Tag Archives: autumn

Art by Instagram – Sharing your Artistic Streak with the World: Colours and Seasons

I love images – photographs, paintings, evocative writing,
and art that create the essence of something real, whether abstract or realistic.
I’m an artist of words, pictures, photographs, and sculpture,
and Instagram has been one of the ways I share my creativity with the world.

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I enjoy capturing moments and photography is the easiest way to do that, even easier since the advent of digital cameras, apps, and editing software.  Beautiful images soothe the soul, and I love being able to share them so readily.

Recently, as I scrolled my Instagram feed, I noticed how the seasons rule the colours in my photographs. It’s easy to recognise the season by the colours rippling through the collections of pictures. It’s subtle, but it’s there…

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Spring © Lisa Shambrook

Spring erupts across the pictures in deep bluebell lilacs, pale pinks and white of daisies, and blossom and spring flowers, daffodil yellow and clean greens with new growth and hope.

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Summer © Lisa Shambrook

Summer hails with beaches, blue sky and crashing ocean waves, deep rose pinks, lilacs and summer flowers, and magical rays of sunshine.

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Autumn © Lisa Shambrook

Autumn brings deep berry red, gold, russet, crimson, and brown of crunchy, fallen leaves, warm colours and cosy pets, scarlet apples and night lights, and shimmering silver frost.

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Winter © Lisa Shambrook

Winter arrives with night-sky indigos and blues, glittery frost and gleaming snow, jewel tones and hot chocolates, bare trees and the colours of cold and chill and warm blankets.

The seasons have their own colours and tones and I love being able to scroll through them…

You can find me on Instagram @lisashambrook and I share more pictures on Flickr.

Which season owns your favourite colours?  

The Best Bits of Autumn

Autumn shows us the beauty of letting go and cosying up together…

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Warm Blankets and Snug Sweaters…
Don’t you just love cosying up?

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© Lisa Shambrook

Revitalising Hot Chocolate…
Nothing better than a delicious hot chocolate to warm up an autumn day!

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© Lisa Shambrook

Back to Boots…
I love my boots, Dr Martens and anything I can kick leaves in!

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© Lisa Shambrook

Pumpkins, Halloween, Fire and Fireworks…
Dressing up is definitely our thing, light up the dark nights!

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© Lisa Shambrook

Homecooked Soup and Comfort Food…
Coming home on a frosty day to a beautiful hot meal!

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© Lisa Shambrook

Falling Leaves…
I’m a child at heart, kicking through crunchy leaves and loving the colours!

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© Lisa Shambrook

Woodland Walks and Strolls…
Early sunsets, turning leaves and that freshness keep me on my toes!

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© Lisa Shambrook

Scarves, Hats and Gloves…
Stay warm, snuggle up in your favourite coat and accessories!

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© Lisa Shambrook

Acorns and Conkers…
Yep, I am a squirrel… 

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© Lisa Shambrook

Jack Frost’s Chill…
The thrill of the chill and the delight of breathing dragon smoke is mine! 

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© Lisa Shambrook

How is your Autumn and what’s your favourite bit so far?

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© Lisa Shambrook

Autumn Days Are Here…

Autumn is the time of year when we realise that change is good.
When the cool breeze refreshes and revitalises our senses.
When mortality is evident in the air as leaves fall,
and living becomes full of urgency and passion…

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© Lisa Shambrook

After a very difficult summer and slipping into the grip of depression, autumn is very welcome in my life. It’s the month that recharges my worn batteries and lifts me from doldrums and anxiety.

I dig out my soft, cosy jumpers and relish a hot chocolate on a cold day. Scented candles offer autumn fragrance and leaves fall in red, gold, orange and brown ready for me to kick through! I pull out my favourite hat and scarf, both stolen from my daughter, and delight in the bliss of my beloved leather jacket. Apples, fresh from the tree, and rich purple plums, and pumpkins ready to be carved fill my Halloween, and nothing beats homemade soups and bread to fill the autumn belly.

Tell me – what are you looking forward to most this autumn?

