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Autumn Colour Over Two Days

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

With a lot of rain in between, these are images from autumn colour at Rockford Common in the morning of one day and a magical sunset at Ibsley Common on the evening of the next.

Rockford Common Morning 7th November

Witches Butter on Gorse

Witches Butter on old gorse stems. After a damp and warm period, the fungi on the Forest has been very profuse and there is masses of this around.

Ragged and crazy clouds

The winds seem to have chopped all the clouds around up there. The sun (centre left) seems to be blowing a hole through the ragged and crazy clouds.

Yellow birch trees in the sun

The sun finally breaks through and the yellow birch trees are lit up.

Whitefield Plantation Over the Bracken

Now the sun is up, the glorious colour of the bracken creates a fine foreground for the view past a colouring birch to Whitefield Plantation across on Ibsley Common.

Newlands Plantation

A little further on, the Newlands Plantation is set off against the still dark and stormy skies in the west.

My three canine companions

My three canine companions precede me along the track. Harry, of course, and in front of him, Tilly and Layla.

Rockford path yellow birches

One of the paths that lead off Rockford Common invites you to walk down it with the promise of the colour in the birches. But we’re not going that way.

Pixie Cup (Cladonia) Lichen

Pixie Cup Lichen (Cladonia sp.) on wood by the side of the path. I’m sure I’m not the first to say this, but this always reminds me of Shrek’s ears.

Somerley House across the Lakes

From the edge of the common, Somerley House nestles in its surrounding woodland across the Blashford Lakes.

Ibsley Common Evening 8th November

I promise that I have done absolutely no post-processing on the following photos except to resize them. The colours you’re going to see are exactly what the camera picked up – unbelievably intense.

Whitefield Plantation Ibsley Common

This time we’re on Ibsley Common and the omnipresent Whitefield Plantation is viewed across the old gravel pit. The birch in the foreground and the gorse next to it shows the promise of the colours to come.

Birch reflecting the sunset

The colour of this birch tree is quite wonderful in daylight, but reflecting that burgeoning sunset, it and its surrounds were bathed in the oddest light.

Ibsley Pond Sunset 1

The solid overcast cloud that has rained on us all day is gradually moving east just in time for sunset. The whole bank of cloud is becoming suffused with the dying sun. Reflected in Ibsley Pond, well you just get two for one.

Sunset Ibsley Pond

Inside a kaleidoscope of colour.

Sunset Ibsley Pond

A little further to the left.

Sunset Ibsley Pond

The oranges fade to purple above.

Sunset Ibsley Pond

Looking west, the orange gets more intense still.

Southern clouds

Time to leave the pond for a while, we climb out of the gravel pit. To the south, the solid bank of cloud is breaking up.

Sunset Ibsley Common

Skirting the Whitefield Plantation, looking back and the sun has set now, but it’s colour is still reflecting in the breaking cloud.

Is this the rainbow bridge

Zooming in on this, I think this is the nearest I’ve ever seen to the fabled Rainbow Bridge.

Last sun rays

The cloud bank has lost its colour and then all of a sudden the last rays of the sun light up a path across it. It looks like the sky is on fire.

Ibsley Pond

The last colour is dying away now back down by the pond. A couple leave the pond with the evidence of their spaniels in the rippled surface of the water.

That took my breath away.


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