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.

Path through the towering silver birch trees at Holme Fen in Cambridgeshire
An impressive run of silver birches with splashes of golden colour.

Holme Fen in the Cambridgeshire Fens draped in autumn hues
This spot was in a little glade next to Boston's Mere, a man made lake at the eastern end of the reserve.

Textured bark of a silver birch tree in the woodland Holme Fen
A close up of two birch trunks nestled among the ferns.

White bark of the silver birch with bright yellow autumn leaves and red ferns
Another shot from the banks for Boston's Mere with the lemon yellow leaves and the blazing red ferns.

Natural England woodland of silver birch trees at Holme Fen
Trunks of several young silver birches with some subtle colour behind.

Artistic photograph of silver birch and red ferns in the Cambridgeshire Fens
These two were a bit more experimental in nature! I panned the camera upwards as I took a shot of a 
particularly dense clump of trees.

Impression of silver birch woodland at Holme Fen in Canbridgeshire
Same technique, just not as fast.

Holme Fen autumn leaves surround a single young silver birch at Holme Fen
The light by now was getting dimmer and more subdued.

Silver birch tree stands in focus in front of a woodland in Cambridgeshire
A spray of yellow leaves against the more muted background.

Atmospheric Holme Fen with a fallen silver birch tree over red ferns
There are quite a lot of fallen trees in the woodland, and some of them are quite photogenic. Just make sure 
to test how sturdy they are before taking a seat on one. I speak from experience, as sitting down on a 
completely rotten trunk and have it immediately collapse under you can be a bit of a shock!

Holme Fen woodland is home to the largest collection of silver birch in the UK
Four pale trees stand alone.

Silver birch trees stand among the autumn colours of red and orange
Burnished autumn foliage cascades down to the ferns below.

Dead white silver birch stands alone with orange and red leaves in the background
This dead but still standing birch stood out for its whiteness.

Magical woodland of Holme Fen in the Cambridgeshire Fens
A small pathway winds its way past this particularly green little tree.

Natural England woodland at Holme Fen with full autumn bloom on the silver birch trees
Warm autumn colours above and below set off the pale trunks of the silver birches.

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