Ten Illustrations of Autumn Flora

We’ve had a beautiful warm autumn, full of sunshine and blue skies, and a little rain…
So I’m sharing my favourite ten plants of the late season,
not all flowers, but still nature and its beauty!
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sunflower, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

Sunflowers: helianthus are a favourite in the family garden, and though they flower in August, you can still find them blooming well into autumn. I loved watching the children plant sunflower seeds and then plant them out in the garden and watch as they grow tall and bow their huge faces as they open. The colour of late September sunshine!

japanese anemone, pamina, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

Japanese Anemone: another late flowering beauty. I love the delicate petals and lime green centre, and doubles like Japonica Pamina look stunning waving about on top of wiry stems in the autumn breeze. Pure magic…

meadow flowers, poppies and cornflowers, poppies, fields of flowers, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

Poppies and Cornflowers: wild poppies are autumn’s way of remembering. ‘In Flanders Fields the poppies blow…’ a symbol to help us recall and honour the sacrifice of war – lest we forget. A scarlet field of poppies is still a breathtaking sight.
Meadows abounding in flowers, crimson poppies, sky-blue cornflowers and many more, just add to the delight of wandering in the warmth of late sun.

acer, acer palmatum, ornamental maple, red leaves, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

Acer Palmatum: the ornamental Japanese maple turns into a tree of red flame in the autumn and its lime green leaves turn red and burn with beauty. I have a small tree in the garden which delights me with its leaves every year. One of my favourite things in autumn is the turning of leaves from green to yellow, gold, bronze, brown, red and crimson. The flames of autumn brighten the darker days and match the blush that brushes our cheeks on a cold day.

acorns and oak tree, acorns, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

Acorns and Oak Trees: what can I say about oaks and acorns? A huge old oak provides the backbone of one of my books Beneath the Old Oak, inspired by a poem written by my mother-in-law. Oaks inspire me, I’ve written blog posts about the mysterious oak in Green Castle Woods and will write more about others. The Major Oak in Sherwood Forest is just stunning in size and age, and my town Carmarthen has its own legendary oak.
A tree of strength and beauty and acorns…I appear to be a squirrel, as I collect acorns, acorn cups, and conkers…yep, just can’t resist them!

mushrooms and toadstools, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

Mushrooms: wild mushrooms growing in woodlands…fantastic photo opportunities…these are in Gelli Aur near Llandeilo.

mushrooms and toadstools, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

Toadstools: these are growing in Brechfa Forest, just outside Carmarthen. I was astounded at how many varieties we found…though I couldn’t tell you what any of them are! Fungi just has a magical mysterious quality…and are probably the gateways to fairy groves…

pulsatilla, pasque flower, easter flower, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

Pulsatilla: the Pasque flower blooms around Easter, hence the name pasque meaning ‘like paschal’ of Easter…but the bearded seedheads that appear in autumn are another thing altogether. Gorgeous glossy beards similar to clematis seedheads. Just imagine them blowing in the wind… Another legend has it that these flowers spring from the blood of Viking Warriors and grows upon their graves. Just think – Viking beards!

teasel, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

Teasel: wildflowers and seedheads…more magical purple thistle-like flowers with seedheads that show great architecture in the autumn! Tall, and thorny, and great for bees.

red berries, wild shrubs, the last krystallos,

© Lisa Shambrook

Berries: berries begin to appear everywhere in the autumn, in prelude to winter. Blood red berries on wild shrubs, Cotoneaster, fiery Pyracanther, purple berries adorning the Callicarpa and I have a pretty Pernettya shrub with white, red or pink berries.
The berries feed the birds, look pretty, and tell us that winter is on its way…

What autumn flowers do you love?  

Trentham Gardens – Beauty and Creativity: Nature unbound…

I seek out both beauty and nature, and it soothes my soul
when I discover a place where they exist hand-in-hand –
Trentham Gardens is such a place.

trentham gardens farie sculptures, robin wight, amy wight, dandelions,Just a couple of weeks ago a Facebook friend, Julia, shared a photograph of Dandelion sculptures and when it came up on my newsfeed they made me draw my breath. I had no idea where they were, but I searched for Trentham Gardens and discovered that they were close to Stoke…and I was heading up to Preston soon. I knew I wanted to see these installations first hand and nothing was going to stop me seeking out the beauty and creativity of these lovely gardens.

trentham gardens,

Trentham Gardens © Lisa Shambrook

My husband and I braved the motorways, which seemed to be nonstop jams, and spent a revitalising afternoon at the Trentham Estate.

