Winter woodland walk

Since we have returned from New Zealand I have walked through our garden and woodlands most days. 
It is usually late afternoon before I start up the hill, well wrapped up against the cold with fleece and my wonderful possum hat from New Zealand.
Daylight is drawing out markedly now. I am still finding the mornings very dark, but the evenings are stretching nicely and it is now well after five before it is dark. Hoorah!

This late afternoon light is special.
We are having a quiet cold spell just now and the light on Loch Ness is great.
I always think of Loch Ness as steely grey and it looks wonderful, arctic cold glinting in moonlight and mirror glass calm by day. 

December was very wet and the footpaths are still greasy in places
The last of the leaves are brown and damp and the air is heavy with the humus smell of woodlands.

Bark and branch dominate the foreground, with pockets of dark holly and Blechnum spicant; the elegant hard fern; on dry banks.
Of course snow drops are through and the garden looks well, temperatures have not been below -4.  Fingers crossed.



  1. I've got a possum jumper fromNZ. Still feel slightly guilty when I wear it but it does keep me warm. How did you cope with the tremours in Christchurch?
    Good to be home with these wonderful views over the loch.

  2. gorgeous shot over the loch. Haven't had any snow at all in January, so very different from last year. Time I was checking those Auriculas in the greenhouse in case they dry out completely, I am looking to get a show as good as last years.

  3. Hi Janet,
    You should feel no guilt at all about the pesky destructive possum invaders, we have become very kiwi in our attitude towards them.
    The quakes fired up again while we were visiting, some big ones just before christmas, such a strange experience. Some of the locals nerves are warn thin and everyone is rather drained by the whole year, but there is still a wonderful resilient spirit and a determination to rebuild and keep on smiling.
    We love it there, though it is always lovely to be back at Loch Ness.
    Good luck with your Auricula show Alistair, I promised Cat that this year will be the year I remember to take photographs of each variety and label them on the computer before I forget what they all are and have to wait another year. M

    1. I thought the possums were rather cute and they must have been introduced by man in the first place....
      Our family in Christchurch are pretty drained by the whole earthquake experience, especially with two young children...

    2. You are completely right Janet, they are very cute and it's not their fault they are so good at breeding. My staunch view is probably masking a great deal of my own guilt.
      I do hope your family get through it all ok, i think our grandaughter in Lytellton now thinks the whole world jiggles about, several times a day.
      We look at the quake recording site ( for reassurance (or otherwise)each day.


Thank you for leaving a comment - it is always great to hear about other peoples gardens and lives. If you ever drop by the nursery, make sure you say hello. (Margaret & Donald)

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