Tag Archives: Blackthorn

Frosting the Dog

Well, it wasn’t really much of a frost and I think we may have to put off declaring a “State of Emergency” for a day or two.

FrostThere was some frost on the little things.

Little ThingFrost can be quite destructive and Spindle berries were dropping off the tree as I was trying to photograph them.

Spindle Berries

Spindle BerriesA few of the remaining flowers were totally frosted and I don’t think that they will last much longer.

HogweedIt feels a bit like we are saying goodbye to the colours of Autumn and hello to the greyness that is Winter.

BlackberriesToday wasn’t very cold.The Puddles were not frozen…

Mud(There is nothing like a cool drink of mud to set you up for the day)

There was no frost at all under the trees. They have a warmth of their own, trapping warm air and protecting their surroundings from exposure to the cold night.

I am not really sure that this is frost on the grass and not just cold dew.


GrassBut Winter is coming…. and the Sloes will taste sweeter.

Sloe Berries

Sloe BerriesFizz got an extra walk and she has got insulation so she doesn’t mind the cold and when we got home I had some toast (In case it gets bad later)





Winter is coming

Heh heh 🙂 But it is not here yet.

I would love to have a cold winter. Hard frosts and clear blue skies, blizzards and deep snow. Fizz and I have never played snow balls or made snow angels or built a snow dog. That would all make for some memorable photographs.

I think that we are going to get mud. That’s what we had last year. Grey skies, rain and floods and mud on mud. It’s not so good.

It’s sunshine Fizz. You remember sunshine don’t you?

FizzIt’s warm and it makes you feel sleepy.

FizzShe can have a little cat-nap while I photograph some berries.

Sloe BerriesThese are Sloe Berries, the fruit of the Blackthorn. They are traditionally used to flavour Sloe Gin but I like to eat them straight of the tree.

They do have a large pip but also a lot of flesh and they are very juicy. The have an astringent quality, they leave your mouth feeling dry and puckered, the only cure for this is to eat another one.

A lot of people find them too tart and they are just a nibble for me, I have never sat down and ate a bowlful. The flavour is supposed to sweeten after the first frosts but I can never wait and I have been eating them since the end of August.

Sloe Berries

Sloe Berries

Sloe Berries

Sloe Berries

Sloe Berries

Sloe Berries

Sloe Berries

Sloe BerriesThis has been a very good year for Sloe berries.

FizzWakey wakey 🙂

FizzCome on we have got sunshine to see.


SunshineIt is nice out but recent rains have left the tracks a bit muddy. I suppose that it is time to get the old Wellies out of storage.

MudWe shall look back and laugh at this soon.

Looking back at old photo’s I think that perhaps this year I should invest in waders or a full body wet suit. In this next picture she thinks that I am drowning and is trying to administer the kiss of life.

WetCome on it is not that wet yet. Well, not for me anyway 🙂

FizzOur next berry is Black Bryony. This one is deadly poisonous of the painful blistering variety, you wouldn’t eat one. Now that leaves are falling from the trees this is becoming more evident as it scrambles about in the hedgerow.

Black Bryony

Black Bryony

Black Bryony

Black Bryony

Black Bryony

Black BryonyYou might want to clean yourself up a bit, I can’t really take you home like that.

FizzGood Girl.



Blue is for Sloes. Blackthorn is the most wonderfully photogenic tree.


BlackthornBlackthorn flowers appear before the leaves. Hawthorn, which looks very similar from a distance, gets it’s leaves first and then flowers. So when the hedgerow first turns white in March, that’s the Blackthorn and when it does it again in May that’s the Hawthorn.


BlackthornBut this isn’t Spring this is Autumn and today we have berries. There is no confusion at this time of year. The fruits of the Blackthorn are big and plentiful and very beautiful.





The Search for Robin’s Pincushion

This is Robin’s Pincushion.

Robin's PincushionI haven’t seen one of these for years (This is a very old photo)

Well I saw one last night on Clare’s blog “A Suffolk Lane” and I thought to myself, “I haven’t seen one of those in ages.” So Today Fizz and I went to look for one.

They grow on roses and we have lots of wild roses in the hedgerows around the farm, I packed sandwiches and water and off we went.

FizzFizz ate all of the sandwiches almost as soon as we were out of the door so that left me free to poke around in the hedgerow and take photographs. Here are some of the things that we found.

We found miles and miles of cable running through the hedge and thought, “Hello, it looks like the Badgers have bought themselves a computer”. So we followed it.


HoneysuckleBut all there was on the end of it was some flowers.


HoneysuckleWe found lots of blue berries on the Blackthorn that weren’t really blue.


SloesThe blue dust rubbed off and they didn’t look very ripe yet.

SloesIn fact being green was beginning to feel like a theme. The Rose Hips that we had seen were still a long way off.

Rose HipsSo were the Hazelnuts.

HazelnutsElderberries were only just starting to colour up.


ElderberriesAnd the Hawthorn still has a way to go.

HawthornThe only thing that I could find to eat (Having lost my sandwiches to a card cheat earlier in the day) was the occasional Blackberry.

BlackberriesFinally we found the Rose we had been looking for.

Dog RoseThere right in the middle of the bush and just behind the friendly thorns was the sweetest little Pincushion ever.

Robin's PincushionRobin’s Pincushion is a Gall made by the wasp Diplolepis rosae. The wasp lays about sixty eggs in an unopened leaf bud of Wild Roses (Dog or Field Rose). A chemical reaction then causes this weird and wonderful distorted growth that becomes home to the wasp larvae.

Robin's Pincushion

Robin's PincushionI am really pleased that we found one today. 🙂 I haven’t seen one of these in ages.