Trentham has a recorded history from 1086, receiving a mention in the Domesday book through to current times with a fascinating history, and the gardens feature greatly, including landscape design from the famous Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. This place is indeed a site of nature unbound and nature contained…my favourite being the unbound kind of nature!

You can shop and eat in the shopping village with free parking, and the garden’s entry price is found here. Once inside the magnificent landscape, with children’s play area, formal and informal gardens, the lake and woodland walks, intense beauty is right at your fingertips.

…and…there are fairies at Trentham…

© Lisa Shambrook

© Lisa Shambrook

Many fairies, fourteen, I think, live within Trentham’s bounds…and your aim is to find each of them. They were created from galvanised and stainless steel wire by sculptor Robin Wight (Facebook Page), and his daughter Amy Wight recently created the huge dandelions in the wildflower meadow.

Fairies at Trentham Gardens by Robin Wight © Lisa Shambrook

Fairies at Trentham Gardens by Robin Wight © Lisa Shambrook

These dandelions stand fifteen feet tall and make you feel like a fairy yourself as you stand at their feet and gaze up at the wishes blowing out across the blue sky…

Make your own wish, and see if the fairies help them come true!

dandelions at Trentham Gardens by Amy Wight,

Dandelions at Trentham Gardens by Amy Wight © Lisa Shambrook

I was amazed at the sheer beauty and craftsmanship. The dandelions stretch high and shimmer as the sun dances upon them and Trentham loves you to share your photos #TrenthamGardens on Twitter and Instagram…

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Sculptures at Trentham Gardens © Lisa Shambrook

Each fairy, an exquisite piece of art, invites you to believe in fairytales and dreams and you’ll be searching high and low to find them. Fairies aren’t the only art installations either; search for the otters, stag beetles, deer and birds among other sculpted creatures and delights.

trentham gardens,

Trentham Gardens in Autumn…note the dandelions in the centre of the photo… © Lisa Shambrook

I adored Trentham, especially in autumn, there’s no comparison for me. Autumn brings gold, russet and red tones, and a carpet of leaves to crunch and rustle through. The woodland walk and lake is magical; you’ll see herons and swans, and hear the birds twittering above you. The old mansion is a romantic ruin, but you’ll imagine courting couples wandering through the historical gardens, and maybe lovers catching a kiss beneath the arches and trees…

Discover the fairies at Trentham © Lisa Shambrook

Discover the fairies at Trentham and check out the size comparison! © Lisa Shambrook

Take a walk yourself and bathe yourself in history and beauty…
and nature unbound…and let the fairies guide you!

spring fairy, trentham dsandelions, amy wight, robin wight,

Spring Fairy at Trentham Dandelions © Lisa Shambrook

Wishes do come true…

Nature Unbound © Lisa Shambrook, trentham gardens,

Nature Unbound © Lisa Shambrook

Reasons to Love Autumn…

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”
Humbert Wolfe

title-reasons-to-love-autumn-the-last-krystallosAutumn is my most favourite season, closely followed by Winter…
find out why and tell me why you love Autumn too!

Dawn's blush © Lisa Shambrook

Dawn’s blush © Lisa Shambrook

Watching dawn’s sliver of pink spread across the indigo sky…

Autumn's fruit - conkers and acorns © Lisa Shambrook

Autumn’s fruit – conkers and acorns © Lisa Shambrook

Acorns, conkers, horse chestnuts, hazelnuts…
not the actual nuts, but I love acorn cups, shiny conkers and nut shells! 

Ward off the chill © Lisa Shambrook

Ward off the chill © Lisa Shambrook

Hunting out your favourite hats and gloves,
twining soft scarves around your neck and wrapping up in the chill.

Boots... © Lisa Shambrook

Boots… © Lisa Shambrook

Boots…need I say more?

Discover discoveries... © Lisa Shambrook

Discover discoveries… © Lisa Shambrook

Apples are finally in season and our trees offer a
harvest of Discoveries and Worcester,
and then I enjoy my most favourite Russets.

Soft woolly jumpers! © Lisa Shambrook

Soft woolly jumpers! © Lisa Shambrook

Jumpers. I’m Scrooge when it comes to turning on the heating,
so I grab a jumper instead. Find your favourite cable knit and stay warm.

