Monday, November 28, 2016

Holme Fen on an autumn evening

Siver birch stand among the autumn colours in Holme Fen nature reserve

My second visit to the fabulous Holme Fen was on a rather overcast day. I arrived in the late afternoon and spent a very enjoyable few hours traipsing through the undergrowth and admiring the view until it was too dark to really see much at all.

As atmospheric as it is during the day, at dusk that atmosphere seems to pour in from all directions. The colours may be more muted, but the rustling of leaves, the sharp movements in the undergrowth and the all pervading silence seem to close in and come into explicit clarity. 

There is something special about the feeling of walking through a woodland or forest, especially one with so much character, with the light fading fast, when colours, trees and undergrowth seem to blend together into unrecognisable shapes and unfamiliar structures. I had the place to myself, so my only company were the regular inhabitants, for whom my presence was an unwelcome delay in their nocturnal activities no doubt.

Once I had left the woodland and found myself back on the drove road, I experienced the same feeling I had the last time I was there, namely, I was looking forward to coming back again. There is something very compelling about the place, plus there were parts of it I hadn't yet explored, and if that wasn't a good reason to return I don't know what was.

The following images were taken that afternoon/evening, before the light became too dusky to work with. I hope you enjoy looking through them as much as I enjoyed taking them. To see photos from my first visit, and find out a bit about the interesting history of the place please see my previous post.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Holme Fen - autumn colour & sunset lake

Silver birch trees stand among red ferns at Holme Fen nature reserve

I have recently been rather taken with a quiet patch of woodland named Holme Fen, and have visited it several times. It’s a very atmospheric place which, based on my sojourns, attracts very little in the way of visitors. This is surprising as this 660 acre plot contains, among other things, the largest, and some say the finest, silver birch woodland in lowland Britain, an impressive cornucopia of fungi, around 500 species, and at 9 foot below sea level, the lowest point in the UK.

It has also been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a Nature Conservation Review Site, plus, it is home to a variety of birdlife. But I’m sure there are times when I’ve been there and I had the place entirely to myself.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Autumn evening at Grafham Water

Grafham Water reservoir with trees in full autumn colour in Cambridgeshire

A couple of weeks ago I took a trip over to Grafham Water in the hope that I would get a decent sunset, and find a few shots of the autumn colours that line the reservoir. Thankfully I managed to get both, which was a nice bonus.

Grafham Water is a reservoir with a circumference of about 10 miles. It is the eighth largest reservoir in England by volume and the third largest by area at 1,550 acres. The lake was created by filling a valley full of water which is retained by an earth and concrete dam. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Several visits to Ouse Fens Nature Reserve

Clouds reflect in the river at Ouse Fens in Cambridgeshire

At this time of year, sunsets are a bit more manageable thanks to the shorter days, so I have recently been visiting Ouse Fens Nature Reserve of an evening. This RSPB site it a haven for many types of bird life, some of them quite rare. Unfortunately my wildlife photography skills leave a lot to be desired, so I stuck to landscapes.

Thankfully there are several spots to be found along the River Ouse, and some of them do favour the sunset image, so I have been taking full advantage. Below are a selection of images, they're not all taken at different spots, but all are taken on different days, with accompanying weather conditions and cloud cover to add a touch of variety.

Friday, November 4, 2016

An evening at Wimpole Folly

Autumn panoramic with the Folly at the Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire

I recently paid a visit to Wimpole Estate, 3,000 acres of parkland, which contains Wimpole Hall, the largest house in Cambridgeshire, along with a church, a farm and a walled garden, but I wasn’t there to see any of that, I had my sights set on the folly.

This substantial pile of Grade II listed masonry was built in the 1770’s, and designed to resemble the ruins of a gothic castle. It was designed by Sanderson Miller, who was a noted follies architect of the day, and is probably best known for the Great Hall at Lacock Abbey, the place where William Fox Talbot created the earliest existing camera negative. The folly was actually built by Capability Brown several years later, when he ‘naturalised’ the parkland landscape in his inimitable style. 

I arrived in the late afternoon and made my way over to the Folly, stopping at various spots to admire and photograph the view. Thanks to the time of year, the trees were displaying their autumn coats and lit up the grounds in vibrant hues. Unfortunately sunset was a non-event, there was practically no colour in the sky, but once dusk had settled, a thick carpet of mist began to creep and curl over the landscape, which resulted in some rather nice autumnal scenes.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Autumn at Monks Wood part two

Close up image of black berries at Monks Wood

Following on from yesterday's post from Monks Wood, where we saw the trees changing into their autumn finery, in this post, also from Monks Wood in Cambridgeshire, we look a bit closer at some shots of the leaves and berries that festoon the undergrowth and the vibrant colours they reveal.

Monks Wood is a fair size woodland and doesn't get many visitors, which meant I pretty much had the place to myself as I rummaged through the thicket looking for shots. It was very peaceful indeed.

I hope you enjoy looking through them as much as I did taking them.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Autumn at Monks Wood part one

Cambridgeshire woodland in autumn colour

Last week I took a trip over to Monks Wood in Cambridgeshire, it was designated a national nature reserve in 1953, and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It has been described as one of the best examples of ancient ash-oak woodland in the East Midlands.

I was in search of some autumn colour, there wasn't a great deal about, but I managed to find a bit, as you see.

The following images show what colour I could find in this attractive woodland. In part two we will have a closer look at the leaves and berries that adorn the trees.