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.

36 thoughts on “A frosty December morning

    1. We have been having the young queens on the honeysuckle and the strawberry tree on sunny days but this one was too small to be a queen. The queens will be tucked away somewhere in a frost free place. I was sorry for him though and annoyed to see that the mites had survived seemingly unperturbed by the cold.


  1. We are not even close to frost here. The sugar coated spindle berries are cool 🙂

    Have you ever handled a bumblebee? They are quite disconcerting because they are warm, and get warmer. They vibrate and warm themselves up.


    1. Susan, I have never thought of handling a bumble-bee… even though I know that nthey would only sting as a last resort… this year is gone… but 2013… I might try… I want to find time for more macro photography, anyhowz.


  2. Lovely photos. Most of our berries have already been eaten by the birds, but a couple are hanging on even in the snow. The frozen spindle tree berries look like iced cake decorations!


  3. A lovely series. Sad about the bee, but such is nature. I ave a shot somewhere of a very bedraggled bee – no frost but still he had passed away on his leaf and remained there coated in rain.


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