Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Autumn Creeps In

Autumn this year seems to be crawling in on all-fours, rather than striding boldly across the land. One place I thought we would be sure of a little colour is at Lynford Arboretum in Norfolk. In case you don't know the word, an "arboretum" is a collection of exotic trees, a very fashionable adjunct to any large mansion in eighteenth and nineteenth century England. But first a little stroll before we get to the Arboretum itself.


Quiet weather and a silvery light on the old gravel pits alongside the River Wissey.



And a secluded stretch of the river itself.


Turning back through typical Breckland scenery, with just the odd tree dressed for Autumn.



That all looks very peaceful, doesn't it? Though in reality there was a distant thumping of heavy artillery - that fence on the left is the edge of a military training area. Either they demolished the target or they gave up; the bombardment didn't last long.



Now just what is that strange yellow plant? I feel that I've seen it before, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't belong here in the Norfolk countryside. Answers on a postcard, please.

And so to the Arboretum....


The golden hues here were rather more impressive, especially the various birch trees.



At a distance I thought this might be some kind of sculpture in bronze, though closer inspection revealed it to be wrought by the hand of nature - just a few little fungi on top of an old stump.



The Arboretum mingles deciduous and coniferous trees to good effect. It seems more natural to photograph the Autumn colours against the darker backdrop, but here I thought I'd try it the other way around, with the golden foliage shiny through.



An old brick water-tower makes a frame for an isolated tree.



Memory card filling up!



This low-growing maple was spreading its coppery boughs beneath the soaring conifers.



It's a great place for fungi-hunting too. But lets walk on beyond the Arboretum....



After the orderliness of the tree-collection it was good to see nature at her wildest, with branches surging in unstoppable growth.



The Highland Cattle have very sensibly forsaken their summer pasture which is now partly under water, though they can live happily on far rougher ground than this.



They are now on much better-drained land. Flocks of Redwings, just arrived here from Scandinavia, were feasting on the hedgerow berries.



A resident female Mallard was taking life easy....



....while Lynford Hall was reflected in the water of the ornamental lake.




Take care.


28 comments:

  1. The wispy yellow plant reminds me of wild asparagus. The maple looks like a Japanese maple. Beautiful photos. The ducks couldn't pose any better even if they were stuffed.

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    1. Yes, I think you're right. Thank you. Asparagus is not a plant that I'd expect to see growing wild around here.

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  2. Lovely hike! I had a nice hike myself today at Starved Rock State Park in Illinois (USA). Huge sandstone cliffs have been carved by water into large caverns and there are great trails throughout to explore each cavern. Lovely, colorful trees along the Illinois river made for a wonderful hike today. I wish I could share pictures with you since you do such a nice job of sharing pictures with me! Thanks!

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  3. Wonderful photos! The ‘sculpture’ with the mushrooms is my fave. Lovely part of the world.

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  4. Gorgeous photography, - thank you. I am going to spend the rest of the evening getting lost in your pictures.....

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  5. Thank you for these serene and lovely photographs of one of my favourite seasons. I have had a long day, a fraught day and I really needed this heart balm. So much.

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  6. I agree with Salty Pumpkin Studio that it is wild asparagus which is extremely rare to find growing in the wild and is classed as an ‘endangered’ species on the GB Red List.
    Your photos are always very special to see John, whatever the weather, or the season, you get it right.

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  7. Wonderful landscape for walking.

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  8. Arboretums (Arboreta?) are wonderful locations to visit. The initial purpose is the trees, of course, but the original plantation soon engenders a deep and fabulous understorey, interesting ground cover, especially in the spring of the year when the wildflowers start to poke their way above the soil and humus, and in the fall when fungi abound. Birds and mammals, both seasonal and resident, take advantage of good habitat, and salamanders lurk under rotting logs, and newts and frogs take advantage of vernal ponds. The University of Guelph, less than a half hour's drive from here has an extensive arboretum which we have not visited in some months. Time to rectify that I think!


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  9. What a very pleasant place to walk. Despite the gray skies you found such wonderful fall colors.

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  10. Superb series of country shots John, the trees in the Arboretum are stunning in their Autumn attire and even though there are only hints of colour in the natural woodlands they still look tres gorgeous 🍁🌳

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  11. What a wonderful series of photos! I love how you find ways to frame some of the trees. I especially like the photo of the female mallard duck with the reflections. Thanks for bringing me along on today's walk. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

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  12. A beautiful walk there. I love the fungi photos.

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  13. Beautiful fall colours to enjoy on your walk. Excellent photos, John.

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  14. There is a lovely arboretum in the north end of the city which I haven't visited in years but your pics make me think that I should head up for a hike there.

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  15. This would be a place that would be hard to leave...I would be telling Roger Look! Look! So much beauty in one post...

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  16. I wonder if the residents of the Hall can the noise from the range? Such beautiful photos, I do like the fungi in particular. There's a lovely arboretum in NZ, established by a WWI returned soldier who was so devastated by seeing the destruction of the landscape, he wanted to save as many European trees as he could.

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  17. Some of your photos look like paintings. Gorgeous!

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  18. Hi John - gorgeous photos ... is it an asparagus plant ... ? Stunning early Autumn photos and what a glorious walk around Breckland ... all the best - Hilary

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  19. A lovely walk you had John! Your images are a joy to see!

    Maples and Acers are putting on a glorious show at present! I visited a local Arboretum yesterday and fortunately the sun was shining which highlighted the sometimes 'stunning' Autumnal colours!

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  20. The Autumn colours are stunning and each walk is a beautiful one. I like the fungi / mushrooms you photographed.

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  21. Hi John, I enjoy the photos and your comments and the reminders of our walks all those years ago.

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    1. Hi, Graham, nice to hear from you. Yes, I can still get one foot in front of the other!

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  22. Favorite.... golden tree in archπŸ’•

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  23. Thanks for the virtual photographic tour! I like arboretums (arboreta?). It possibly goes back to my early childhood when my mother (the Weaver of Grass) often took me for walks round Lincoln's arboretum. The highlight of the trip was looking through the mysterious round glass window in the concrete dome that covered (if I remember right) a Roman spring.

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  24. Your fall colors do look more subdued than here in New England, John. Perhaps, it was just the weather, time of day or time of year, as trees in many areas here are also starting to look sparse, but still others are very colorful. I liked the framing of the tree through the bell tower.

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