Saturday, October 21, 2017

A Saturday walk around the patch

Given that it's the first nice day in a while (though very windy, thanks to "Storm Brian"), we set out for a walk around town this afternoon. Aylsham is quite an old market town, already in existence by the time of the Doomsday Book (1086). The surrounding countryside is much changed though, even in the short time we've been living here, with whole swathes of fields and forests disappearing under hundreds of new houses.

The leaves are definitely starting to fall.

 Japanese Larch cones -- or so my botanist husband tells me!

 The old St. Michael's Hospital (and before that, the town's workhouse), now apartment buildings

 Plenty of Cotoneaster berries around this year. The Waxwings will be happy.

St. Michael's Church, which has stood in the center of Aylsham since the early 14th century.

 The lichens on the tombstones are amazing. You'll undoubtedly be seeing more of them!

A cluster of Lycoperdon (species undetermined) along Marriott's Way

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Lately, when it comes to weather, a few too many of Norfolk's days have looked like this -- gray, slightly soggy and more than a little melancholy. The increasingly early evenings at this time of year don't help either. On days like this, my mood rather matches the sky; it's hard to get very excited about anything!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Fallen fruits

The local Eurasian Blackbirds are happy campers at the moment -- an apple tree along Jewel's Lane is shedding fruits left, right and center. This footpath must have tracked along a field's hedgerow once, which is hard to imagine, as it's now completely surrounded by houses. Public footpaths are one thing I really love about Britain; as long as you stick to the marked paths (and don't cause any property damage), you're able to freely cross fields and woods and streams and pastures, because the paths predate private property ownership!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Tiny lives

Even our desperately depauperate back garden (it's a rental, so we're limited in what we can do to change it) is home to a surprising number of species -- most of them very small indeed. I found this tiny slug chewing on some fallen flowers when I went out to hang the laundry up this morning.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Autumn colors

The leaves are starting to turn here now; I took these along Jewel's Lane, on our walk into town for a pub lunch. It's a soft change -- the greens drifting slowly to yellows, with here and there a maroon to provide some contrast. I miss the fiery oranges and scarlets of North America's maples.

 Field Maple

Japanese Maple

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Jewel's Lane

The footpath I take into town is called "Jewel's Lane", and it seems particularly apt; it's the only green space in a maze of brick houses and tiny lots. Birds -- Eurasian Jays, European Robins, Common Chaffinches, Common Wood-Pigeons, Long-tailed Tits, Eurasian Blue-Tits and more -- swarm along the corridor, and the sound of the leaves stirring in the wind provides a subtle counterbalance for the noisier avian conversations. It always makes me wonder: why are natural surroundings "second thoughts" for so many developers?

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Summer's end

The garden is beginning to wind down now, with the last few flowers poking bravely above the vegetation, and various plants beginning to die back. Much as I love this time of year -- migration and all that -- I really do hate to see the end of the growing season.