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Saturday, 3 January 2015

A Beautiful Frosty Start To The Day

The weather over Christmas has been very cold and white in some places with snow or frost. I was so wishing for snow as I do love it but we did get the next best thing. A lovely cold frost which makes everything look so pretty and very different.

Frozen flowers in the gardens. They look like they have been frosted with sugar.

With four layers of clothing and a flask of coffee, off I set for an early morning walk. The weather man had said it would be frosty and foggy but when I got to Charlecote, the sky was clear and a lovely pink which made the frost look a little pinkish too!

Sunrise and sunset photos are often just luck.You can check the weather beforehand, look outside before you leave but the sky can change very quickly. This morning was perfect! A crisp frozen ground below me and a pink sky above, I was very happy :)

I love Winter but then I love every season. There is always something new to see and it is amazing how a covering of frost or snow can make somewhere look so very different. It's like seeing it all again for the first time. Something is always happening at Charlecote with the changing seasons, be it that of the animals and wildlife that live there or the changing landscape as the leaves fall and open up the views for you.

At the moment you can see the landscape of the park better and it looks so much bigger. It is a perfect place for someone like me who loves to walk. I can chose where and how far I would like to walk on any particular day and I get to see the lovely animals and wildlife along the way :)

Have you ever seen a Robin puff his breast feathers and belly out? They do it when they are protecting their area and feel threatened. These birds are very territorial and tend to protect their area all year around, sometimes staying in the same garden for all their life. Charlecote Park has a pair of Robins that can often be seen around the Orangery or at the entrance to the Woodland Garden. There are plenty of them around the park but these two are easier to spot. The next two photos show the Robin as it is normally, then puffing it's breast feathers out.

 This day with the frost on the ground, I knew I would be walking most of the Park. I guess I am a little like a child, when the weather changes my view, I get excited and I want to see it all!

This morning started in West Park to see if my friends the Owls were out but I guess they were all staying in this morning as it was around - 4 degrees! I heard many birds but could not see them as it was still a little dark when I first arrived.

With the sky a beautiful pink, I knew without looking at a watch, that the Sun would be up soon and that I did not have much time to decide where I would go to catch the sunrise. I had not planned for this as I had expected fog but I was not going to miss the chance of photographing a nice sunrise either. One place which is always guaranteed a nice view, is by the slaughter bridge which goes over the River Dene and separates West Park from the rest of the estate. I arrived there just before the sun came up with the sky still very pink. It made a beautiful frosty picture.

 The view towards Slaughter Bridge and West Park just before the Sun came up.

It is a real magical time to be in the park as the Sun comes up, especially if there is a really nice sunrise. One of the many privileges of volunteering at Charlecote Park :)

The Sun just shining through the trees

As the Sun came up the pinks started to fade and the warmer oranges appeared. By this time I had moved further into West Park, I was able to get a couple of lovely warm pictures as the Sun was rising. It is amazing the change in the colours all around you when you have a white start to the day. The views went from a crisp pink cold colour to a lovely warm glow, back to a crisp fresh day once the Sun was up. It was beautiful to see and even more lovely to be able to capture it and share it with you all.

As I walked further into the park, the sunrise followed me. 

              I love the way the Sun shines from the side of this tree.

The early morning light on the ground, such a beautiful day.

As you walk around West Park with it's hilly ground, the views with the Sun coming up are just stunning and constantly changing.

A frosty post on the footpath.

Frozen crystals on the grass under my feet.

I was still in West Park when the acting Ranger of the day, Matt, came to feed the deer and he was not alone. He had brought with him the lovely family who were staying in the holiday flat within Charlecote house, to see how the deer were fed. I was a little way away at the time but I could see from where I stood that Matt had made one little girl's day :)

Some of the deer in West Park waiting for the buggy to arrive. They can tell the time better than me!

For those who have not read my blogs before...The deer get help with food during the Winter months as they lose a lot of weight during and after the rut and will only gain some of the weight back up to December. During this feeding time, the deer, especially the bucks will get close to the buggy, knowing what it is carrying. To be sat in the buggy is an amazing experience as it is the closest you will ever get to the deer, as I found out later myself that very same day.
As Matt finished feeding the deer in West Park, he very kindly allowed me to join him on the buggy as he headed for the deer in Main Park. The deer there are more used to people walking around and are a little less jumpy than the ones in West Park. It is also the bucks that tend to spend much of their time in the area and they mellow a little after the rut! Too tired to protest I guess!

 It was quite magical especially with all the frost on the ground. A very perfect day :)

''Please sir, can I have some more?'' This young buck got very close to the buggy. As the buggy moves along, the trailer which is attached to the back of it, drops nuts for the deer to eat.

  In the year I have been at Charlecote Park, I have never been this close to the deer and all I can say is 'WOW!' What an experience and a big thanks to Matt who is a total star! Well he will be when I have finished going through my video :)

After the feeding of the deer, I headed  through the gardens and over to Hill Park on foot to see the sheep and take a walk around the lake before heading home.

 The frost was already starting to disappear in some places with the rising Sun but it was starting to cloud over a little so I knew the frost would be around for a little longer.

The holiday flat which anyone can rent is on the top floor on the right of the picture above. Entrance is through the turret spiral staircase. The views from the top of the house are stunning all year around. for more information on the Turret Flat, here is the link and  a sneak preview of it :)

One day I am hoping to stay there myself :) Hope it snows then :) Imagine going to sleep and waking up with these views. Beautiful!

A frosty Jacob sheep in Hill Park. They need their warm coats in this weather!

The sheep also get fed during the Winter months. From Spring to Autumn the land provides the deer and the sheep with plenty to graze on. There is still plenty of grass around but it never hurts to give animals and wildlife a helping hand through the cold months.

While waiting for their breakfast, they look out for the Ranger which is always good for photographs as they are looking in the right direction for a change :)

                       The Jacob sheep in Hill Park.

                                         Charlecote family and Village Church

                                  The Lake looking very frosty.

Everything looks so clean and fresh. I loved the frozen long grasses around the lake.

                      It is amazing how the ice crystal build up.

Slaughter Bridge.

              The beautiful reflections from the bridge.

 The park was open and I wasn't the only one wrapping up warm enjoying a crisp walk.

 Now I am just wishing for an even better frost and some snow please. If anyone can arrange that for me? I would be very happy :)

I hope you have enjoyed this blog and had a chance to get out and enjoy the frost or snow yourself. More on the Winter feeding of the animals coming soon.

                                                   Copyright Jana Eastwood


  1. Gorgeous! Fingers crossed for some more frost soon, but not snow for me as it means I can't get out and am stuck at home!

  2. Thanks Bobbie, yes more frost would be lovely but not until I have got over this flu so I can get out and enjoy it x

  3. Such fantastic photos. Wish I was as talented. Peter Hart. P.S. We met at Baddesley Clinton if you remember.

  4. Hello Peter,
    Thank you and yes I do remember meeting you at Baddesley Clinton. I remember having a lovely chat with you inside the house. Thank you for your kind words. Best Wishes, Jana