Coquet nature lover embracing Autumn
Something I like about our countryside in the Autumn is that wherever you look, there is a mass of colour and I'm not just talking about the trees. Each season brings its own pleasures and for nature lovers who enjoy photography, there is always a new opportunity to capture that precious moment in time with your camera or smart phone. In the words of Toulouse Lautrec, 'autumn is the spring of the winter'. Yes, it's a great time of the year to visit the countryside or take a walk in your local park so let's get out and kick a few leaves and search for conkers!
L'automne est le printemps de l'hiver
Ducks start to moult when they have finished breeding and by the end of the summer, it can be quite difficult to distinguish the ducks from the drakes as they all look pretty dull. Luckily, by this time of year, they have regrown their feathers in full which makes life much easier for amateur bird lovers like myself!
Male tufted ducks have black and white winter plumage whereas females are brown.
|(Fr-Fuligule morillon D-Reiherente)|
This male gadwall is very elegant now it has fully moulted into its winter plumage.
|(Fr-Canard chipau D-Schnatterente)|
Cygnets don't become white until they are about 10-12 months old so at this time of the year they are not quite so pretty with their grey-brown and white feathers which gives them a rather mottled look!
|(Fr-Cygne tuberculé D-Höckerschwan)|
Here is a photo of a cormorant, easily recognised with its eerie pose. The photo that follows is also of a cormorant which I mistakenly took for a heron until I used my binoculars! Well, the light was very poor!
|(Fr-Grand cormoran D-Kormoran)|
Quilts of colour
Forests full of fungiAutumn is a great time to look out for mushrooms and toadstools on the forest floor to photograph. They come in many shapes, sizes and beautiful colours too.
The first two photographs are of the poisonous fly agaric. Perhaps you can help me identify the others below?
|spot the frog|
Back to the birdsColumba palumbus
(Fr-Pigeon ramier D-Ringeltaube)
With over five million breeding pairs in the UK, wood pigeons are certainly pests to many gardeners. Luckily I don't have too much of a problem as I net young plants and avoid growing crops such as cabbage, kale, sprouts and broccoli. In fact, brassica massacres in my garden have largely resulted from swarms of cabbage white butterflies that manage to lay their eggs despite the fine netting, fleeces and hand made cabbage collars!
This wood pigeon is taking an afternoon nap while the young pigeon in the following photo is investigating further afield.
|time for a snooze|
Woodpigeons will often breed into the autumn and the youngster in this photo, with its soft grey beak, is from a late brood. The juveniles don't have the white neck patch until the first moult.
Although woodpigeons are renowned for devouring crops, they are also partial to berries, nuts and seeds. Despite their size and weight, they are remarkably agile as the next photo shows!
|time for lunch|
|robin in hawthorn hedge |
by Adelaide Crapsey
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp'd, break from the trees