autumnal colour

Ailsa is looking for intensity this week so what about this apple orchard inside the walled garden at Berrington Hall? There was a lot of vibrant colour there this week: the fiery reds and sulphuric yellows were in competition.

I’m delighted to see so much colour around at this time of year. I shall soak it in to get me through the grey days of the coming winter.

Park Life

Sunday was a beautiful day. The sun was shining. It was reasonably warm for the time of year and it was my birthday. To celebrate we went for a walk in a nearby National Trust parkland, Berrington Hall, where a new route has been created through the broadleaf-woodland, followed by coffee and cake in the courtyard with live music from a folk group celebrating the apple harvest and a last lingering stroll around the walled garden and orchard simply dripping with apples of all colours and sizes. Care to join me?


We decided to follow the blue route but cut alongside the lake and then follow the yellow route to cut across and join the blue one again. Although we have visited Berrington many times, it has always been during the period when the lake walk is closed due to grey herons nesting there between March and July.

Looking back towards the house, built in 1775 by Thomas Harley and designed by Henry Holland in the latest French influenced Neo-classical style.

The park, which has spectacular views west towards Wales and the Black Mountains, was developed by the infamous ‘Capability’ Brown, father-in-law to Henry Holland.

Sheep are always to be found in the surrounding pasture land.

Many types of water birds visit the lake at different times of the year, including mute swans, great crested and little grebe, grey-legged geese and a number of species of duck.

A pair of Mute Swans

The pair of swans suddenly rise above the water and with a whooping sound they stretch out their long necks and flap their wide wings and glide elegantly to another section of the lake.


Leaving the lake behind we headed up towards a convenient bench at the top of the hill and then turned left and back into the woodland.

Bench view
Bench view
Autumn colour
Autumn colour in the little wood

The native woodland is full of shadows and patterns as the sun dips behind the clouds now forming in the west. The tap-tap of an invisible woodpecker disturbs the silence and small leaves slowly descend upon our heads like a golden snowstorm, whilst the ominous thud of falling nuts causes us to grin nervously.

In the native woodland

Once out of the woodland and back across the field the landscape opens up again with views towards Croft Ambrey an Iron Age hill fort.

And directly in front of us the west front of the mansion can be seen in all its splendour. A young girl merrily performing cartwheels on the lawn, the ha-ha forming a boundary between the house and the park (the installation of a ha-ha prevented the livestock in the park -cattle, deer, sheep- from encroaching on the more elegant and refined part of your estate.)

Music in the courtyard, with the faint tang of apple cider in the air.

I’ll leave the walled garden and the orchard for another day, but I hope you have enjoyed your stroll in the Herefordshire countryside.

If you enjoy a walk, long or short, then have a look at Jo’s site where you are welcome to join in.

Bench series #40

For the month of October I’m looking for a bench with someone or something sitting on it

(any kind of bench will do, but there must be at least one person, animal or object on the bench)

the 'Diana' bench
The “Diana” Bench at the Taj Mahal in India – yes there really is a bench under these ladies!

If you would like to join in with the Bench photo challenge then please take a look at my Bench Series page. No complicated rules, just a bench and a camera required :)

  • Create your own post and title it Bench Series: October
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag ‘bench series’ so everyone can find the benches easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new bench theme comes out on the first Sunday in November.

My Picks of the Week:

Isobel has some lovely benches from Camden’s Stable market and Lisa has benches with a view.  Debbie is back in London and there are more curves from Ruth in Hobart. Meanwhile Elaine has some controversial ‘benches’ – what’s your opinion? And my last pick from the metal series is a sweet bench from Dawn with unusual basket-weave.

As always there are so many delightful benches to view, I hope you will check out the other links within the comment section.

little things in life

A fellow blogger and friend has been posting some images of spring in Australia including close-ups of moss starting to sprout. It prompted me to take my new macro lens down to the river where I knew moss grows abound and where I had seen some tiny fungi growing just the other day. Unfortunately it was quite dark by the river (it is flanked by a high cliff and trees on the one side) and moss isn’t as attractive in its latter stages, but I did find the fungi and a few interesting little things to photo. They are not the sharpest of images, but as I have mentioned over on the flower blog where you will find more macro images, I am happy to record my journey with the new camera with the hope that as time goes on I will improve!

We will start with this quite small leaf covered with tiny hairs on which there were beads of moisture – from the early morning fog I imagine.


Next a look at some fungi – note that the puff ball ones are actually very, very small, probably the size of the nail on my little finger.

Then some moss – again with the droplets – ferns and a couple of flowers. I had not realised until now how much the spores on a fern look like tiny eggs.

And finally one insect (there was a spider too but the quality of that shot is far too embarrassing to post here) a bright red-brown fly. If you click on him to enlarge the image you will see the hairs on his back.