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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Autumn in Charlecote's West Park


Before I get to into any more Christmas reviews, I have some more lovely Autumn loveliness to share with you. I have quite a few photos to share today and not just from West Park as I managed to escape a couple of  times last week to Charlecote. One of those days was a little dull as far as the weather goes so some of my photos might be a little dark but I also have some from a very sunny cold morning's walk. Hope you enjoy them.




I was really pleased to find West Park open again to visitors, I always love walking around this part of the estate. The Autumn colours there are quite something at the moment. As you walk over the stone bridge you will see the avenue of trees just a little ahead of you and to the right. As you walk through the avenue, you will be surrounded by the beautiful golden yellow of the changing leaves. It looks so pretty glowing in the Sun on the 2nd day but I like the colours from the first day better. 




The deer seem to like the avenue at the moment so you are more likely to see them. Guess it is a little more sheltered like their wood.




The low Sun made the leaves look even more golden.



I have something a little different for you today. I knew my camera could film video in HD but I have never  used it for that, well not before this day. I should have read the manual before I went out but what I saw when I was in avenue in West Park could not be captured in a single photo. I switched the camera to the video mode and had a go anyway. I so wanted to share what I was seeing. This is my first try and with no instructions so please forgive the quality of the recording, hopefully you will see what I mean. 
I was as I so often am, just sat on my little mat under a tree with my little flask of coffee enjoying the fresh air when this time a herd of deer crossed right in front of me. At the same time, the wind picked up and the leaves started to fall. It was such a pretty sight, a proper Autumn day and what a view. Here is the link if you would like to watch it.

It reminded me of something one of the other regulars visitors to Charlecote Park once said to me, the elderly gentleman I have spoken of before. 'Sometimes the best photos are taken when you are patient and wait, the opportunity comes to you, instead of chasing it' That was very true this day.

I think this buck below has an itch, he was grooming himself for ages, I took so many photos of him.


The deer were everywhere on my second visit last week, it was just as the Park was opening and no one else was in West Park yet so the deer had not been disturbed. As soon as I had walked through the gate, there they were right in front of me. I did notice a behaviour change in the bucks, they seemed more protective of the herd than I had noticed before. They really looked like they were on guard and called out to the each other... I guess to warn them I was there. I found it fascinating how their behaviour had changed from the previous month when it was the rutt. During the rutt you would see all the bucks on their own or with their little harems of does and they would chase away any other buck who came near. Now as I watched them, the bucks were posted around the large herd, each standing like to attention and now after seeing me, calling out to each other. If you watch the above video again, watch how the bucks wait on guard while all the does and younger deer cross the avenue.


I guess after the rutt many of the females could be pregnant, maybe that's the reason for the change in behaviour. Does anyone else have any other ideas?





Look at these below, don't they look cute? I think the  fallow does look like babies themselves, especially with the spots some have. They are so tiny compared to the bucks. Sometimes it's hard to tell which ones are the youngest until you see one with their mother.


Autumn leaves, I love walking in them.


A male (buck) and a female (doe) Fallow deer.


From the avenue you can see the colours changing on the trees in the deer sanctuary, you can see all the colours of autumn, the deep reds, the strong oranges and the bright yellows, beautiful.






The same herd only now the other side of the avenue and in the sanctuary area of the park. I love my big lens, I can still catch them :)










In this next photo you can just see a couple of bucks walking along the top ridge of the Sanctuary, Click on the picture if you would like to see better.


Part of the avenue of trees.



Other people having the same idea as me, a lovely walk through the trees.


I was able with my 400mm lens to take a few nice photos of part of the sanctuary and the reflections in the water. It was a cold start to the day with the first real frost on the ground but the sun was out so I was going to make the most of it.








Time to have a proper coffee in the Orangery and a walk around the rest of the estate. I love the Autumn colours this year. So many years have gone by and with a blink of the eye autumn has gone but the last two years, it has stayed around a little longer and we have had time to really enjoy it.

This next photo I actually took while sitting drinking coffee on one of the chairs outside the orangery. A lovely view to enjoy and again, I didn't go looking for it, it came to me :)


The Autumn colours in the main Park. Be quick if you want to see them as there was a little more frost today so more leaves will be falling.
                 

I could have made a push-me pull-you out of the next picture, oh hang on, I remember doing that with a picture I took last year, Let me see if I can find it. I will add it at the bottom just for a bit of fun if I find it.





Across the river from the main house.


Up by the lake, the autumn colours are everywhere.



I couldn't work out if this deer was having a good stretch or going for a wee.


