Changing Seasons 2017: February

February arrived at the meadow and the little wooded area beside the stream, enticing nature to quicken as the year edged slowly onwards…

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(Remember to click on the galleries for better views of the pictures!)

As youthful sunlight grew bolder, caressing the earth with an enlivening touch, new life began to stir amidst the leaf litter. Green shoots pushed free of chill dirt. Soon, hosts of delicate snowdrops bowed their heads in shy greeting, whilst hearts and minds swelled with romantic ideals.

Bathed in dawn light or dusk, the paths meandered over the meadow and beneath the trees, drawing footsteps onwards. Benches invited those visitors brave enough to face the frigid elements to sit awhile in peaceful contemplation. Meanwhile the stream flowed on in a silvery ribbon…

Within the tree tops birds gathered, peeking from behind branches and darting from perch to perch. In search of partners with whom to share the coming months, they sang their boastful songs as they preened, their chests puffed out in self-importance.

Amidst February’s burgeoning landscape, a multitude of detail was hidden – for those who were willing to look. Bracket fungi provided stepping stones into fairy lands, whilst ivy bedecked in dewdrops glistened in dawn light. Strands of fur tangled around brambles, hinting of life forms present when a human gaze was absent.


This post is for my February edition of Cardinal Guzman’s Changing Seasons Challenge. It’s a little later than I’d hoped to post it – mainly because my internet is still not completely back to normal. It’s not too bad for visiting blogs now, but unfortunately it takes forever to upload pictures!

If you’d like to see how the meadow, wooded area, and stream have looked at different times of the year, please visit the ‘Changing Seasons’ category in the menu at the top of the page.

Do you have a favourite picture? I’d love to know!

CWW: Beside the Lake

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Follow the lane as it wends its way through craggy hills, sodden earth beneath your feet and deep waters at your side. With each step feel your cares tumble loose, descending like scree into the lake’s inky depths.

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This post is for Cee’s Which Way challenge. The pictures were taken at Wastwater – the deepest lake in the Lake District, Cumbria, UK – which we visited over this past weekend. This was the day after storm Doris had passed over, so it was very wet underfoot, and still very cold, windy and cloudy. Fortunately it managed not to rain whilst we were out there!

I hope you like them.

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Changing Seasons 2017: January

As the midwinter celebrations fade into memory, the new year settles into a haze of grey monotony – a progression of days shrouded in obscuring mist. But even amidst the gloom, an allure can be found if you open your eyes to the sight. Light will filter through even on the dullest of days.

(Remember to click on the galleries for better views of the photographs.)

Find your way to the natural places, and breathe deep of the chill air. Bathe in the peace to be found as you connect with the earth. The daylight might yet be thin, lacking the strength to which it will grow in the months to come, but it is strong enough to enliven your spirit as you walk across the meadow and beneath the trees.

Whilst no flowers yet bloom, and the trees remain starkly bare, there is still beauty to be found in the minutiae of the wild places. Beneath your feet toadstools continue to emerge, whilst moss, ivy and lichen add touches of greenery to a largely umber world. Droplets cling to leaves and branches, reflecting back at you a miniature world, bathed in light.

Amongst the branches a multitude of birds flit, darting from perch to perch in search of sustenance. Blue tits, long tailed tits and blackbirds can all be spotted, adding life an movement to the wintry tableau.

A final sight to lift your spirits can be seen as January draws to an end. The first hints of Spring’s revival can be found amidst the remnants of the old year – fresh green leaves reaching towards the sky. Soon new life will arrive.

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This post is for Cardinal Guzman’s Changing Seasons 2017. As usual, I have far more than the 5-20 pictures we’re asked to share – though this is barely a quarter of those I could have included. Sorry, Cardinal. o_O I’d say that I’ll try to stick to the limit better next month, but I know just how low the likelihood of that is!

As I began last year’s challenge in February, this post actually brings me full circle. I had thought about photographing a different place this year – but the meadow, wooded area and stream is where I always want to visit when I head out of the house with my camera. And there’s always something different to be seen…

If you’d like to take a look at some of the previous posts for this challenge, I’ve now added a Changing Seasons category to the menu at the top of the page to make them easier to find.

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Changing Seasons 2016: December

During December I again photographed the meadow, wooded area and stream in my village for Cardinal Guzman’s Monthly Changing Seasons challenge. With the busyness of Christmas preparations, along with an unseasonably warm but drearily overcast month, I only managed a handful of visits to my favourite place, but luckily those few walks gave me plenty of pictures!

Remember to click on the galleries to see the pictures at a larger size.

So, come and join me on a walk through the meadow, down to the wooded area and beside the stream, as December takes hold…

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You breathe deep of the chill air as you walk across the meadow’s open expanse, enjoying the feel of the crisp grass and the fallen leaves, rimed with ice crystals, as they crunch beneath your feet. The paths that in the summer months wound through long grasses, are now mere echoes upon the ground, but you follow them still. Whether in the shrouding mists of early morning or the sublime gold of the afternoon, each footstep carries you further from your troubles, opening your mind to the possibilities that lie ahead.

The many benches scattered around the space draw you to rest for a spell, allowing you to absorb nature’s serenity. Wrapped warmly in woolen layers, with hat, scarf and gloves protecting your extremities, the chill doesn’t bother you as you meander from perch to perch, though you don’t linger long at each stop. There are many more areas to explore, after all.

Resting on the bench newly placed beneath the trees, you gaze at an area held tightly in December’s grip. Oak, birch and horse chestnut trees all stand starkly bare. Winter green has now become dominant within the woodland spaces: holly, ivy and fir adding a dash of colour to an otherwise bleak scene.

Arising from the bench, you walk alongside the stream, watching the sluggish flow of water beneath the icy tendrils that stretch out from the shore. The afternoon light gilds branches in gold, adding an element of warmth that your chilled senses deny exists.

You carefully watch where you put your feet as you walk beneath the trees, taking care not to trip over the jagged remains of tree stumps or to tread on any of the funghi that continues to sprout amongst the concealing leaf litter.

You stop where a branch reaches out over the water. The last few leaves cling like tree ornaments, whilst water droplets glint around them, hanging like nature’s own midwinter decorations.

But nature’s own are not the only decorations to be found. Strung from the trees throughout the wooded area are fat balls, packed full of winter treats for the birds, whilst strings of popcorn drape over the fir trees clustered in the corner of the meadow. Robins, blue tits and long tailed tits can be seen flitting to and fro, enjoying their midwinter feast.

Finally, as the sun sets beyond the trees, and with your senses bathed clean by the calm stillness of nature, you take your leave of the meadow, wooded area and stream, knowing that soon you will return…

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I hope you enjoyed accompanying me on a walk around my favourite place. Did you have a favourite picture? I’d love to know which ones caught your eye.

If you’d like to revisit some of the previous months’ galleries, you can follow the links below:

February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November

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