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Saturday, 19 July 2014

Dancing deer and bouncy new fawns.

On my visit to Charlecote this week it was so nice to see West Park open again to visitors. For those who don't know, West Park has been closed to allow the Does to give birth to their fawns in an area that they felt was safe to do so. With the last of the the fawns now having safely arrived, this area of the park has now re-opened.

The does and the fawns are very jumpy at the moment but that is to be expected as it is the Mothers being protective but also the fawns working out what these strange two legged creatures walking around West Park are so if you spot them, it is best to stop and watch rather than move closer at a faster pace. I always get excited when I spot fawns and I have to really hold myself back from charging ahead. I have learnt through experience that animals don't react well to this. I can't blame them really.

I love walking up the avenue as you never know what you might see. As you walk from the stone bridge that crosses the Rive Dene and head for the line of trees, you can not always see what is ahead to the right of you. At the beginning of the Avenue you might see the Jacob sheep with their lambs which are growing very fast. They were moved from Polo field where they were born into West Park a couple of weeks ago to graze.  The sheep are now spread out but tend to stay close to the bridge and over to the left side of West Park between Polo and the River Dene.

As I was walking further up the Avenue I spotted a group of fawns relaxing on the grass. I knew if I made any sudden movements they would be gone so I just stayed where I was, then slowly moved into the nettles under the tree to watch them from there, hoping they did not see me. I don't advise you to do this unless you have thick clothes on and being as warm as it is at the moment, it probably is't the best idea. I am a little crazy though as those who know me will tell you, so there I was, sat quietly watching these beautiful animals and I think I only got stung twice!  :) Believe me, that is really good going for me but oh what a view, well worth the odd stinging nettle.

This group of sheep had ventured further up the avenue than most of the others and they had stolen one of my hiding places. It is a big old hollow tree, halfway along the avenue which I see children playing inside sometimes too.

I love walking through West Park, it is such a relaxing place to walk and you really feel like you are getting away from the stresses of everyday life. I can walk around it all day or just find a place to sit under a tree, relax and take in the view and the passing deer. I lose so many hours in West Park and it also has my favourite view of the house from there.

The view from West Park taken in the winter just as the sun was going down.

 I could have sat there all day watching new fawns. Such beautiful creatures. I call this next photo 'The babysitters'

But  alas...I had been spotted and they can move very quickly even the fawns with their little new legs. I love the way they run, it's like a bouncing kangaroo sometimes. You watch them as they go up and down in the long grass. 

Just around the bend in the avenue I spotted another group of fawns and does but I did not have time to hide before they saw me.

Up they got and down and across the avenue they ran.

I don't like it when the deer run but as I said earlier, they are very jumpy right now. I was so lucky to get the photos I did that day and I walked away very happy but not before I had an added bonus of seeing a couple of the black/chocolate coloured fawns. One is in the picture below. 

As most people who like to take photos know, you can't really see how good or bad a photo really is until you get home and look at it on a big screen. What looks good on the little screen on the back of your camera can look really bad once it is loaded onto your pc. I really liked the images I saw on my camera and I have to say that I was really happy with them when I got home. Not only did I get to see these amazing creatures up close but I came away with some photos that I was really happy with.

If you go into West Park, look out for the other wildlife too. There is so much to see. This was one of the many herons at Charlecote Park coming into land on the far bank of the River Dene.

A squirrel  I spotted climbing up a tree.

   Oh and I spotted people too :) It is really nice to see visitors enjoy a wander through West Park again.

This was one of the many guided walks through the park. There are few walks through the day. The meeting place is just outside the Victorian Kitchen. There is a blackboard attached to the metal railing which gives you the times of the walks. A volunteer will meet you there at the appointed time and be able to answer your questions and show you around. If you are worried that the walk might be too long for you, speak to the guide as they are lovely people and will try to fit the walk around you if they can.

Then of course if you don't want to go for a walk in West Park to see the deer, there are always the dancing bucks in the Main Park area :)

           'Let me lead, put your leg on my right shoulder.'

You don't realise how big the bucks really are until then stand on two legs.

Hope you have enjoyed this blog. The next one on Charlecote Park will be a look inside the house as I have so many photos to share with you.

                                              Photos copyright Jana Eastwood

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The ever changing gardens at Charlecote Park

Sat in my garden this year I have to admit there is not much colour at all apart from that coming from the fruit as it ripens. At the back everything is growing really well but there are no flowers. In Spring there was lots of blossom and it did look pretty but now everything is green. Saying that, it is not a bad green with a nice selection of fruits trees, a mix of fruit bushes and all the herbs I will ever need. Some are growing far too well! The front section of my garden...well...Let me just say that it needs work, a lot of work!

