Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Holly and Ivy

Just as I was moaning about the recent, dreadful weather, we woke this morning to a cold, bright and sunny day.  So, we set out for a longer walk around Shipley Hill and Osborne's Pond. I was struck by the beauty of the greenery, still clinging to its colour amid the bare branches and trees of the winter countryside.  The best known of those plants which are still green, have to be the Holly and the Ivy - particularly at this, festive time of year.  The Ivy growing along the footpaths towards Osborne's Pond, is coating the otherwise denuded trees.  In some cases, these start appear like totem poles.
The thick growth of Ivy up these trees provides shelter for small birds, mammals and insects and the late flowers provide a vital food source for many species of insect, including several species of moth and late-flying butterflies.
As well as all this, they look good too, when all seems to be bare and lifeless.
Closer to home and the Holly trees were basking in the sunshine, their shiny, waxy leaves reflecting the sun and glistening.  Bright, red berries nestled among the prickly shrubbery, providing food for many species of birds.  Despite the bumper crop of berries in the hedgerows this year, the Holly doesn't seem to have done that well.
All very 'Christmassy' though!
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