Tuesday, 30 November 2010


We were starting to feel left out here in Hampshire. It has been snowing pretty much everywhere else in the country since the weekend. Record low temperatures for November, or at least since 1985 in Wales of -17c and deep snow cover over the North of the UK.  

Snow has been predicted but hasn't arrived although it has been jolly cold. So when the forecasts were again looking to snow for this area I took it with a pinch of salt - despite twice checking metcheck yesterday - the most reliable forecaster.

They said 3am - it will come - and it did - not much - but enough to satiate that snow longing dormant since January - not much - just a dusting - but enough for exited children - not much - but enough for footprints and very small snowballs - not much - but enough for J's hope for a day off work to be dashed - not much but enough for F to think he had spotted a fox track on Long Road:

Maybe he was right - I'm not great at identifying tracks in snow...had a look a few sites and it could be. Long Road is prime dog walking territory and there were all sorts of doggy prints criss crossing along the pavement too. What I was particularly looking for was bird tracks - but none to be seen - they were probably on the other side of the road - keeping a wide berth from dogs and perhaps foxes.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010


A thin finger of mist extended out into Long Road as we trundled our way home at about 4.30 yesterday - now the twilight time of day. Clear cold evening - frosty night ahead. A was given charge of the torch and stopped every few yards to examine leaves and hedgerow with it, casting the light where ever her interest and gaze fell, making for very slow progress. She then suddenly exclaimed and pointed

"Mummy a cloud has fallen down" as we looked right, into the field, there indeed was the fallen small white fluffy cloud, sitting neatly and fully formed- and extending slightly into the road ahead of us - beautiful.

F meanwhile was intently looking up into the darkening sky - he is doing Space as a project at school this term and has started taking more interest in the sky  recently. He noticed the moon was "just over half full", a gibbous moon - and very near to it in the sky a bright object.

"Star or Planet?" I asked. He thought planet, probably Venus, and I think he was probably right. - another beautiful sight.

Friday, 12 November 2010


 This morning a flash of color flew beside us in the calm blue, post stormy sky. At first I thought it was a wood pigeon, but the bobbing flight pattern and the way the bird stuck its wings right out to reveal the blue stripe underneath gave it away, it was a Jay. It has been a while since I have spotted the any of the Jays on Long Road. I think there is a pair and I think they live in the Oak tree half way down on the field side. May be they are easier to spot this time of year with the diminishing foliage.

Jays are one of my favorite birds, along with Goldfinches and Long Tailed Tits, and I still feel a thrill when I see one.  This is what the RSPB has to say about them,  their inherent shyness may have something to do with my failing to spot them for some time.

Although they are the most colourful members of the crow family, jays are actually quite difficult to see. They are shy woodland birds, rarely moving far from cover. The screaming call usually lets you know a jay is about and it is usually given when a bird is on the move, so watch for a bird flying between the trees with its distinctive flash of white on the rump. Jays are famous for their acorn feeding habits and in the autumn you may see them burying acorns for retrieving later in the winter.


Tuesday, 9 November 2010


Storms have been battering the UK, with snow, downpours of rain and winds of up to 65mph (105km/h).
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland were worst hit, with the weather bringing disruption to many areas.
A weather warning has now been issued for parts of south-east and south-west England, with up to 70mm (2.75in) of rain expected overnight. - From the BBC website

Not the best day to find out a rainproof coat is not actually waterproof - the rain soaked through the top layer, into my cardigan and through another couple of layers - resulting in drenched grumpy stomping down Long Road. In weather like this it only possible to look down - down at the leaf litter which is increasing by the minute today and slowly turning into sludge as feet, cars and pushchairs trundle through it.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Rose Hip November

Locations are from different neighbourhoods: Fairfield and Saanich Peninsula, which are all in Victoria BC

not Long Road... yet, but the rosehips are out everywhere, and this beautiful song by Vashti Bunyan makes perfect, evocative listening for this time of year

Monday, 1 November 2010


This beech tree with a beautiful autumnal display is one of the few eye catchers on Long Road at the moment. The last frost seemed to shock many of the trees into dropping their leaves. Curiously the leaves have been raining down green without first turning the yellows, oranges and browns of usual Autumns. I guess because deciduous trees lose their leaves in winter to conserve energy, the cold snap has quickened this process. I found a nice explanation of why trees loose their leaves here on e-how.

Here is a close up of an oak, just starting to show colour but having lost a lot of leaves and all acorns.

F picked up a little collection of leaves for himself today, first a leaf from one of the hazel trees.....

 ...and an assortment which shows quite nicely a lovely russet colour fern contrasted with some of the fallen green leaves...

...which he then pulled the stalks from and took this picture :)