Tag Archives: leaves

Glorious Autumn Leaves

We have had the most glorious autumn this year…
Colours that have truly stunned and beautified the season.

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Gold, Bronze and Red © Lisa Shambrook

It’s been a colourful year in many ways – not always good ones – but the autumn leaves have brightened my life and made the tough stuff easier. Right now at the end of November and as we move into winter I need to make the most of the amazing colours and leaves before the trees have completely disrobed in the gales and November rain…

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Gold and Green © Lisa Shambrook

I’ve already posted a couple of autumn blogs this year: Autumn Days Are Here and The Best Bits of Autumnbut the leaves themselves warrant another post to bask within before the seasons change!

So, just enjoy my leaves in all their glory…

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Sycamore Helicopter, Acorn Cup and Red Leaf © Lisa Shambrook

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Bronze and Green © Lisa Shambrook

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Red © Lisa Shambrook

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Acorn, Oak, Green and Gold Leaves© Lisa Shambrook

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Bronze, Crunchy Leaves © Lisa Shambrook

What have been your favourite colours and leaves this autumn?

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TLT Throwback – Fall

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Shivering chill, penetrates deep, piercing frozen marrow.

I am lost, and I hold fragile, autumn leaves, crushed,

bloodless, between my forsaken fingers – like my heart.

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Joining in Grace Black’s TLT Throwback – Twenty-eight, as I just couldn’t resist this autumn leaves photograph.

Prompt: Fall. 3 lines, 10 words max per line…

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

The Old Oak’s Transition – Gathering Leaves…

From bare branches to lush leaves…  
For two months I’ve watched the old oak dress for Summer and gain its canopy.

an Old Oaks Transition from bare to leaves, green castle woods, the last krystallos, lisa shambrook,
Over eight weeks I’ve visited the magical old oak up in the meadow at Green Castle Woods and watched its buds form with a hint of blush, and then unfurl and blossom in peridot green. Leaves that with beauty sprout and flourish and decorate its grey, gnarled boughs. Leaves that will mature and darken and clothe the little oak in beauty all Summer long, before turning golden and brown and dropping to the floor in Autumn.

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My series of photographs were taken once a week,
in many different Welsh weather conditions,
and show the oak’s transition from bare to clothed.

old oak, green castle woods carmarthen, bare to leaves, tree gaining leaves, lisa shambrook

Green Castle Woods Old Oak © Lisa Shambrook April – May 2016

old oak, green castle woods carmarthen, bare to leaves, tree gaining leaves, lisa shambrook

Green Castle Woods Old Oak © Lisa Shambrook April – May 2016 Black and White Studies

How are your favourite trees dressing for Summer? 

Do you love foliage or blossom?

#LoveATree Day… The Old Oak

How could I let #LoveATree Day go by without treating you to a picture of my favourite tree? So, yesterday I wandered through Green Castle Woods, as I have every Sunday for a few weeks, and took a pic…

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© Lisa Shambrook

Actually, I’ve taken a photograph every week for a bit and in a few weeks I’ll show you how this gorgeous tree has transformed from leafless to a full canopy. For now, enjoy this photo, as its leaves begin to unfurl and decorate this magical tree…

Thanks Annette for alerting me to this day with your own tree post!

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?  

The Old Oak: Green Castle Woods

I have a real thing for trees, and in particular oaks.
I live in a market town which thrives on the legend of its old oak,
so it’s perhaps appropriate that the oak inspires me!

the old oak green castle woods, the last krystallos,Maybe I’ll write a post about Carmarthen’s Old Oak in the future, but today I want to show you my favourite local oak. It’s not a towering, far-reaching, huge, sun-blocking tree; it’s small, but adorable.

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The old oak in spring – Green Castle Woods – May 2014 © Lisa Shambrook

I’ve tried to find out information about its history and come up with nothing, but it entrances me all the same, and I cannot walk by without imagining a rich past and a fantastical future! I imagine dragons wheeling above, squirrels collecting acorns, and creatures hibernating within its embrace.

The Old Oak in winter - Green Castle Woods - Dec 2014 © Lisa Shambrook

The old oak in winter – Green Castle Woods – Dec 2014 © Lisa Shambrook

When I first saw it, standing alone, I thought it was dead, especially as it was midwinter and bare, but as spring dawned I noticed new growth and my own excitement burgeoned just like its leaf buds! It spread gnarled branches, and foliage erupted and beauty ensued. It quickly became the most beautiful and unusual tree I know.