I do have a second garden to walk around and sit in which is very different and very beautiful as many of you who follow my blog will already know. It is one I enjoy spending time in. Ok so it is not my garden but that of Charlecote Park's but I can dream can't I? Sometimes when I head over to Charlecote I am on a mission and I know exactly what I am going to photograph before I leave the house but it doesn't always mean that they will be the photos I come home with. It is so easy to get distracted when entering the grounds, far too easy! Something always catches my eye and then I am off in a different direction! Charlecote gardens are a big distraction for me as they are always changing and there are always new flowers opening.

The next photo is of the beautiful Lilium Lancifolium (Lilly) also known as the Tiger Lily and is native to Japan, Northern and Eastern Asia. I found this beauty in the gardens at Charlecote Park.

This flower is beautiful and so rich in colour.

Every time I visit I see new plants, flowers and beautiful colours and then there are the butterflies everywhere and the buzzing bees. All of them just add to the beauty of the borders.

                                        The small tortoise butterfly.

Green veined white butterfly.

The Digitalis more commonly known as the Foxglove can be found in the woodland Garden.

The Foxglove in a lovely plant with perfect shaped bells which attract lots of bees.

A walk through the Woodland garden.

These grow down the side of the house as you walk towards the river.

As always there is a lot of work going on around the park and gardens but something new is happening inside the Woodland Garden. For a few weeks now the Gardeners and Volunteers have been working very hard making a new area for children to play in. I can't wait to see it finished. Over the weeks I have seen fences going up, area being cleared and new planting. It is starting to all come together and looks lovely. 

I think the Ram wants to help :)

It is not finished yet but I am looking forward to seeing how it develops.

Lots of butterflies around at the moment. This one is called the 'Meadow brown'

Another beautiful Lilly I spotted in the pots outside the Orangery. This one is called the Spider Lilly (Hymenocallis Festalis) This flower which is grown from a bulb looks very much like a daffodil but also a lilly at the same time. You can guess why it has 'spider' in it's name.

These were also in the pots outside the Orangery. Beautiful colours.

The next plant is the Eryngium Giganteum also known as the “Miss Willmott’s Ghost” and which I have seen in a few National Trust properties. It was named 'Miss Willmott's Ghost' after Ellen Wilmott a lady gardener from the nineteenth century liked to sprinkle it's seeds in other peoples gardens.

Double Shasta Daisy 'Crazy Daisy' There are loads of these around the croquet lawn and look very beautiful right now.

The whites and different shades of pink and lilac are lovely in the border.  

The Gatekeeper butterfly

This next photo is the Ringlet and can be found fluttering amongst the long grass at Charlecote Park.

For those interested in butterflies, there is the 'Great butterfly count' starting on the 19th of July. Here is the link to how you can help which also includes an identifying chart.

For more of my butterfly photos, check my blog from the National Insect week.

The cosmos flower, always so perfect. I used to grow these in my old garden. I think I will get some for next year.

One of  Charlecote's passport trainees busy trimming the edge of the grass.
For more information about National Trust Passport trainees, here is a link.

At Charlecote Park the Gardeners, Passport Trainees and Volunteers all work together to create the beautiful gardens you see as you walk around the Park..

They have all done an amazing job. You don't always realise how much they do as they are often busy working behind the scenes as many others also do.. In the Spring and Summer months when the borders come alive and blossom, you appreciate all their hard work. If you like photography, this time of year is great but you do get a little spoilt for choice on what to take. Not that I am complaining :) 

The next plant is a Monarde Didyma which is also known as the Bergamot amongst a few other names and can been seen in colours of purple, red and a rich dark pink like in the photo below. 

The Bergamot originally came from America and was introduced by the native American Indians tribe, the Oswego to the early colonists. The tea was served at the Boston Tea Party and is used to help in digestive problems. This beautiful plant is now grown in flower borders and is very good at attracting bees.

The ever changing border down the side of the Woodland garden.

I spend ages down this border taking photos and watch people admiring all the different plants.

The lovely poppies, so beautiful but also so delicate.

You have to see the Mulberry Tree if you go to Charlecote. It is over 180 years old and it still provides fruit. Isn't that amazing? 

A quick walk through the Tea garden. I always have a little stop in here before leaving to go home. There is always something new blossoming.

The lovely smell of Lavender. I recently took a little trip down to the Cotswolds to see the lavender fields. It was beautiful and you could smell the lavender before you could see it.

A perfect peach rose.

I love this colour of  this chrysanthemum. I don't know which type it is but it is very pretty.

A new plant about to open.

Sweet peas. I love these, they remind me of my grandparents.

These lovely yellow water lilies are on the River Avon that runs through the park.

And last but not least the Parterre which is also flowering beautifully.

                                            Again a lovely collection of colours.

Maybe now you can understand why I get so easily distracted when visiting Charlecote Park and believe me when I say this is not all there is. There are far too many plants and flowers to add to this blog and they are all as beautiful as each other. I can not remember what the reason for my visit was this day but I ended up breathing in the sweet scent of lots of  flowers instead. It is quite something to be surrounded by so much beauty.

 To see how the garden has changed over the last month, here is a blog I wrote in June.

A link to Charlecote Park's website

Photos copyright Jana Eastwood