The hunt for red November.

Many people think of November as a very bleak month full of brown leaves, rain, mud and dropping temperatures.  We think that if you wrap up warm and head outside there is much to enjoy in nature at this time of year. We took our camera outside today to hunt for the colour red. Red is the colour of fire, passion, blood, love and sometimes in nature, danger. How much of it can we find in the West of Ireland on a grey and rainy mid November Wednesday?

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Our native spindle tree is at its most beautiful this time of year, with a stunning colour combination of red, orange and pink.  We have planted a few specimens on our land and they have very hard wood, hence the name as they have been used to make spindles for a very long time and also makes excellent artists charcoal. We are planning to make some for sketching when our trees are a bit bigger and need pruning.

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We have picked most of the blueberries now but the bushes still look lovely as their seemingly glowing leaves brighten up the garden.

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Down by our stream, the leaves of our Chinese dogwood have taken on a mellow beautiful shade of red. We are hoping next spring will be first time for it to flower and later fruit.

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The leaves of our liquidambar tree has a much darker shade of red.

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We had our first frost last week and the alstroemeria which has flowered for months finally gave up. We think that sometimes a plant is just as beautiful at the end of its yearly cycle as it is in the height of summer and brings with it a quiet remainder that all life is part of a cycle and an endless transformation.

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Outside the front door we came across a rose still in flower, the bright red enhanced by water droplets from an afternoon shower.

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We decided to continue our search for red inside.

In our conservatory the pineapple sage has hundreds of flowers on branches reaching all the way to the ceiling. They are a very bright shade of red to the point of looking almost artificial. We also found another red shade for our photos in the potted busy lizzy happily growing on despite the colder nights.

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We will finish of our little red cavalcade of photos with one taken a year ago, the sunset seen from just outside our house. The sky is often painted in different shades of red, pink and orange and we think it is the most beautiful backdrop to the fairy tree on the hill. Lots of colours can be found in nature, even in November.

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