Changing Seasons 2016: August

During August I’ve again been photographing the wildflower meadow, wooded area and stream for Cardinal Guzman’s Changing Seasons Challenge. As usual I have far more pictures in my galleries than we’re asked to share, but I couldn’t bear to cut anything else out!

On the Path 2.jpg

With many of the flowers having withered away over the summer, leaving a sea of golden grass, during August the main focal points of the meadow became the little trees scattered throughout the area. There are over thirty of these, but until recently they’ve been too small to show up in pictures, having only been planted when the field was bought a few years ago by a lovely couple who live in the village. It is this couple who have turned the space into the beautiful area it is now, and have made it accessible for everyone – for which I am incredibly grateful! Here are a few pictures of some of the little trees:

Whilst most of the flowers in the meadow have faded, there are a few that still remain.

But even with the fading of the flowers, there is still beauty to be found amongst the long grass. I’ve always found seedpods and dried flowers to be as attractive in their own way as flowers at the peak of their bloom…

One of the things I always love to do when I’m visiting the meadow, wooded area and stream is to look for any wildlife that I can photograph. I always see far more things than I actually manage to capture, though during August I was particularly fortunate with many of my shots. Having said that, a few pictures (the moorhen and the sparrowhawk) were taken right at the limit of my 70-300mm lens and still had to be cropped to show the creatures properly. They were also taken handheld, meaning that they’re not quite as clear as I would have liked, but I they were shots I was so pleased to have captured that I couldn’t leave them out.

One of my favourite features in the meadow are the cluster of tree stumps, and the items that sit on top of them. And yes… many of them were placed there by me. 🙂

With Autumn drawing nearer, the wooded area has become increasingly interesting to photograph. The acorns and sycamore helicopters have grown larger, whilst spiderwebs  wreathe many trees.

To finish off I’ll leave you with a few pictures of my favourite things to hunt for at this time of year – the toadstools that hide among the grass and leaf-litter.

I hope you all enjoyed August’s collection of images. I had hoped to share them before the end of the month, but unfortunately my internet connection died. Luckily it didn’t stay off for too long this time.

If you’d like to see how the area has changed over the course of the year, you can find the previous months’ galleries by following the links below:

February
March
April
May
June
July

Changing Seasons 2016: July

Last month I again spent many pleasant hours photographing the wildflower meadow, wooded area and stream for Cardinal Guzman’s Changing Seasons photography challenge. As you may know by now, this is my favourite place in the village, and where I like to go to write.

Love

In June the main feature of the meadow had been the daisies. During July these steadily died back, leaving a sea of golden grass, speckled with the delicate umbels of wild carrot flowers.

Here are a few general views over the meadow. Click on the gallery to enlarge the photos.

Here are a few close ups of the grasses and the seeds hidden amongst them.

One thing I haven’t really focussed on in previous months are the little trees that dot the meadow – mainly because they’ve never before really worked well in photographs. Many are now, finally, large enough to actually show up in pictures.

Obscured by the long grass there are also many flowers that you can see once you get a little closer. The cornflowers, poppies, birdsfoot trefoil and clover of June have continued to bloom, but I’ve not included pictures of these this month. I’ve instead focussed on the flowers new to July: wild carrot, camomile and corn marigolds, plus many others that I was unable to name.

The grasses and flowers have continued to teem with bugs and insects of all sorts. The butterflies have been the most noticeable, flitting from blossom to blossom, and sunning their wings as they rest on leaves, though, as usual, they’ve also been the hardest to photograph.

After exploring the meadow it’s always nice to head into the trees for a while. After talking to one of the older villagers who walks his dogs around the meadow, I decided to find the holly tree on which he and his friends carved their names back when they were children. I was quite amazed that I’d never noticed it before!

On of my favourite places to write is beside the stream, near to the little ladder that leans against a tree on the water’s edge. I always like to snap a few pictures while I’m down there.

This post is actually later than I’d planned as last week I somehow managed to lose several folders full of pictures from the month. They vanished completely – I can’t even find a trace of them on my hard drive. Unfortunately, I hadn’t got around to backing them up yet. I won’t be making that mistake again! Many of these pictures were actually ready to post on the blog as I’d been trying to edit a few every day so I didn’t have a mass to work through at the end of the month. Instead I had to go out and take some new ones, all of which I then had to edit.

On the positive side, some of the new pictures are my favourites of the month.

I apologise to everyone who’s blog I haven’t visited recently. See above for the reason! I’ll try to make my way around to you soon.

You can check out previous months’ Changing Season’s posts here:

February
March
April
May
June

Did you have a favourite picture? I’d love to know.

thechangingseasons

Beautiful Dawn

Dawn Daisy

Awakening touch

Virginal blossom caressed

Before bees arise

Dawn Daisy 2.jpg

Today’s pictures were taken at the wildflower meadow on a beautiful June dawn. Yes, after months (possibly even years) of saying I was going to go out at dawn to photograph, I finally did it! And it was an enchanting experience.

As I watched the sun slowly extend its touch over the meadow, I found the lack of bees and other insects quite noticeable. Every other time I’ve been photographing the flowers (much later in the day) they were everywhere.

I’ve already shared most of the pictures from the morning on my Changing Seasons post but here are a final handful  of shots of dawn lit daisies.

 

Changing Season 2016: June

It’s time for June’s Changing Seasons post, a challenge that asks you to photograph the same place over the course of a year and to share a monthly gallery of pictures. Yet again I’m afraid I have a few more photos than the Cardinal asks us to share. Oops! You probably wouldn’t believe just how long it took to reduce it down to only this many!

fence to meadow

This year I’m photographing the wildflower meadow, wooded area and stream – my favourite place to visit in the village. I can spend hours happily sitting with a notepad, writing my little stories and poems.

