Wonderful Winter Sunsets

Pink Clouds and Glowing Trees

Sunset from the edge of our woods

Dark and glowing clouds as dusk falls

Dark and glowing clouds as dusk falls

The first frosts have been late this year, but winter seems to have arrived at last, and with it comes the wonderful, clear and low light that casts eerie shadows within the woods and across the landscape, and brings those amazing sunsets that simply don’t occur during summer.

We’ve been gifted with a few beautiful sunsets over the last few days.  The first came while we were working away cutting up, moving and stacking logs from a willow tree that had fallen into our neighbour’s field.  It was an absolutely miserable, rainy, drizzly, damp day.  But as we were walking back up from repairing the fence with some dead-hedging and stakes, the cold front finally passed, and a sunset started to happen.  I always have a camera, even if working, and I put my little EOS-M to good work along the edge of the woods, capturing the light, clouds, colours and shapes of sunset.

Yesterday, I had to take a few photos of trees on which we are planning to have tree surgery work done later during the winter.  Because our woods has a Tree Preservation Order on it, we have to submit an application for this work to the Council, supported by photos.  While I was there, I could sense the light getting better and better for photography.  First there was the sun-dog or false rainbow caused by ice crystals in the atmosphere refracting the sunlight.  Then there were the golden leaves remaining on the birch trees, backlit by the setting sun.  Finally there was the cold wait by our entrance as the sun started to set opposite.  Subtle colours, and few clouds, but spectacular none the less.  Although I guess a few passing motorists wondered why there was a mad woman shivering in a puffa jacket with a camera round her neck by the side of the road!

Low light is the real gift of winter.  It makes this time of year special.

Birch trees glow gold in Betty's Wood

Birch trees glow gold in Betty’s Wood

Sun Dog over Betty's Wood - the rainbow is not a photographic artefact

Sun Dog over Betty’s Wood – the rainbow is not a photographic artefact

Sunset over the hills opposite the woods

Sunset over the hills opposite the woods

The sun setting right opposite our entrance

The sun setting right opposite our entrance as I was leaving.

 

Red berries and raindrops

Guellder rose berries and leaves

Guellder rose berries and leaves

Guellder rose berries and leaves

Guellder rose berries and leaves
Guellder rose berries and leaves
Guellder rose berries and leaves

Guellder rose berries and leaves

Autumn colour is late coming this year and the leaves are dropping almost before they have had a chance to change, thanks to the blustery conditions.  One of the shrubs in our woodland that has produced spectacular colour, both in leaf and berry, is guelder rose (Viburnum opulis).  For several weeks, the leaves have been tinged with red, but they are now in full colour.  Today, the autumn light was just right – low sun, coming from behind, lighting up the translucent leaves and berries, with dark woodland in the background, and I managed to get a few shots.

Raindrops on leaves are also wonderful in the low autumn light – and I managed to find some beautiful oak leaves with little raindrops standing out like jewels, resting on a fallen log in lovely diffused lighting.

Raindrops on oak leaves

Raindrops on oak leaves

Raindrops on oak leaves

Raindrops on oak leaves

Raindrops on oak leaves

Raindrops on oak leaves

Raindrops on oak leaves

Raindrops on oak leaves

Raindrops on oak leaves

Raindrops on oak leaves