Tree Plaques in Hoar Frost

Frost

Today the frost at Sun Rising was beautiful.  It wasn’t deep enough to deter any tree planting, the sun quickly melting and warming the ground, leaving pools of frost in small areas of shade.  With tree planting over the coming week or so, we are hoping the temperatures don’t drop any further, however.

Tree Plaques in Hoar Frost

Tree Plaques in Hoar Frost

I can’t walk as far as the lake, but the boys went down without me and reported back that it was frozen thick, as was much of the water in the brook. Already the first part of the season’s cycle is with us : I shall get them to take photos over the coming days of cold weather so that  in the summer months, when the area is green and full of life, we can remember these cold white days.

At the birdfeeder we’ve been seeing a good number of tree sparrows – a newcomer to the feeder. With their sharp black cheek marks, they always seem very distinguished to me, as if smartly dressed.  Some local pheasants have made a little circular run beneath the feeder, and walk around picking up the spilled grains, and it had grown muddy in recent weeks, but today it was frozen solid. It didn’t deter them though, and I watched them quietly and methodically walking their little circle, pecking at the earth.

Winter has arrived, and the grasslands feel quiet beneath the frost, but still there is a wonderful hum of life in the hedgerows.

Woodpecker and Bluetits

Woodpecker

Tuesday 16 November, and the burial ground was covered with a soft layer of white hoar frost in the early morning.  By eleven, much of the surrounding countryside was still lost in a white cold mist, but the sun was shining over Tysoe and the ice had melted from all but the shadiest places.  With a glorious blue sky, a few slow small tufts of white cloud, the reflections on the lake lifted the spirits.  It was a beautiful English day, with the first real sense of winter.  Around the hedges the rose hips are still abundant, as are the smoky indigo sloes on the blackthorn.

And for the first time at Sun Rising we saw a spotted woodpecker.  We have often heard the green woodpecker, laughing in the trees, but seldom seen it.  Today this bright soul flew down to the birdfeeder from the nearby ash trees, scaring away the little blue tits if only for a minute.

Woodpecker and Bluetits

The spotted woodpecker flies in and frightens off the little blue tits