I love that there are still some leaves on the trees bringing muted Autumn colours into early Winter. This week has been hectic! I only got the camera out for a short while yesterday afternoon on a visit to the Woodland Gardens, in Bushy Park, with my hubby. It was really nice to spend a couple of hours relaxing and wandering through the woods, without any pressures or deadlines! Speaking of deadlines, it’s just one image today for all three Monday challenges, ShareMondays, Fotospeed and WexMondays. Hope you like it!
I have seen so many beautiful things this past week and I would love to share much more with you today but, I have to restrict myself! Mostly it’s because I’m involved in some ongoing creative projects that are a bit “hush hush” for now. It’s all very exciting! You will all get to see the outcomes of these but I have to keep you in suspense for a little while longer. Anyway, speaking of beautiful and exciting, here is a wonderful mistle thrush in Bushy Park. It was one of a pair, fiercely protecting it’s patch in the Woodland Gardens. It’s guarding a bounty of mistletoe in the treetops! When pairs of mistle thrush guard an area like this in the Winter, it usually means that they will nest in the area come February. So thrilled to see this behaviour! I really hope that I will be lucky enough to watch this pair on other visits to Bushy Park and see if they will nest successfully.
1) I haven’t fully grown yet!
2) I am growing from the duff
3) I thrive in the damp
4) I live under a golden canopy
5) I will pop if hit by a raindrop!
6) My skin is very tough
7) Believe it or not I’m edible!!
This beautiful woodland sits on land alongside the ancient Weald Way. In Spring the ground is carpeted with bluebells, now, in Autumn it’s crisp with leaf litter and bracken. The golden light in the late afternoon barely breaks through the canopy of leaves remaining on the trees. Even on a really chilly, late October weekend, I felt the warmth.
Happy Autumn everyone! This image was taken on the edges of Horsell Common, in the woodland next to the wheelchair accessible pathway. How I wish more of the countryside had better access and provision for wheelchair users and those with restricted mobility! The access that has been put in around several areas of the Common shows that it is possible to do, without having any negative impacts on the landscape, wildlife or natural feel of the environment. Our beautiful countryside really should be open and available to all! I would have loved to go traipsing off through the burnished bracken into the birches with the ghostly trunks and golden canopy but I am a realist! Some things cannot be made possible, but I thank The Horsell Common Preservation Society and Woking Borough for enabling me to access this scene, allowing my mind to wander where my legs no longer can.
I finally built up the courage to visit Tice’s Meadow Nature Reserve on Saturday. Surrey BTO membership secretary, Penny, had told me that there was disabled access so I nervously set off to meet up with the team managing the reserve at their woodland birdhide. After a bit of time figuring out the RADAR key padlocks to allow access for my wheelchair I was quickly surrounded by wildlife. Speckled wood, meadow brown and green-veined white butterflies danced all around me! I was so captivated that I nearly missed this little fledgling pop up into the cut branches it had been foraging around. I thought my eyes where deceiving me, the speckled head of a young robin and the tail feathers of a…of a….no….can’t be…..(takes photos then checks BTO online and does a little wheelchair dance)….that’s the tail feathers of a redstart! Whoop! Just so thrilled that this wonderful little bird stuck around long enough for me to get a few shots. The female adult was already calling to it from nearby shrubs. She’s quite drab, a glance had made me think female or juvenile blackbird, but smaller. They didn’t visit the woodland birdhide but we were delighted to see lots of juveniles there too, including greenfinch, sparrow, chaffinch, nuthatch, robin, goldfinch and bullfinch! It was lovely to meet the team managing the reserve. Warm, welcoming and passionate about sharing the joy of nature and wildlife with everyone. They already have local schools visiting and events for young people with learning disabilities. Several RADAR key access points have been installed and plans are afoot to have the main pathways made properly wheelchair accessible. At the moment the ground is hard and that allows the wheelchair to get around without too much difficulty but there are deep ruts to be avoided. I really hope that the team manage to get all the funding needed to develop the pathways and progress with other projects they have planned, including providing more learning activities for the children who regularly visit. I had a very successful Big Butterfly Count around the meadow areas by Horton’s Mount! So many blues on the wing. I think I might have finally fallen down that rabbit hole into Wonderland!