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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The warm glow of Autumn colours

Don't you just love this time of year? I do! There is nothing better than walking on a beautiful Autumn day with crisp dry leaves beneath your feet and seeing many colours of the rainbow on  trees and bushes you pass by.

 And of course there are also the conkers to collect 'if ' you can beat the deer and squirrels to them that is. :)

Through the Summer the flowers in the gardens brighten up the days but now is the time for the glorious trees to show off their displays before they take a bow and disappear for the Winter.

It had been a week since I had last visited Charlecote Park and in that time there had been many changes with the Autumn colours. On my last visit I had wished the colours to change more quickly as I had been waiting for Autumn for a while now. A week later, they had started to do just that! As I pulled up to the car park, the picture below is what greeted me. A lovely way to start the day. I had to park the car and take this photo before going any further. It would have been so pretty on a sunny day but the Sun did shine a little from between the clouds and just enough to throw some rays of light through the trees before disappearing again.

Early evening as the Sun comes down over the River Dene

At this time of the year I love to spend a little time admiring the entrance to Charlecote Park and the views as you approach it from both sides of the road. 

The view from the bridge looking down the River Dene. In a week or two on a sunny day, this view will be amazing. Careful here though as it is a narrow bridge and there is no footpath.

I sat on the wall close by waiting for the Sun to come out and brighten up this picture but it was not to be. Not this day anyway.

Close to the bridge I found this beautiful bush . I had not seen this close up before. It looked like lots of mini oranges inside a pink flower. It is called 'Spindleberry' also known as 'Euonymus Eropaeus' and is a plant that is native to most of Europe including England. It is a very pretty plant which is popular with many insects but don't pick the orange seeds as they are poisonous to us. The wood from this plant is very hard and had many uses in the old days. It was used to make wool spindles amongst many other things, hence it's name 'Spindleberry'. The bark was also used to heal liver disorders.

The avenue in West Park is beautiful. At the moment you have different shades of green fading to a golden colour.

A walk through the avenue is always a pleasing walk no matter the time of year but during Autumn it really is something to see. If you are there on a sunny day with the rays of sun coming through the trees making the golden leaves look richer, it is quite special. West Park is closed at the moment for the Rutt but these trees still have plenty to give during November when they all become golden. I think the avenue should be re-named at that time of year to the 'Golden walk'. Here is a photo from last year to show you how it looks through November. No sun though.

Charlecote Park did try to keep this area open to the public as long as they possibly could but it was obvious the deer were unsettled with more people around and with the fighting between the male deer getting rougher, it was decided for all parties concerned, it would be better to close it. If you wanted to see the deer rutting, check out my next blog. I have special permission to go into this area from time to time as I am the volunteer photographer there. I have a very safe hiding place within this area from which I have managed to record some of  the deer at this time of year including the fighting. Now I just have two hours of video to cut down into a series of short clips and then I will make my first 'video clips' blog for you. Wish me luck :)

The avenue is West Park now. 

It looks like I am not the only one enjoying the avenue this day.

 My secret hiding place gives me a really good view of the wooded area within the deer sanctuary without disturbing the animals. I like that I can hide there and just watch them. The other morning a couple of squirrels were sitting about 5 feet from me and they didn't even know I was there. Unfortunately I had my long lens on my camera and to change it would have notified these squirrels that I was there so I just sat back and enjoyed the view.

The Jacob sheep grazing in West Park at the moment. Have you noticed the change in the shades of green in the grass too?

I walked over the old bridge and back into the main park area, still in search of my Autumn colours and ended up in the Woodland Garden behind the Orangery. As I walked along the twisting path I spotted so many plants starting to change with the season. How glorious they all looked with their rich autumn colours. I stood there for a moment thinking... 'if this is how it looks now, how much prettier will it be in a couple of weeks'. That's if these gales stop blowing all my glorious leaves on the ground! ''Please weather, let me enjoy them on the trees a little first!''

My walk through the Woodland Garden.

Below is the 'Taxus Baccata Fastigiata' Also known as the Irish Yew, English Yew or the European Yew depending on where you come from. It can grow as a small tree or as a bush and has red berries in Autumn.

The 'Mahonia Aquifolium' with it's yellow flowers is always an attractive plant in a garden and which is native to parts of America, Asia and the Himalayas but can be found all over the World now.

After the flowers fade, first green berries appear darkening to black with time.

Through the Main Park and Hill Park the colours are also changing now and make a perfect backdrop for any photo.

I think this one is hiding :)

Earlier in the year during 'Spring Watch' I covered some of the other wildlife within the park. Do you remember these little cygnets?

                                                     Look at them now!

And they are not the only wildlife on the water.

                                One of the adult Swans relaxing in the long grass.

     The fig tree leaves are already a lovely golden yellow colour.

It is always lovely to see flowers at this time of year too and they are always so much richer in colour.

           Around the croquet lawn the Cleome Hassleraine is still producing flowers.

The long border taken at the end of September early October.

The tea gardens still very colourful.

The hostas are also changing.

The view as I walked up the back drive to the gate on my way home.

Isn't this what Autumn is all about ?

                           Here is a short clip of what's to come in my next blog.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.