A frosty December morning

Frosty mornings on the Charente Maritime are not too common but this year I was keen to get out and take a look before all the frost was melted by the winter sun.

Frosty brambles

I found even the bramble leaves looked different covered by the frost.

Ice crystals on bramble

The cool evening temperature had formed ice crystals on the leave.

Frosty red bramble leaf

The autumn reds had been changed into frosted Christmas decorations.

Frosty wild rose hips

The wild rose hips were taking the frost in their stride.

Frosty spindle tree  berries

The spindle tree (Euonymus europaeus) berries looked sugar coated by the frost but will not survive many more freezing and de-frosting cycles.

Robin waching

The little birds flew out of the bushes as I approached, it was only the robin who could not retain his curiosity about the only person who was entering into their domain and lingering to look at their territory on such a frosty morning.

Frosty persimmonI decided to return and check out the garden.  The birds, mainly the blackbirds, I think, have turned one of the persimmon into a frosty dessert.  They choose to open the fruit at a ripe spot and I admire their choice as it is conveniently placed for easy perching.  A real fast food option for the bird on the go.

Frosty lonicera

In the back garden the fragrant honeysuckle, Lonicera fragrantissima, is completely frosted over with its perfume sealed within the ice waiting for the sun to arrive.

Frosty winter honeysuckle

The delicate flowers look as beautiful in the frost as they do in the sunshine.  More flowers will follow the flowers frozen by the ice.

Frozen bee

I was thinking of the bees that would be enjoying the new flowers on warmer days when I caught sight of a bumble bee.

Frozen bumble bee

The poor creature had been seeking overnight shelter on a flower and was frozen in place.  Male bumble bees do not survive the winter, the queens will be snuggly overwintering but the others will not see the spring.  My poor bumble bee had the added affliction of mites which survived the low temperatures remarkable well.