Tag Archives: robzlog

From autumn to winter

The wind is howling outside as I write, tearing down the valley towards the sea and throwing rain against the sides of the house. It’s been a relatively mild autumn, no real storms so far, but the past couple of days have hinted at a definite change in season. On a drive down the Sterridge Valley this afternoon, the trees looked magnificent, still with many leaves. No doubt, the wind will soon blow these away.

In the garden, some plants are still flowering from summer and autumn.

Hydrangea in Ilfracombe flowering in November

Hydrangea in Ilfracombe flowering in November

 Hydrangeas and fuchsias are still flowering . . .

Fuchsias flowering in Ilfracombe in November

Fuchsias flowering in Ilfracombe in November

These are quite sheltered so are protected from the winds . . .

Devon Dumpling fuchsias flowering in November in Ilfracombe

Devon Dumpling fuchsias flowering in November in Ilfracombe

Look at these vibrant berries . . . I don’t know what the shrub is . . .

Autumn berries

Autumn berries

And the heather is just starting to come into flower . . .

Heather coming into flower in November in Ilfracombe

Heather coming into flower in November in Ilfracombe

We don’t seem to have had a summer this year, but there’s still much to enjoy throughout the other seasons.

Posted in wild and gardens. Tagged with , , , , , , , , .

Looking back, looking forwards

It’s been a funny old year. We waited in expectation for the summer and now look back to when it should have been. The temperatures never seemed to get very high, although looking back over photos we did have some beautifully sunny days in May, June and July.

But somehow it’s easy to feel cheated. We didn’t get those long, lingering sunny evenings when it seems to take forever to get dark.

And here we are, just having put the clocks back, and taking the dogs out earlier so that they can get a good run in the daylight.

I’m not getting depressed though: I love autumn and winter. They bring a different beauty to spring and summer, so here’s looking to the enjoyment of different seasons.

PS Looking back over my photos this year, here is one of my favourites of Exmoor ponies, taken in March 2008.

Exmoor ponies photographed by Robert Zarywacz in March 2008

Exmoor ponies photographed by Robert Zarywacz in March 2008

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Winter in, boats out

As we turn back the clocks for winter, in Ilfracombe many of the boats have been lifted out of the harbour on to the quay and harbour car parks to protect them from the ferocity of the stormy weather until next spring.

Boats lifted out of the harbour on to Ilfracombe quay

Boats lifted out of the harbour on to Ilfracombe quay

It’s also a sign that most of the holiday-makers have gone and the town is back in the hands of residents, who can enjoy its beauty in the winter months.

It’s not all peace and quiet though, as it’s the only time that many of those in the tourism industry have to enjoy themselves after spending the summer season working all hours of the day.

Ilfracombe quay in October 2008

Ilfracombe quay in October 2008

It’s a wonderful time to enjoy the town and countryside, even when the sea and sky are grey, it’s raining and the wind is howling. Certainly beats the M25.

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The crispy crunch of a . . .

. . . home-grown apple is one of the delights of late summer and early autumn. We’ve got two small apple trees and this year they have borne more fruit than ever before.

Apples ripening in the sun

Apples ripening in the sun

While an apple bought from a supermarket may be bigger, rounder, shinier and smoother than one straight off a tree that is bumpy, misshapen or smaller, it’s unlikely to offer the same full flavour.

Green apples on the tree

Green apples on the tree

When you pick them, you know that these apples have not been sprayed with chemicals or transported by chiller van: they are fresh.

Greensleeve apples picked and eaten in September

Greensleeve apples picked and eaten in September

They really don’t take much looking after, but their taste cannot be beaten.

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Beans doing a runner

It’s been a very wet and dull August here, which hasn’t helped our runner beans. We were late planting them out as we had to prepare our new vegetable plot.

Runner beans grown and eaten in Devon

Runner beans grown and eaten in Devon

But at long last our crop is ripening and picking has begun.

Runner beans growing in spite of a cold, wet August

Runner beans growing in spite of a cold, wet August

Our first meal reminded us how delicious home-grown runner beans are: sweet, tender, not at all stringy. Where else can you find such wonderful vegetables?

Exquisite tasting beans

Exquisite tasting beans

Only in your vegetable garden or plot.

Posted in food & drink, wild and gardens. Tagged with , , .
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