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 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.
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.
The sun finally breaks through and the yellow birch trees are lit up.
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.
A little further on, the Newlands Plantation is set off against the still dark and stormy skies in the west.
My three canine companions precede me along the track. Harry, of course, and in front of him, Tilly and Layla.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Inside a kaleidoscope of colour.
A little further to the left.
The oranges fade to purple above.
Looking west, the orange gets more intense still.
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.
Skirting the Whitefield Plantation, looking back and the sun has set now, but it’s colour is still reflecting in the breaking cloud.
Zooming in on this, I think this is the nearest I’ve ever seen to the fabled Rainbow Bridge.
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.
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.