Time to dress up! © Lisa Shambrook

Time to dress up – way back in the year 2000! © Lisa Shambrook

Halloween, the best chance of the year to dress up and have fun!

Don't ever miss a hug... © Lisa Shambrook

Don’t ever miss a hug… © Lisa Shambrook

Cuddles to keep warm, nothing better than cosying up with the ones you love.
Hugs, especially when they last over a minute, make you feel good!
Cuddle on the sofa and enjoy the new season of TV after summer’s screen drought.

Slipping on the leather jacket... gloves, hats and scarves... © Lisa Shambrook

Slipping on the leather jacket… gloves, hats and scarves… © Lisa Shambrook

Jackets, leather ones to be precise…
I live in my leather jacket and love slipping back into it!

Twilight magic... © Lisa Shambrook

Twilight magic… © Lisa Shambrook

Twilight and dusk…I adore being able to stand in the chill of evening and stare up at the stars. Darker evenings give me a sense of adventure and awe.

Hot Chocolate...Mmmm... © Lisa Shambrook

Hot Chocolate…Mmmm… © Lisa Shambrook

Hot Chocolate… hot chocolate with marshmallows (if that’s your thing) and cream,
wrap your hands around a mug and stay warm!

Glitter in the sky! © Lisa Shambrook

Glitter in the sky! © Lisa Shambrook

Fireworks! Watch the sky light up with sparkles of fire on the 5th of November!

Autumn crimson © Lisa Shambrook

Autumn crimson © Lisa Shambrook

Leaves…the turning of the leaves as the trees shed their summer apparel.
The colours of autumn delight, inspire and invigorate me…

Soup and bread... © Lisa Shambrook

Soup and bread… © Lisa Shambrook

Soups and casseroles, and fresh bread. My favourite is butternut squash
seasoned with black pepper and thyme…

Dragon smoke... © Lisa Shambrook

Dragon smoke… © Lisa Shambrook

The enticing hint of frost that makes our breath swirl like dragon smoke!

…and the fact that after Halloween – Christmas is on its way… Yay!

“It was a beautiful bright autumn day, with air like cider
and a sky so blue you could drown in it.”

Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

Why do you love Autumn?

Five Sentence Fiction: Falling

Autumn's Shroud - © Lisa Shambrook

Autumn’s Shroud – © Lisa Shambrook

He gently gripped the damp park bench, his gnarled fingers slipping against the lichen, soft and wet, on the underside of the silvered wood. Shivers scrambled up his knotted spine, cold and sharp like a spider with frozen legs, and he clutched at the collar of his worn jacket, his trembling fingers attempting to fasten the topmost button. Giving up, he sighed, and pulled his arthritic legs up tight; for a moment his teeth chattered and his legs shook uncontrollably and then his frail body stilled.

Frost glistened on the ground and a crinkled brown leaf, reminiscent of his wrinkled weathered face, slipped from the tree rooted beside his bench, and silently fell.

As the early hours dawned, autumn’s confetti floated down, finally draping humanity’s loss with nature’s shroud.

000. FSF Badge  June 2012

My Five Sentence Fiction for the week, based on the prompt word Falling

Fall Flash Festival: Autumn Flame

This is for Eric Martell and Daniel Swensen‘s Fall Flash Festival…Autumn is and forever will be my most favourite season! Click here to join in the fun!

Autumn Flame © Lisa Shambrook (with pixlromatic)

Autumn Flame
Heat seared, sizzling across parched earth, and the cloudless sky, a hothouse dome, desiccated leaves and flora. Listless and languid, folk wandered aimlessly, unable to bear the sultry oppression and Summer’s impasse.Her eyes darted from house to house; windows wide, porch doors open, and dogs sleeping with lolling tongues and trails of slobber. Inside, people rested hot and sticky, irascible and ornery. Her brow furrowed and she stared across the yellowed hills. Autumn was late.As the sirocco tickled her frazzled mind she swept her jade skirts high up into the hills and sought out a crevice, a deep, dark crevice. She gathered her volumes of green about her and traipsed inside. The welcome cool whispered and the ground sighed with each step she took, until she paused and stared at the vast lump curled up before her.

She prodded the lump.

Light mist rose in the shadows and she spoke. “Wake up!”

A low growl emanated from the bowels of the cave and a petulant tail swung back and forth. She stood with folded arms and gleaming eyes. “Why are you still here, at this time of year?”

