On a cold, sunny morning last week, I walked around the garden with my camera. My "point and shoot" camera is not the best for taking bird photos, but this male sparrow showed no fear and I was able to photograph him at very close range.
House sparrows are said to be decreasing in numbers across the UK, but we have a thriving community of them. They nest in the cavity walls above the garage and they use a tiered ventilation grid to get in and out. We call it Sparrow Towers.... There is plenty of food for them in the garden, hedgerows and out on the Forest, but they are also regular visitors to the bird table, squabbling and chattering away as they learn to feed on the peanut holder.
Sunlight through the lime tree.
........and frost on fallen leaves.
The rampant climbing rose, Paul`s Himalayan Musk, was a profusion of scented white-pink flowers this summer. It now glows with small red rosehips that will feed the birds over the coming weeks.
In the last weeks of autumn, the Liquid Amber tree shines and glows in the sunlight. This tree is around twenty five years old and is relatively young. It was planted by the previous owners of our house and is the most beautiful tree. I tried to catch the different depths and hues of maroon, red, red/orange and yellow that are found among its leaves. The colour seems to depend on the amount of sunlight that falls on each part of the tree. Strongest sun produces the deepest, reddest leaves.
The Liquid Amber (Liquidamber styraciflua) is a common southern hardwood in the USA, and apparently grows well in the temperate states to the north of the Gulf of Mexico. Its wood is used for veneer and for plywood. The tree bark is deeply fissured and the branches break easily. We lost a large branch a few years ago after a summer thunderstorm. It is known as the Sweetgum tree and when mature, it produces spiked fruits which are known as gumballs. Our tree must still be too young to bear fruit. The tree can apparently live for around two hundred years.
The Liquid Amber was introduced into Britain in 1681 by the missionary and plant collector, John Bannister. The first British tree was planted for Bishop Crompton in the gardens of Fulham Palace.
(Information from Wikipaedia)