Gilded willows

After a damp grey start, the sun appeared about midday. Those life affirming rays have been pretty absent this week, so, as soon as I reached a suitable stopping point in my current report, I hopped into the car and headed out to Swaddywell Pits for a meander. 

The sunshine and solitude did wonders for my equilibrium, and although there wasn't much bird activity or many fungi, I just soaked up the atmosphere. The Grey Willows which are frequent throughout the site turn a wonderful shade of gold in late November, and co-ordinate beautifully with the less harsh tones of Common Reed and Wood Small-reed. Rose-hips and Hawthorn berries complete the picture with some cheerful splashes of red.

In the evening Sarah and Ben treated us to a Chinese takeaway. It was the third anniversary of their relationship, but this year they couldn't go out for a meal to celebrate as they normally do. The portions were very generous and we didn't manage to get through all of it, though I'm sure nothing will go to waste! 

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