The dragon opened a golden eye, stretched and flexed his claws, dragging them back beneath him with a huge yawn. “I’m not needed.”

Her mouth set into a narrow line, “And why not?”

“I bring nothing of worth.” His head slumped to the floor smoke spiralling from his nostrils. “I herald death and loss…”

She stroked her bottom lip as she contemplated his reply and raised an eyebrow. “Why would you say that?”

Ethereal whorls of mist filled the cavern as the dragon sighed. “Think about it…” he began, “Spring wafts in on Winter’s wings, bringing rebirth and life, dew on grass, buds that unfurl and a breeze that revives. Summer arrives with a confidence that I’ve never known! He rides in on rays of sun and warmth that brings everyone out to have fun. Flowers burst forth and trees are clothed with glory. Then there’s me…I bring a plethora of frost and destruction. I bring rain and force everyone back into their jackets. And don’t talk to me about Winter! She knows joy! People don’t hide away in her blizzards they come back out to play. She decorates the trees with diamonds and protects the sleeping flora with a blanket of snow. So, this year, I’m giving it a miss.”

The woman ran her finger thoughtfully across her lips. “Have you seen it out there?” she asked.
He shook his head. “Well, you should. You’re late and they’re waiting for you.” and she turned on her heels. “Don’t disappoint me…” her voice faded with her footsteps.

As she vanished into the far halo of light the dragon lifted his head. Guilt flooded his heart and sorrow filled his mind. The floor still twinkled where she’d stepped and he sighed. No one ever said no to Mother Nature.

Smoke coiled and flames flickered in his belly, and he unsteadily got to his feet. He trudged through the cavern stepping out into the blinding sun. Summer’s stifling heat hit him and as Summer roared, opening his jaw to release a blast from the furnace within, Autumn knew Summer had overstayed his welcome.

Yellow fireballs flew and Autumn sprang into the glaring sky. Autumn’s scales rippled and he launched toward the golden dragon. He threw flames of burnished copper and bronze, and explosions erupted as they battled. The two dragons glinted and shone, and fire rained down in sheets of molten spray. Swirls of smoke fogged up the sky until the thrash of wings and tails, and fire subsided as the fight rose up into the stratosphere, high above the heat ravaged land.

Below, the people came out to witness the turn of the season and cheered as clouds filled the sky and light rain fell. Petrichor filled nostrils, the scent of mulch enlivened the forests and the flora swayed in the fresh breeze.

The battle raged on for days, but Summer’s weariness took its toll and Autumn banished the dragon into the far reaches of the land, into the deserts to rest.

Autumn slowly ventured home, breathing ribbons of amber and gold. Flames of crimson, and copper, and ochre danced across tired, green leaves, and robed them in colours of passion and zeal. Light mists and diamond showers filled the parched creeks and rivers, and fresh greensward sprang forth. The sky was bluer, the grass greener, and folk happier, and Autumn finally saw the excitement and energy he sparked.

Flush-cheeked lovers kicked through rustling rivers of russet and chestnut leaves. They kissed in the rain, and rejoiced in the cool zephyrs that whispered and gusted through trees. They harvested as red apples ripened and the fields turned gold, and gratitude filled the air.

Autumn rose in the sky, his burnished vermillion scales glinting in the sun’s soft rays, and as dusk fell he flamed the sky with the colours of joy and desire.

High in the hills, Mother Nature’s auburn hair glinted in Autumn’s flame, and she raised an eye brow as she watched the dragon soar across the blazing sky. Mother Nature was never wrong.

(865 Words)

Read Spring’s and Winter’s tales: Spring Symphony and Winter Hope.

Autumn Colours…

Autumn is my most favourite time of the year…I adore the colours of the falling leaves, red, gold, bronze, yellow and brown…Showcased beautifully this week at the Preston Temple…gorgeous…

I love the whole season…the coolness of the air, the crisp breeze, stormy gales and the beautiful autumn sunshine. I love the drop in temperature, I much prefer wrapping up warm than stripping off in the heat…much more left to the imagination! I love to don my hat and gloves and wrap the warm scarf I made around my neck. I love to cuddle up on the sofa under a furry fleece and drink hot chocolate with whipped cream…I love conkers, acorn cups and kicking through rustling leaves…
Yes, autumn is definitely the best!