Saturday, 9 November 2013

Pumpkins, Spiders, Candles and Leaves!

Well, October has been and gone, the clocks have gone back, dark nights have arrived, the weather has been truly awful, and winter seems to be well on the way, so it’s a bit late for an autumnal post, but I’m doing one anyway for this week’s Saturday Snapshot. 
Table Scene for Hallowe'en.
First up is a Hallowe’en photo, taken by Elder Daughter when she and her boyfriend visited us a couple of weeks back, and I created a seasonal table centre. I crocheted pumpkins and leaves, and made pompoms,and balanced them all on this spooky spider (it’s really a cardboard cake stand – part of a Marks and Spencer donation of goods to Oxfam), and there were Hallowe’en crackers (M&S again, gifted to Oxfam – I couldn’t resist buying both items). And I dug out my little pumpkin candles (saved from last year) and bought chunky orange candle, and hey presto, we had instant table d├ęcor, with very little effort! And I know self-praise is no recommendation, but I still think it looks pretty, and I didn’t forget the food (after all, it’s the meal that’s important), so I cooked cooked nut roast, with added cranberries and pumpkin seeds, for myself, and chicken, roasted with fresh rosemary and grated lemon rind for the carnivores, who tucked into both dishes with great relish, so it’s just as well I did 
plenty of the veggie recipe!
My 'rescue' embroidery of a Woodland Cottage in
Autumn, complete with trailing threads!
Next up is an autumnal embroidery. A friend of my mother’s started doing it years ago, and gave it to mum to finish, because she felt she wasn’t up to working on it any more. Mum said her eyes weren’t good enough for cross stitch, so she gave it to me, and I’ve been working on it (on and off) over the last six months or so. It’s not quite as easy as I thought, because the lady who was stitching it worked inwards from the edges, and I continued that way, although I always find it better to start at the middle and work out. However, although the edges are now finished, the central panel is not aligning correctly, so I am following the chart as best I can, adding in compensatory stitches to fill the gaps in some places, and missing some stitches out altogether. Hopefully, because there’s a fair amount of flowers and foliage, no-one will realise there’s anything wrong!
There only seems to be a black and white image with
the instructions, but it's supposed to look like this,
and was a kit from the Craft Collection Ltd
I want to finish it because the lady who started it died recently, and she was such a nice person, and was a such a good friend to Mum. Anyway, I love the autumnal colours, and the shapes of the leaves and seeds around the edge, and I’m sure it will be OK when I finally complete it. It should look like the picture above.
A Chestnut Tree in MacGregor Park - it's lost a lot of
leaves since I took this.
Continuing the autumnal feel, I have some photographs I took a few weeks ago, showing trees, leaves and berries before the bad weather kicked in, and we were still at the stage where I was thinking of Keats – you know, the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ and so on, and so forth.  I love that poem. 
Hawthorn berries- I can always recognise these!
The sky was blue, and the sun shone, and the trees were still full of leaves, which were just beginning to turn colour, and there were berries, and fruits, and seeds. It certainly doesn’t look very mellow or fruitful at the moment: there are tattered dead leaves blowing everywhere, and lots of fallen twigs, and the outer casings of conkers and beechnuts, and broken wings of sycamore seeds, and acorn ‘cups’ (the acorns have disappeared).
Oak 'apples' - they are made by some kind of gall wasp.
And everything looks very wet, and it’s quite blustery, but there are still bright scarlet berries on many trees and bushes, and if you look closely in the wooded areas you can spot fungi growing through the debris.
Beautifully coloured leaves were everywhere in the Town
Wall Nature Reserve, and this was one of the nicest.
Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda, at West Metro Mummy - click to follow the links to other participants.
Some kind of fungus in Alvecote Wood.