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Thursday, 25 September 2014

The start of Autumn and misty mornings

There are many advantages to volunteering at National Trust's Charlecote Park but for me the best bit is walking around the park when it is closed. As a volunteer photographer I am able, with special permission, to record some of the beautiful times of the day which I would not be able to do if I didn't volunteer as I do. There are special times of the year when walks like these are available to everyone. One of these events is on the 25th of October and it an amazing opportunity not only to see the Sunrise over Charlecote Park but to see the Bucks during rutting season, which is something I look forward to all year! The bucks are already starting to make a lot of noise and a lot of this happens just before and as the sun comes up.
 For more information on event at Charlecote Park, click this link.

This next photos were taken just as I arrived, about half an hour before the Sun came up.

 It is a shame it doesn't get like this early in the evening as the atmosphere is ideal for a Halloween walk but alas, these scenes can not be made to order. :)

It really is a great experience to walk through the park at that time of day during the Autumn. The  rustling of the autumn leaves beneath your feet and the beautiful misty mornings which all give an amazing atmosphere. Before the sun rises the mist is close to the ground but as the Sun comes up, so the mist rises too. In this photo below there is a field behind the deer which is called 'Polo' where the lambs were in Spring....Well on that field this morning were 600 scouts and their leaders from Warwickshire on a special camping weekend within the park. So many people and you would never know!

I think this is where the scouts were waking up as I heard giggling and then the deer started to run to the other side of the park :) Don't worry, there is a fence between Polo and the rest of the Park so no jumping deer over tents in the dark. :)

A little tip before I forget, ok two tips. If you go out early in the morning for walks at this time of year and you take a camera, leave the cap on until you are ready to take the photo as your glass will get wet as the mist rises. I learned the hard way! Also don't use a flash with fog/mist. If you have ever tried putting your car's high-beams on on a foggy morning, you will know that you can't see anything until you dip those lights down. Same happens with a flash. You will get nothing.

The next photo was taken before the Sun came up . The fog here is low down but after the Sun came up and the mist got thicker, I could not see Charlecote house at all!

With the mist and the low clouds I didn't think there would be much of a sunrise this morning. As the Sun came up it tried its hardest to shine but this is all I got. If you click on the image to enlarge it. you will just see the Sun but only just.

The mist starting to rise and get thicker.

Thinking that was it and I really would not get a good sunrise, I headed for the other side of the park along with the deer but as I looked around just one more time to see what the mist was doing. That stubborn Sun put on a lovely display for me as it reached the top of the clouds. I managed to get a very hazy warm sunrise photo. I guess this counts as one of  #NTreflection photos. I was so happy I had turned around.

'Fawns in the mist'

The fawns are growing fast. There are a few mothers in these pictures with them but as time goes by, it will be harder to tell the difference between them as the Does are so much smaller than the Bucks, especially at this time of year when the bucks are at their biggest.

At this time of year I love how you can see the spider webs better. Don't worry no spiders I promise.

I left Charlecote Park that day around 9am feeling very lucky to be able to do things like this but not before getting a couple more photos on my way to the gate. I am guessing it won't be long before West Park closes to visitors again. If you haven't been able to get on the early morning walk as it has been very popular, there are still a few spaces left on the evening walks with the Ranger. Dates still available are Tuesday 14th, Saturday 18th and Tuesday 21st of October. They  start between 5.30- 5.45pm. 
To watch the sunset over Charlecote is also a lovely experience. It is my favourite part of the day. Everything looks so beautiful in the evening and it is so peaceful and relaxing to walk around the park at that time. A beautiful part of the day. 
There are four dates for the evening walks, one is already full so be quick. They can be found on the events page of the link I posted above.

 A very proud Buck!

These next pictures were a lovely end to my walk. It is just a shame the blue car is in the background. I knew parking there would come back to haunt me!

                                                 A Doe and her fawn.

I went home with a pockets full of conkers and a handful of Autumn leaves for no other reason than it took me back to my childhood and made me smile :)

I hope you enjoyed this blog and thank you for reading it.


  1. Some fabulous photos Jana, I am so jealous of you being able to go up there and wander round like that! As you know, I have sometimes been up early but can only stay outside the fence. I particularly love the sun reflected in the water, can you tell me what settings you were on for that? The colour is beautiful, did you use a filter or any software to get that hue?

  2. Thanks Bobbie, it is a lovely time of the day. Are you going on one of the evening walks? I might join one of them myself.
    The sunrise picture was not taken with a filter. I changed the white balance to 'shade' which warms the picture up a little. Some people like to use the 'cloud' setting for sunsets and sunrises but I find that far too much. You can get some amazing different colours by changing the white balance. Have a play with it. I don't always like what the white balance does to the picture but it worked this day. The other settings were F/22 as I wanted it as sharp as possible with the mist and ISO/100 , Exp 1/90sec. Hope that helps x