• nature,  photographs

    winter's grip lessens

    It’s been a long, dark, winter, so the last couple of sunny days have been uplifting. It’s amazing how quickly the land responds when it gets a blast of sunshine. Suddenly dandelions are prowling among the grasses, and the gorse bushes in the woods have burst into glorious flower. I love the gorse flowers’ coconut scent, so strangely exotic for the blooms of a local wiry shrub. Most of the other plants and trees have not started to grow, so winter’s severity still rules. Soon, all will be stretching up and out of the darkness. Until then we have the beauty of gorse.

  • personal

    getting in the spirit

    In the past I’ve been more of Bah, humbug! kind of girl when it comes to the holiday season. There are a lot of reasons for that, most of them to do with memories of Christmases past. I haven’t even decorated my house in previous years. This year because of the ice and cold weather, and the economic glum and doom, I reckon a little cheering up is in order. So, last night we broke out the few decorations we own, along with a couple of new purchases, and placed them around the house. I hummed ‘Walking in a Winter Wonderland’ as I did so. The starlights are a set…

  • nature

    the joys of frost

    This is another image from yesterday, when it was bitterly cold. It’s funny the things you learn because a picture can get you interested in a subject. Yesterday’s image of a small natural frost bridge made me wonder about the exact nature of the frost growing upon the surfaces I photographed yesterday. I love the crystalline structure of the shapes. It appears that it is hoarfrost, which is a deposit of ice crystals caused by the sublimation of water vapor in the ambient air directly to ice. Here’s a close-up of another photo I took: Some of the shapes look like tiny Christmas trees growing on the shrub. My philosophy…

  • Galway,  nature

    iced in

    Our severe cold snap (by Irish standards) continues. Tonight is supposed to be the coldest night we’ll experience during this period. Here in the West we’ve had two days of gorgeous sunshine, but the temperatures have not risen above freezing. All the snow that fell a few days ago is still on the ground. This means the roads in my area are dangerous to drive on, so we’ve doing as little of that as possible. Today I managed to get to the woods after a slow, careful drive. It was dazzlingly beautiful, although the tips of my fingers went numb as I tried to take photographs (I was using my…

  • nature

    Jack O'Leaf

    I was pleased to capture this image this morning just using my mobile phone camera. Halloween might be over, but this looks like a Jack O’Leaf to me. It was a frosty, sunny morning in the woods today, which can mean good photos if you can find a subject. There is little foliage left on the trees after the rain and wind over the weekend (not as bad as predicted). The view from my office is of my back garden, and of the three trees I can see there are perhaps half a dozen leaves hanging on grimly to the stark branches. I’ve begun putting out peanuts in feeders for…

  • Galway

    get it while it's sparkly

    I snapped the above picture nearly a week ago, on the last bright morning before we turned the corner into Winter and settled into November. It’s been grey wet days since then. It was a lovely surprise to stumble upon a variety of mushrooms in the woods on that occasion, as it’s somewhat late in the season for a lot of them. The photograph of this duo was a special delight, because I managed to capture the magical quality of a sunny late autumn morning. I like the extra shine in the image, even if it could be taken for a flaw. We’re heading into colder weather soon, with a…