Just a wee taste of summer today as we are in the shortest days of winter. This is the common beech, Fagus sylvatica, photographed at the end of April 2014. The leaves are expanding from their tiny concertina form through the heavily folded young leaves to the fully expanded mature form. Looking at this photograph, I can feel the sunshine and the anticipation.
At the other end of the year, the photograph below shows the same plant with the leaves in their winter form. Although they are now crisp and entirely dried out, they are equally attractive with bronze colouring and a neat pattern of veination.
Merry Christmas, wherever you all are!