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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.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Baddesley Clinton, Beautiful borders, Scarecrows and fungi.

My favourite times to visit Baddesley Clinton have to be Spring and Autumn. In Spring there are beautiful daffodils everywhere and with the backdrop of the house and it's reflection, it always makes  a perfect picture.
                                  I love the reflection you get in the water.

For me, I think Baddesley's garden looks it's best at the end of August and during September. The borders are full of flowers and the dahlia border is worth the trip alone. It is full of the most beautiful different varieties.

So many colours.

Each petal is so perfect.

 The second long border which runs from the same corner in another direction, is also very pretty at the moment. It has a more wild cottage flowers feel to it which I love.

Another flower I really like is the Gazania. I found a few in this garden. A beautiful flower that opens and closes with the day.

Honey bees are loving the flowers too!

I had a couple of hours to spare this day as after dropping my son at college, it wasn't really worth driving home again so I walked around Baddesley Clinton instead and it was a really lovely walk. I nearly didn't go into the vegetable garden but I am so pleased I did. All I can say is that someone has a great imagination. :):) I am loving the new volunteers.  :)

This was 'Bobbin Wood'. By each scarecrow is a card with a few words on it and some of them are really funny. If you visit you must read them.

                                                'Dick Turnip'

In the  Vegetable Garden you get a few surprises. Here is 'Long John Sweetcorn'

I love the work that has gone into some of these scarecrows. The detail is great!

Even a mouse got in on the act :)

'Jack The Slipper'

'The Artful Roger'

 I loved these two! 'Mr and Mrs Gladstone. Someone with a sense of humor made these. Notice the Next carrybag and the bottles of gin. :)

Mrs Gladstone is brilliant!

'Sweedy Todd'

There was a lovely little flower display in front of  'Sweedy Todd'. I think it said it was a Victorian border but I might have got this wrong. It was very colourful. It reminded me of the sort of flowers you used to get in Jephsons Gardens in Leamington Spa.

'Pea Cliffe'


 This next photo might look a little strange but I took it because I liked the pastel colours I could see between the French bean rows. I noticed it as I was walking by and just really liked it.

                                             'Detective Sherbet Gnomes'

And last but not least 'Ebanana Scrooge'

Which even had a Christmas tree with it!

On the way back to the car I walked through the little wooded area and look what I found. As the weeks go on, more and more fungi will appear. The end of September and through October is very good for spotting fungi. First thing in the morning is the best time but if you don't know what they are, it is best to leave them alone as some mushrooms are poisonous. You might find these pages helpful to identify some of them.

                                    These ones remind me of seashells.

Thanks for reading my blog. I hope you enjoyed it. 

Here is a link to Baddesley Clinton.