Look at the Sun on these leaves and the colour, beautiful.





And of course we must not forget the resident sheep who seem to have all been moved to the meadow now.
These two look like they are in deep conversation, they just need a little table with two cups and saucers and they would look like old fishwives having a natter :)


Someone asked me about the trees with the red flags the other day, like the one behind the deer in this picture below. The red flag is to mark special trees, you will see the flag at many places around Warwickshire. This link explains it all.




This was just as I arrived, I was not out of the car for more than a minute and I saw this tree in the car park, is  was just so beautiful with it's bright colours.


I loved the shine on these leaves from the Sun, taken in the main Park heading towards the Church.


                        I think this sheep has an itch too!


He doesn't look impressed does he, ok I will leave you alone.... After a photo of course :)


The next few photos will answer so many people's questions....How do the deer cross the river?  I was actually taking some other photos at the top of this field close to the house when this herd of deer came rushing by. I guess more people had arrived :) If you spend a lot of time here and watch the deer, you get to know their behaviour and can, to a point, predict what they will do. 
From the right side of the field just behind the trees I could see a gentleman walking in the deer's direction. They looked towards me, then back towards him and I just knew what they would do. I walked slowly down towards the river but the gentleman was closer so the deer moved quicker. I rushed the last few steps and was just able to catch the deer swimming in the river. The gentleman turned out to be my elderly gentleman who I see here from time to time and have sat and had coffee with in the Orangery. He was smiling, he said ''Did you get them? You should have moved faster''  :) I said ''I was moving slowly not to spook them'' We both stood there smiling and watched the last few deer swim across the river then shake themselves just like a dog. The photos are not brilliant as it was all a little rushed but you will see :)










                                                Now the bucks turn




There goes the shake.


Below are some more I caught crossing the river a few days later, I actually managed to video this too. I worked out that if I was patient and got to Charlecote just as they opened, I could head around the back of the house and set my camera up by the wall so they would not see me and just wait for the people to arrive.
Only when the people arrived and the deer came running, I poked my head up at the wrong time so the deer ran further down the river before swimming over. I didn't think I would get them even with the big lens on  but I did. I took the photo below quickly then switched to video mode and managed to get the white buck swimming over the water. OK he was further away than I had planned.... but I got him :)



 I love walking around Charlecote and seeing how it looks with the changing seasons. Next comes the frost, well that has already started really but I mean the proper frost that stays around longer than just first thing in the morning. It can make such lovely Wintery pictures. I took some lovely shots last year with my little camera. I will show you a few as I don't have any from Charlecote 'yet'. I have every other type of weather there but not the frost. This year I will get some :) 
For now here are the frost pictures I mentioned and a link to a video Charlecote has made of ' A frosty Charlecote Park' it's a beautifully made video, well worth watching.


I love this picture below,wish I had taken it on my big camera but still I was very happy with it.



This next one was just a wire fence



And I will finish with another reflection as I really like this image. 


Right enough teasing for now, well worth a visit to see the autumn colours but don't leave it too long, Winter is just around the corner.

Here is another link you might like, Christmas is coming to Charlecote . I can't wait to see it all dressed up for the season.


ps sorry not found the picture of the push-me pull-you yet, will add it later if I find it.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Jana, fab photos as always. What sort of f.stop do you use for some of the pictures of the deer when they are in perfect focus and the backgrounds (and sometimes foregrounds) are blurry? I have learned how to do that with close-up objects such as flowers with my 50mm 1.8 lens, but not with bigger lenses. The smallest f.stop on my 18 - 55 is about 5.6, and I think my 55 - 200 is about the same. Also do you use aperture priority, shutter priority, or manual? Thanks.

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  2. Hi Bobbie and thanks again :) I move the F stop around a lot but normally have it low. My 50mm lens is the same as yours 1.8 at the lowest which I used a lot indoors in the previous blog, A lens I should learn to use more because I really like the photos I take with it. My 100-400 lens starts at 4.5-5.6. The above images that you speak of were actually taken on my husbands canon 28-135mm lens which I always carry with me...think he's lost it now :) that starts at 3.5.
    I do use the aperture priority a lot but am using manual more and more these days

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  3. Thanks Jana, it's interesting to know how other people use their cameras. There is so much to learn, it's hard to take it all onboard and remember when you are out there!

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  4. Bobbie I never stop learning and yes you are right, there is a lot to learn but there is no rush, I learn one thing at a time then go out and try it, if it works great but if not, I play with the settings until I get it the way I like it :) xx

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