Tag Archives: Autumn colours

Bark and Leaves for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Bark is brown and leaves are green … aren’t they?
Well … sometimes … sort-of … it depends! Take a look – what do you think?

Woodland leaves - from green to brown
Woodland leaves – from green to brown

If you’re in the temperate latitudes of the northern hemisphere like me, you too have most probably been enjoying the glorious colours of Autumn. In Autumn, we say the leaves on our deciduous trees and shrubs ‘turn colour’. There’s another odd idea! Of course, the leaves always have a colour but we mean the leaves have turned from their Summer shade of green to their Autumn tints of reds, oranges, yellows and browns.

We’ve had a very mild Autumn here in the UK with a good amount of sunshine. This means we have had plenty of opportunity to enjoy the woods at this beautiful time of year. The sunlit leaves glow in their Autumn colours. Their year’s work done, the breeze releases them one by one and they drift earthwards to join the deepening carpet upon the woodland paths. Who does not love to trail through the Autumn leaves! It is one of the joys of the season! This leafy carpet does provide another service too. Its warm blanket creates a welcome habitat for many small creatures looking for a cosy place to spend the Winter.

Tree bark with luminous green lichen
Tree bark with luminous green lichen

Tree bark fascinates me. Its touchable textures vary hugely from tree to tree, from smooth undulations to deep ravines. On a recent woodland walk I spotted these examples of bark. We often see this luminous green lichen on the trees in our woods. When it rains, this lichen really glows against the dark, wet bark.

The tempting textures of Atlas Cedar bark
The tempting textures of Atlas Cedar bark

We don’t have many Atlas Cedars in our woods – only the one, I think, and it is part of an interesting tree trail of labelled species. The Atlas Cedar is one of the trees I like to look out for along the trail. The texture and varying shades of brown of the bark give the Atlas Cedar its own unique mosaic.

The many colours of Oak bark
So many hues, from greens to purples, in this wonderfully textured Oak tree bark

I couldn’t write about tree bark without including my very favourite tree, the English Oak. This particular Oak tree is near the entrance to our woods, so we pass by it very often. The Oak bark is a myriad of different colours. Oaks support an amazing array of other animal and plant life. The mosses and lichens create so many shades of green on the deeply textured bark. The late afternoon sun also lent a purple cast to the remaining ‘brown’ patches of the bark.

Were the leaves green and was the bark brown? I did find some green leaves on my walk, but I also found yellows, reds, orange and brown. Some of the bark was brown, though not all one shade of brown, of course. But some of it was blue, purple and so many shades of green. So, yes. Sometimes. Sort-of. It depends. 🙂

Do take a look at the other entries for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week on the theme of bark and leaves.

J Peggy Taylor

Colourful Winter sunrise silhouettes the early morning landscape

Nature’s Colour Contrasts for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Nature has a keen eye for colour and she greets us in every season with so many different colour contrasts.

Pink and yellow

In our valley we are treated to some colourful Winter sunrises when the sky is aglow with amazing pinks and yellows.

Yellow and green

Yellow Winter Aconites against green leaves
The golden globes of Winter Aconites and their bright green leaves

It was mid-February this year when we spotted the glorious golden globes of the Winter Aconites Eranthis hyemalis as we took a woodland walk one sunny afternoon. I always look forward to seeing these flowers blooming for they bring with them the promise that Spring is not far off.

Yellow and blue

Yellow Gorse against blue sky
Gorse in bloom against the bright blue February sky

Gorse is a rather prickly shrub that grows widely in wild places in our area. Its yellow pea-type flowers begin to bloom from late January bringing some welcome brightness in our hedges and woods, replacing the browns of Winter.

Purple and orange

Purple and orange - crocuses in early Spring
Crocuses in early Spring

Like many people, we grow a pot or two of crocuses in our back yard. When our purple crocuses bloom, I know that Winter really is past and Spring is here to stay. The bright orange stamens seem to glow when the Spring sunshine catches them.

Purple and green

Carder Bee feeding on Common Knapweed
Bee-on-a-flower – a Carder Bee feeding on Common Knapweed

Our family has spent many happy hours focusing on creatures on Common Knapweed – literally! This beautiful purple flower of Summer is one of my favourite colours and the greens of the grass and foliage create a perfect backdrop.

Orange and purple

Comma butterfly on thistles
Comma butterfly on thistles

Colourful butterflies are another delight of Summer. The orange of this Comma butterfly contrasts well against the purple thistles.

Red-orange and green

Rowanberries - close-up
Rowanberries really are full of sunshine

As the Summer draws to a close, the hedgerows fill up with Autumn fruits. Red berries against green foliage are a certain reminder that it is time to stock up the larder with these juicy fruits, full of captured Summer sunshine, to see us through the dark days of Winter. We also make sure we leave plenty for the birds and beasties.

Do take a look at the ‘Contrasting Colors’ others have chosen for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week.

J Peggy Taylor

Autumn and Metal for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

Each of the seasons has its own special attractions and things to look forward to. They also have their own set of colours. Autumn certainly doesn’t do colour in half measures in our area. As well as the science magic of anthocyanin as it paints the Autumn leaves red, there are some other colour highlights we watch out for during this season.

Fiery Autumn sky at dawn
Fiery Autumn sky at dawn

This is one of the things I always look forward to in Autumn – amazing sunrises and sunsets. This photograph was taken from our front door just after dawn.

Fly Agaric fungi on the woodland floor
Fly Agaric fungi on the woodland floor

Fungi are another source of Autumn colour we like to seek out on our woodland walks. Fly Agaric Amanita muscaria provides one of the classic ‘toadstool’ images, with its bright red cap dotted with white spots. The ‘spots’ are not strictly part of the cap, but are really remnants of the white veil that covers the fungus as it grows.

Amethyst Deceiver fungus in leaf litter
Amethyst Deceiver fungus in leaf litter
Blackish-purple Russula
Blackish-purple Russula
Jelly Ear fungus growing on an old Elder branch
The strange-but-true Jelly Ear fungus growing on an old Elder branch

This Jelly Ear fungus looks rather brain-like in my son’s photo!

White Helvella fungi
White Helvella fungi

I think the White Helvella fungus looks like it has been fashioned out of molten wax.

To complete the ‘Metal’ aspect of Cee’s challenge this week I have chosen one shot from our family archives and a new image I came across on a walk just this week.

This rusty old child’s bike was retrieved from undergrowth by our sons, specifically for use as practice subject matter for photography!

Rusty child's bike arty shot
Rusty old child’s bike
Rusty metal farm gate
Rusty metal farm gate

We seem to come across these kind of field gates on our walks … rusty and somewhat bent out of shape!

Be sure to check out what others have chosen for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge on the theme of Metal or the Season of Autumn this week.

J Peggy Taylor