Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Woodland colours at Holme Fen

Red ferns and green leaves under silver birch trees at Holme Fen

A couple of weeks ago, in my third visit to Holme Fen, the largest stand of silver birch trees of its kind in the country, and a place that has more atmosphere than you can shake silvery stick at, I get a bit of warm afternoon sunshine for the first time.

So taking advantage of that, I took a bit of time to explore and get a few shots of the autumn colours, both on the trees themselves, and on the vibrant carpets of ferns that cloak the forest floor.

To find out a bit more on the history of this intriguing place, including how it rivalled the lake district in its aqueousness, and why eels were used as local currency, see my previous post on the area.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Autumn at Hinchingbrooke Country Park

Trees in autumn colour in the Hinchingbrooke Country Park in Cambridgeshire

A couple of weeks ago my camera and I took a little trip over to Hinchinbrooke Country Park to get some pictures of the autumn colour.

Hinchingbrooke Country Park has 170 acres of open grasslands, meadows, woodlands and lakes and wildlife. It includes 63 acres of woodland areas - an oak plantation; a hornbeam dominated woodland (Bob's Wood); and other woodland comprised of more mixed species (Alder, Ash, Sycamore, Pines, Field Maple, Hazel, Willow, Birch).

I’d like to tell you a bit about the history of the place, but I can find absolutely nothing about it anywhere, so I’m assuming it’s been created relatively recently, so you’ll just have to make do with the pictures of autumn bloom.

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.