The old oak seasons - Green Castle Woods © Lisa Shambrook

The old oak seasons – Green Castle Woods © Lisa Shambrook

This oak is not much more than ten feet tall, and hollow. I know nature withstands a great deal, and the fact that it is fully alive amazes me seeing as it’s almost completely hollow. It stands alone in the middle of a reclaimed meadow in Green Castle Woods. It’s a popular dog walking area and we often take our German shepherd around the surrounding woodland and wander through the gorgeous bluebell woods. These woods inspire me and they’ve also become the place where each of my book cover images were taken. You’ll see the bluebells on the cover of ‘Beneath the Rainbow’, another oak on ‘Beneath the Old Oak’ and in the future you’ll see a carved out trunk on ‘Beneath the Distant Star’.

baby owl in owl box green castle woods, the last krystallos,

Baby owl – Green Castle Woods © Lisa Shambrook

Woodlands and trees offer me solace, perhaps there is nothing (except the ocean) more soul inspiring to me than the wind whispering through the canopy above, and the crunch of leaves and twigs beneath my feet. The vibrant colours that shine as the sun peers through the trees and the wildflowers peeping through the foliage and the undergrowth delight me.  I love the fragrance of spring, fresh and clean, and the musty rich scent of autumn as the season turns.  It’s peaceful and beautiful and I’ll always return to the woods.

Take a wander through Green Castle woods (click for map and leaflet), on both sides of the road, and you could find a Butterfly Totem pole, a bench protected by carved owls, an actual owl living in the well-hidden owl boxes, a bench decorated with the sun and the moon, a miniature replica of the main walk, a walk across small bridges and through the woods, my gorgeous almost magical oak, and much more. Like I said, I’ll always return…

Green Castle Woods - Carmarthen  © Lisa Shambrook

Green Castle Woods – Carmarthen © Lisa Shambrook

What do you love about the woods, and what is your favourite woodland tree?

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

Creative Feature: Alyson Fennell Photography

Photography is a passion of mine, especially nature and flowers, so this week’s Creative Feature brings you nature in close-up form!

Dandelion Diamonds - Alyson Fennell Photography

Dandelion Diamonds – Alyson Fennell

Alyson Fennell is an amazing photographer and her close-up pictures of flowers have totally captivated me over the last year or two. My own flower pictures are mobile phone snapped, fun and generally instagrammed, but Alyson’s are magical! Take a look at her Royal Crescent photograph and you’ll see where the magic resides, and you’ll understand why the Royal Crescent Hotel snapped up the pictures for their Christmas cards. Be entranced by Alyson Fennell.

Alyson Fennell

Alyson Fennell – Photographer

Alyson Fennell – Photographer

What inspires you?

I’m inspired primarily by Mother Nature, the greatest artist of all! What amazes me is that I can find beauty anywhere from the wild slopes of Dartmoor, to a humble window box in a city centre. Flowers and leaves always beckon, no matter the environment or season.

You frequent some beautiful gardens, do you plan your photography or is it spontaneous?

I find that if I plan too rigidly, and if I try too hard, the magic sometimes disappears. Indeed, some of my best shots have been spontaneous ones. The key is to be sensitive to those moments, when I feel the flowers are calling out to me,

Do you have favourite colours, flowers or techniques? Do you prefer close-up flowers or landscapes?

I gravitate towards flowers, without question. They are such ethereal beings. That said, in my search for some of the more elusive ones, a stunning landscape will appear and I can’t help but swing into action with my camera!

The exquisite ‘The Royal Crescent’ and ‘Dandelion Diamonds’ are two of my favourite works of yours. What do you consider your best work to date – do you have a favourite piece?

My favourite pieces tend to change quite often, but the red tulip series is always in my top 10. I am also very pleased with the clematis image on the homepage of my website, among others.

I love the diversity in your pictures from triptychs to landscapes to mirror images and even the occasional famous face. What are your future plans with your photography?

I hope my work will touch people around the World, whether it be in galleries, in advertisements, in hotels or at art fairs. One of my goals is to be able to travel far and wide with my photography – especially to the Valley Of Flowers in the Himalayas.

Lastly, if you could commission anything for yourself, money no object, what would it be?

You did say money would be no object!! I’d commission an architect to design a beautiful home for me in the South West. I lived in Totnes for some time, and it is such an inspiring part of our lovely island.

A lovely insight to your inspiration and process, thank you Alyson! You can find Alyson and her exquisite photography at her website www.alysonfennellphotography.com. You can like her page on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @AlyFennPhoto.

Alyson’s Bio:

Hi, my name is Alyson Fennell and I’m a Fine Art Photographer based in Bath. I began my career as a hair and make-up artist in London, working alongside some of the most celebrated international photographers. Having gained invaluable knowledge and experience in this environment, I have returned to my original passion for photography, combining a love of nature with fine art.

I have recently exhibited my work at the Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath.

To stock my greetings cards or prints, email alyson@alysonfennellphotography.com

* Please do not use or copy any of these photographs without permission from Alyson Fennell.

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!