tomatoes

1 kilo of cooking apples

500 – 750 g onions (I used 2 huge onions which weighed about 625 g

500 g brown sugar

500 g sultanas

750 ml cider vinegar

 

spices

fresh ginger (about 1 1/2  inches by 3 inches)

dried chilli flakes (I used 3 tea spoons)

1 teaspoon of maldon sea salt

cloves, coriander seeds, mace blades, black peppercorns (about a dozen of cloves and pepper, and a teaspoon of the coriander and mace blades) tied up in a muslin square of fabric)

 

Method

 

Scald and skin the tomatoes and then roughly chop them up.  Peel the apples and onions, chop them up and add them to the tomatoes.  Remove the outer skin of the marrow, remove the seeds and cut the flesh into half inch cubes, and add to the chutney mix.

Pour in the vinegar and a further 250 ml of water.  Add the sugar and the sultanas.  Grate in the ginger (squeeze all the juice out and discard the fibrous part).  Add the spice bag.

Gently bring the chutney to a boil and allow to simmer, give it a stir every 15 minutes or so so that the sugar dissolves and doesn’t burn.

Simmer for a couple of hours until the chutney has reduced and is thick and rich.

When the chutney is cooked allow to cool for 5 minutes and then put into sterilised jars with plastic coated screw top lids.

Leave to mature for about a month before eating.

 

This made 10 jars.

 

 

 

autumnal a

 

The gilding of the Indian Summer mellowed the pastures far and wide,

The russet woods stood ripe to be stripped, but yet were full of leaf,

The purple of heath-bloom, faded but not withered, tinged the hills….

Fieldhead gardens bore the seal of gentle decay;…..

Its time of flowers and even fruit was over.

(Charlotte Bronte)

 

One of my favourite books is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, but until last year I’d never read any of her other books I’d never read any of her other books but then I was killing time in a charity shop before I caught the bus home and saw a copy of Shirley so bought it and began reading it (missed the bus as I’d gone for a coffee while I read….) It wasn’t as easy to get as caught up in the story as some stories but once I’d got a few chapters in I really enjoyed it…a lot of it is to do with weavers who break the big looms in a factory and the effects that has on a community.  Some of the plot was a bit confusing so I found myself going back to re-read some passages….I think I prefer Jane Eyre but Shirley is a lot more humorous than I was expecting it to be… there is one bit where a young boy gets caught with load of food by his brother (they don’t get on so this causes a bit of a hoo hah) when he is supposed to be poorly, it’s so funny……..and there are some beautifully touching scenes.

The lines above are from the novel and as I re-read them it reminded me so much of my most recent walks over the marshes where the cows are pastured. We’ve had a glorious Indian summer (looking out of my window now and the garden is ablaze in bright sunlight)…but the weather has turned, it’s much chillier and a lot of the hedgerow berries are coming now to an end.

 

autumn detail

 

But as Sunday was fine and dry, we went out for a ramble over the fields…..we managed to pick some of the last of this years blackberries, just enough to put with some apples to make a couple of small pies for the Arpette….(it’s been a bumper crop and we’ve already eaten more blackberry crumbles than I can remember, and the kitchen cupboards are full of pots of jam.

Along with blackberry foraging, I took some cuttings to make another Autumnal and seasonal letter…… I’m hoping to make a whole alphabet over the course of the next 12 months….. this is a mix of dry sorrel seed (tall red seed heads that seem to resist any but the strongest breeze), turkey oak leaves (and it’s tentacled mossy acorn cup), rose hips and dandelion heads…….

 

autumn close up

 

I also picked some Alder, it’s covered in tiny little cones and also catkins at the same time…….there are also some red blackberries and haw thorn berries, sloes and dried oak leaves ……

 

autumnal detail

 

A sprig of ragwort, Ivy leaves with it’s fat green berries, tiny purple thistle flowers and an angelica seed head.

autumn leaves

 

October

Oh hushed October morning mild,

Thy leaves have ripened to the fall,

Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,

Should waste them all.

(Robert Frost)

 

While the weather is still dry I’ve been walking out as much as possible, trying to stretch muscles that get all cramped when I’m hunched up sitting sewing or embroidering….even though I try to have regular breaks to stretch, and get up to make a fresh pot of tea, nothing seems to beat getting out of the house and taking a walk, fresh air blowing out cobwebs and Autumnal colours helping to inspire.

 

red and gold leaves

 

Freshly fallen leaves skitter and scratch on the pavements outside our house, piles of yellow, orange and chartreuse build up around trees and, almost cover the grass.  I can never just walk by them, and have to give them a good kick around sending leaves up into the air.  (it’s a very simple pleasure and one I look forward to each year) The dry crunch is a favourite October sound.

 

tree

 

One of my neighbours trees is slowly turning colour, changing from bright green through shades of yellow, amber, copal, carmine and bright orange.  Each day it seems to look a little different, when the sun is shining just so, the tree seems caught alight, with branches ablaze.

 

gold and grey lichen

 

Autumnal colours are easily my favourite, odd and eerie combinations appear and wardrobe choices are heavily influenced by what I see out on my walks.  The light in the morning is so clear, hedgerow hues seem so defined and contrasting….I loved this mustardy yellow lichen on the silver grey bark… The lichen looks all lumpy and gnarly but in fact was so soft, like tiny pieces of carefully appliqued velvet.

 

lichen

 

It’s a gorgeous and bright golden mustard, and was almost covering the entire bark of this tree…it looked stunning, and seemed to transform the stark leaf fallen tree into something almost wild and otherwordly.

 

nestled like eggs

 

Under a bench I found a little cluster of mushrooms, sun warmed and soft brown like a clutch of freshly laid eggs in an almost hidden nest….  gentle shades of chamoisee, fallow, ochre and sepia……

 

guelder rose 4

 

These Guelder Rose berries are such a shock to the system, their jolly scarlet against bright green and orangey leaves are more like tiny Christmas decorations than something you expect to see in a hedgerow.

 

bracken

 

And then there are the greens, with the trees all changing to oranges and red, yellows and chestnuts, it’s amazing how much green there still is….dark shiny ivy and bright tiny ferns and bracken, mid green nettles, some of which are trailing beards of tiny flowers….

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