Woodpecker

This morning I saw a woodpecker in our garden. I’d never seen one in real life and I’m not sure what type it was but it was climbing up our willow tree, pecking at the bark. Looking for insects? I hope it comes back tomorrow. If it does I will try and get a photo then try and identify it. We do have lots of trees in the garden even though we are in the centre of a city. I guess we are trying to do our bit for the environment.

Phycobilins?

At Trentham Gardens today.

Red leaves on plants at Trentham Gardens today. Usually leaves are green but these have a strong red colour. The light shines through them giving them a glow. I remember hearing about other plant colours that happen in autumn. The green chlorophyll is absorbed back into the plant (usually a tree) and other underlying pigments that help to phosynthesise carbon dioxide and water to join together into simple sugars that can then be transformed into cellulose and other plant structures.

As the chlorophyll is absorbed, red phycobilins, yellow xanthophylls and orange carotenes are left in the leaves giving Autumn colours. This usually happens as the temperature cools and the plants start to store food and chemicals for winter.

I don’t know if these plants are doing thus? They remind me of the colours that are found in Swiss Chard.

Overgrown

Too many plants in our garden. A lot of shrubs. There are probably bears in there (not), maybe hedgehogs and the squirrels are back and have started eating the walnuts from our tree which must be sixty foot high now.

A massive two trunked laurel Bush /tree robs a lot of the light, and holy bushes and a small eucalyptus are dotted about. The cherry trees are getting big and we have had to prop up the pear tree which is now laden with fruit. The wisteria is tangled up with the ivy on our kitchen and bathroom extention and a fig tree is growing there too. A few small olives appeared on the olive tree this year but didn’t grow big enough to crop.

Too much shade in the main garden so we are growing flowers in the back yard and on the pavement. We even (weirdly) have a couple of cabbages growing at the front!

Joined up photo landscape.

Two views, lined up and joined. Different depths of field. Blurred and sharp. The images were taken on the same day, about half a mile apart. I like the way the far bank of the lake seems to join up. I acheived this by stretching the images so they could work together. I haven’t worked on the colours or sharpness, they are not manipulated except for scale.

Sun setting

Back at Trentham after a walk round the lake. I took this looking towards the low sun. It was hard to see the phone screen so it was a bit hit and miss what I would get.

I like the way the trees and clouds are silhouetted. There is a walkway with metal hoops to the right of the tree, various climbers cover parts of it including wisteria and roses. At the far end is a statue, but we came out one of the side entrances and walked down a grassy slope to look back at this.

Beetle sculpture

Carved into the base of a tree trunk. This giant beetle sculpture was on the lakeside walk around Trentham Lake last weekend. It’s good to see sculpture in the landscape. I remember visiting Grizedale Forest sculpture Park in the Lake District around thirty years ago. It had world renound sculptors who created art works all through the forest. There is also something called the Merz barn? in the Lake District, but I can’t remember the name of the artist maybe Jeff Koons? (German?). I hope someone knows what I’m talking about. Must visit again before it’s too late. X

Using offcuts

I’ve always got scraps at the moment, I cut and glue pictures from one sketchbook to another, I’ve got offcuts of monoprints and post-it notes I’ve made notes on one side of. It seems a shame just to throw them away. Plus it was a use for some old silver foil for the grey clouds.

This was inspired by an orange pink dawn yesterday morning, before the downpour and the fact I’ve noticed Silver birches are actually much whiter these days (cleaner atmosphere?)