Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
~John Keats~For me, there was nothing more evocative in Autumn as the changing leaf colours and fungi. This was the view outside my office. Isn’t it simply stunning? A tapestry of rich colour with shades of yellow and russet. And in the afternoon, the tints shone like burnished copper and all the various shades of yellow, amber and red, glowing golden in the sun where the low beams of sunlight reached them. I couldn’t wait to be out during my lunch break and head out to the woods to revel in the glorious palette.
Hordes of fungi had sprung up in every corner, alongside the aroma of wet earth and rotting leaves. I wish I knew a lot about foraging because it would be lovely to pick them for dinner. They were everywhere…
I am … a mushroom; On whom the dew of heaven drops now and then.
These gorgeous views doesn’t stop me from doing my work. I’d been working hard on the Reading lists, e-books, Audit Commission collections, Official and European Union publications and the never ending “urgents”. I’m hoping to finish the Audit Commission collections by the end of the month. I also had to get to grips with RDA, a real pain the a—e. I wanted to do original cataloguing using these new standards but if I’m in a rush, I reverted back to AACR2.
Everyone must take time to sit and watch the leaves turn.
On Saturday, we checked out Bradgate Park again but this time we went through The Hallgates (Cropston) entrance. It was the opposite end of the Newton Linford entrance, about 2 miles apart. Since we were quite early, there wasn’t that many cars and it was a tiny car-park. At first we walked along the tarmac but we got closer to the moss covered stone wall when we spotted a few birds landing on it. There were the usual Robin, Dunnock, Chaffinch and hang-on, a Redstart. Our first sighting ever What a brilliant start for the day. We continued walking along the wall, hoping to catch more new sightings. We didn’t see the feathered kinds but came across these Fly Agaric. This quintessential toadstool, although poisonous, appears on Christmas cards and New Year cards as a symbol of good luck. What a contradiction.
“If only one could tell true love from false love as one could tell mushrooms from toadstools.”
Then across the tarmac, below the spectacular display of the season’s vivid colours, we spotted another group of mushrooms in the shade. The smell of fallen leaves, musty and damp, a smell peculiar to Autumn enveloped us as we got busy clicking away.
We strolled towards the very busy Deer Barn Tea Room and checked out the nearby field. A herd of Red Deer were having a siesta in the warm sun. We could hear the bellowing, roaring and barking echoing around us but they were not out in the open which was a bit unusual. The stags should be parading themselves, bellowing, bush bashing, antler clashing and stinking their way through out the rut. We spotted another herd of Fallow deer on the rocky outcrop. We walked silently past a herd of sleeping deer and spotted several clumps of mushroom on the banks of the bridleway. It was a foragers paradise. It was also a fabulous time for woodland walks, scuffling through the fallen leaves as we made our way towards the herd.
October is the fallen leaf, but it is also a wider horizon more clearly seen. It is the distant hills once more in sight, and the enduring constellations above them once again.
We were getting quite close to the herd when this huge fallow buck suddenly put his head up and eyed us. OOPs . Very slowly and quietly, we walked towards a tree enclosure and stood behind it as a precaution. It was better to be safe than sorry. Those antlers looked menacing. We decided to stay here until the buck decided to join his family. Phew…then only we continued our adventure.The views up here were breathtaking. We had a breather and a drink enjoying the spectacular scenery. Flocks of migratory birds flew above us. We could hear Jays calling from the woods. Then we made the slow walk downhill towards the car-park. We also saw our first Small Copper feeding on the heathers and it also might be the last butterfly we will be seeing this year. We are regular visitors to Bradgate Park and there are still pockets of the park that we’d not seen before. Mind you, the park was 830 acres.
Since we had a bit of time left on the ticket, we drove to Newton Linford to see if there were any Jays about. They’d stripped the tree of acorns and as we walked around the majestic oak, all you could hear was the crunch of fallen acorns cracking beneath our feet. A pit stop at Groby Pool revealed nothing and the Buzzard wasn’t at his usual place on the electric pylons.
We made an early morning trip to our favourite playground to catch the mists rising from the reeds. As we drove along the lane, it looked promising as the mist bathed the landscape in an eerie fog. After parking the car, a stunning scene unfurled in front of us as the mist disappeared and the early morning sun illuminated the hundreds of dew bedecked cobwebs. Spiders had been busy weaving overnight their gossamer-like webs across the thistles, bushes and branches. Utterly beautiful…
We walked past bushes laden with berries which will provide food for the birds in winter. Hopefully before the Fieldfares and Redwings stripped them bare. We went straight to Baldwin Hide and the mist was still rising when we heard the shrill cries and saw a flash of scarlet blue, make it two, disappearing down the lake among the bushes. My first sighting of a Kingfisher this year and its October. Better late than never huh…An Egyptian Goose and the hybrid goose was fast asleep on the island.
We could hear the noisy Widgeons on our way to East Marsh Hide. There were more than 50 of them, drowning the Gulls and Lapwings. We also spotted the Common Snipes, well camouflaged on the opposite bank. And then a whole bus-load entered the hide and the noise was unbelievable!!! We just shook our head and listened to the b---s—t ping-ponging around us. They left after ticking their boxes. Phew!!! And when it was silent, this gorgeous wren popped over to say hello.
We decided not to go to Carlton, not with the bus-load about. We popped over to Teal Pool Hide and had the best moment of my life. A Kingfisher was perching on the dead tree at the far end of the pool and watching intently the water below. He was in this position for quite sometime before another intruder flew in. Man…it was like waiting for the bus. For months, I’d not seen anything at all and today 2 turned up. There was a scuffle before the intruder flew into the bushes in front of me. I was grinning from ear to ear. It was my lucky day. We left when both of them flew away.
“The rose petal floats on water. The kingfisher flashes above the pond. Life and beauty swirl in the midst of death.”
At home, we were back in the garden. There was so much to do in the garden. Babe had purchased the appropriate tools and had lopped off the higher branches and trimmed the bushes.The garden looked a bit bare at the moment but I’m sure it will spruce up in spring. It was funny because we were being supervised by this adorable House Sparrow who told Babe off for trimming too much :-)
And here’s the weather forecast for the coming season. It doesn’t look good.
When leaves fall early,
Fall and winter will be mild;
When leaves fall late
Winter will be severe
I also like to wish a Very Happy Birthday to my mother-in-law. We hoped you’d a lovely, lovely time. God bless.