The most noticeable feature of the meadow this month has been the daisies. The whole field has been filled with them in a gorgeous a sea of white.

There were other flowers blooming, as well – many hidden amongst the daisies: cornflowers and corncockles, birdsfoot trefoil, poppies and clover, plus many others that I didn’t manage to identify.

Often overlooked are the grasses that fill the meadow, the drab cousins of the elegant flowers, but beautiful in their own right.

During June the meadow has been filled with insects, bees and butterflies, flitting from plant to plant. I’ve already shared some of the insect pictures that I’ve taken this month but I did save some for today’s post.

As well as the meadow there’s also the little wooded area and the stream.

I thought I’d leave you with a final two shots of a couple of friends I’ve made at the meadow this month.

I hope you liked these pictures. If you did, feel free to check out the previous months’ posts:

February
March
April
May

On the Wing

fly on cow parsley 4

 Air fills with movement

Fleeting insects buzz, dart, dance

A feast on the wing

fly (for blog)


I had intended to share my monthly Changing Seasons post today but unfortunately I haven’t actually finished sorting through all of the photos I’ve taken. I’ve visited and photographed the meadow so many times over the past few weeks that I have an absolute mountain of them!

Luckily I have edited enough of the pictures of insects to share a few of them. These are all ones I won’t be using on The Changing Seasons post but that I like too much to just leave sitting, unseen, in a folder on my computer. I hope you like them.

I thought I’d leave you with a final picture – the photographing of which actually inspired the haiku but that wasn’t in focus enough to be placed at the top of the page. I didn’t want to leave it completely off, though.

long tailed insect

Changing Seasons 2016: May

This post is for Cardinal Guzman’s Changing Seasons photography challenge. This year I’m sharing a selection of pictures taken around my favourite place in the village – the wildflower meadow, wooded area and stream. I was determined to get this month’s galleries up before the end of the month! Don’t forget to click on the galleries to see the pictures in a larger size.

Here are a few photographs from around the meadow:

The change in the meadow over the course of the month has been very noticeable. In early May the dandelions were the main feature, changing from their bright yellow flowers to a host of delicate ‘clocks’ with only the occasional splash of colour and variety from red campion, forget-me-nots and daisies. Further flowers, however, appeared as the week’s processed: white campion, buttercups, tufted vetch, clover, cats ear (or possibly hawks beard) and birdsfoot trefoil – plus others that I was unable to identify!

Here are some closer views of the flowers:

Last month the bluebells were the central feature of the little area of woodland beside the stream. This month, with the canopy finally filling with greenery, the bluebells faded – though not before I managed to capture a few more shots. Focus instead shifted to the blossom on the trees and, in the last few days, to the rhododendron bush, bursting into glorious flower.

As well as flowers, this month has also seen an abundance of insect life. I tried my best to capture this but unfortunately little seemed to want to stay still long enough for me to take a picture! The butterflies are a perfect example. I decided to include the picture in the end as capturing even a slightly out of focus shot was a triumph with the two tiny creatures so constantly on the move! I also have lots of other pictures of out of focus bees and bugs that I thought I’d better not inflict on you… 🙂

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this month’s visit to my favourite place. If you’d like to compare the views now to those from previous months, you can follow the links below.

February

March

April

Just a final note for anyone who’s curious (and still reading) – after sorting through all of the photographs I took this month, I still had a 118 pictures to choose from for this post. Somehow (rather brutally) I managed to whittle it down to 34! Whilst this is still far more than the 5-20 the Cardinal asks us to share, I couldn’t bear to cut anything else out. This means, though, that I now have another 84 pictures sitting in my media file waiting for a chance to be shared…

thechangingseasons

Changing Seasons 2016: April

Cglna7BWgAAUgaF

I know this is very late but I was determined to get it out anyway! As some of you may know, I spent April joining in with CampNanoWriMo. Nearly all of my free time was spent working on my novel which is why this wasn’t posted then. My favourite writing spot, however, (when it wasn’t raining) was down at the wildflower meadow, beside the wooded area and the stream – the very place I’ve been photographing for Cardinal Guzman’s monthly Changing Seasons Challenge. Most times when I was down there I’d work on a scene for a while and then stretch my legs and take a few photographs. Over the month I took a lot of pictures. Unfortunately I then had to sort through these once CampNano was over which was not an easy job!

entrance

I hope you all like the shots I’ve chosen to share. I’ll apologise now that there are a few more than the twenty we’re asked to include in our galleries. I didn’t really want to cut anything out. I’d already knocked it down from far more!

The most notable feature during April were the bluebells that carpeted a large swathe of the wooded area.  If you looked carefully you could also spot a handful of whitebells scattered among them:

The trees became increasingly green as the month progressed, new growth continuing to unfurl:

There were many lovely views down by the stream and within the trees.

Whilst a few of March’s daffodils still remained the main yellow flowers to be seen were the celandines. These have been in bloom on the roadside verges for months but only in April did they begin to flower beneath the shelter of the trees:

Last month the wildflower meadow also finally began to come into its own after a winter as merely an expanse of plain grass. Dandelions, daisys, speedwells and forget-me-nots began to decorate the area while the hawthorn bushes in the surrounding hedgerows began to blossom.

In among the grass, insects could be seen scurrying. Bees bustled between flowers in search of nectar. I spent quite some time kneeling on damp grass trying to get some good shots if them! There are several benches and areas of seating around the meadow and these became some of my favourite places to sit with my notepad during the month:

I hope you’ve all enjoyed your virtual visit to my favourite place. I’d love to know if anyone has a favourite shot.

Hopefully the gallery for May won’t be quite so late…

If you’d like to compare with previous months galleries then click below:

February

March