WINTER FRUITS

The year has just crept into its winter stage now with most of the leaves having fallen from the trees revealing the twisted, knotty branches which once held them firm against the strong winds we have been having this year. The lush green hew of our summer  countryside has given way to the rich reds, yellows and golden browns of Autumn which themselves have now moved aside for the drab greys and dark browns of the winters pallet. The sky outside my office is a solid mid grey colour interspersed with the odd darker grey cloud, and has been for the past couple of days. Last week saw a few days of brilliant sunshine with clear blue skies which hinted at being pleasant and warm but hid the truth of mid single figure temperatures and biting cold winds. Winter is not just coming, its already here….

WILD ROSE HIPS

A lot of people at this time of year suffer from the ‘Winter Blues’, a so called condition brought on by  short days and longs nights as well as the constant lack of any warm colours when you look outside the window. Not me though, i love the winter season and all that she will throw at me over the coming months. Admittedly by the end of winter even i look forward to the new beginnings that Spring brings. But during the cold, damp ‘miserable’ days of winter there is still some colour to be found before the heavy frosts set in, you just have to get out there and look for it.

WILD ROSE HIPS

The fruits of the wild rose bush, known as rose hips, provide numerous bright globes of colour against the thorny stems and branches of the leafless bush. As kids we used to break open these ‘fruits’ and use them as a torture method for whoever was closest to hand, as the furry looking seeds inside were natures very own ‘itching powder, resulting in prolonged scratching and writhing around on the floor once stuffed down the back of a mates t-shirt. Funny to watch when done to someone else, but not so funny if done to yourself. They also made your hands red and sticky as you rolled the pods in your fingers to break them open.

HAWTHORN BERRIES

You also have the the dark burgundy berries of the hawthorn bush which hang down on a branch similar to a bunch of grapes on a vine. These are a favourite of wild birds and are quite often the cause of the nasty red poo stain on your car when you park near one of these bushes. These little berries have a firm outer skin with a soft inner flesh which surround a small but hard ‘stone’ inside. Squish one between your fingers and you,ll end up with a red mark for the rest of the day. Blackbirds and thrushes swarm the hawthorn bushes for these delicate little berries in the winter, i believe they may be a main staple for them to help them through the winter period.

SLOE BERRIES

Another of my favourites is the fruits of the Blackthorn, Sloe Berries. These thumbnail size berries are a beautiful dark blue colour on the outside and once broken open are a rich purple inside. These are another favourite of the wild birds at the start of the winter before the frosts take them. They are also picked by hand and used to make Sloe Gin and vodka, a favourite of my parents. Try not to squash any on your clothes as they stain pretty good.

Hi, Its me….

Sooo, where do i begin???

I,ve been thinking about starting this blog for quiet a few years now but up until recently haven,t really been too sure as to whether anyone would actually be interested in reading, and hopefully watching, what i have to say and show. I know theres a good few blogs/sites on the internet being written by some real experts in wildlife and all things countryside related which show us so much about the wonder of our tiny isle, but i feel that i can add to the interest/information that these chaps and chappeses are already showing us. But then again i could be talking a load of cobblers, i guess we will find out over the coming months, i will try my best to post articles of interest.

Well  a little about myself is in order i suppose. My names Bryan, i,m in my mid forties and currently live just outside sunny ‘Sarfend’ on sea in good old Essex. I love my fishing, wildlife photography and taking my two dogs, Paddy the Sprocker Spaniel and Choccie the Cocker Spaniel, for nice long quite peaceful walks around my local area. I,m never happier than when sitting in the middle of nowhere listening to the sounds of nature.

ME
PADDY
CHOCCIE

I,ve been interested in nature and the countryside since i was a kid and was never happier back then than when i was raging through the local fields, climbing trees and getting chased by cows.

Not a lot has changed in all those years really, i still get chased by cows now and again, and i still love to be outdoors away from the noise and ‘busyness’ that modern life seems to have evolved into. Living where i do might seem like i,m miles away from what i enjoy, the Great Outdoors as they say,  but let me tell you that if you know where to look theres a lot of wildlife right round the corner and thats one of the things that has spurred me on to start this blog type thingy. When most people think of our great countryside, its beauty and the plants and creatures that live there, they generally think of the well known popularised places regularly seen on television and written about in countless books and magazines. The rugged Cornish coastline, the hills and mountains of the Lake District, The moorlands of Scotland, i could go on but you get the picture. No one thinks of the wildfowl packed estuaries of Southern Essex, or the peaceful fields of Mid Essex, theres just so much to see here and thats what i,d like to share with you all. I love finding new tucked away wildlife havens hidden between the busy towns and roads of Essex, and i,ll be visiting them when and wherever i can and posting them up here.

I hope you will enjoy reading about, watching the videos, and looking at the pictures i take along the way, i know i will enjoy it all anyway…….