Festival of leaves

I have a real fondness for leaf shadows

I have a real fondness for leaf shadows

And vivid colours

And vivid sunshine colours

But when it rains the choices are fewer

But on a misty rainy day, the berries look better

In the fog

Gleaming in the fog

Verena at Festival of Leaves has some glowing colours this week.  We’re clinging on to ours for dear life!


Jo’s Monday walk : Thorp Perrow

The magical colours of Autumn

The magical colours of Autumn

It lasts for such a short time!  Already the Virginia Creeper, whose rosy hue adorns my wall in Autumn, is strewn across our drive and whistling off down the road.  So I’m glad that I made it to Thorp Perrow Arboretum when I did.  100 acres of woodland are surely enough in which to worship Autumn colour.  And you can take your eyes off that tearoom!  That’s for much later,

Let's get delicious with the daisies first!

Let’s get delicious with the daisies first!

Over a little stream and the colour is already beckoning

Over a little stream and the colour is already beckoning

But close at hand there are jewels to distract

But close at hand, there are jewels aplenty

As always, I hand the map to the other half, and set off to follow my nose.  Or, in this case, a lovely little stream which wends its way through the woods.  Signs promise ‘Henry’s Island’ and ‘Kate’s Island’.  Will I be allowed?

A plopping sound stops me suddenly.  From overhead something lands in the water, sending concentric rings dancing to shore.  High in the canopy, a mischievous squirrel is dispensing acorns for our entertainment.

Sunlight dances in the woods

Sunlight dances in the woods

And radiates from the leaves

Beaming from bronzed leaves

And then the lake, in all it's glory

And then the lake, in all it’s glory

It's a 'hold your breath' moment

It’s a ‘hold your breath’ moment

Just the lake and the leaves

Just the lake, and the leaves

The history of Thorp Perrow can be traced back to the Domesday Book, where it was listed as ‘Torp’ manor house.  The trees came much later. Planting began in the 16th and 17th centuries, and in the 1840’s the Milbank Pinetum was planted with seed brought over from America.  There are now 5 National Collections of trees (Juglans-Walnuts, Tilia-Limes, Fraxinus-Ash, Cotinus and Laburnum) and 66 Champion Trees (the largest of their kind in Britain).

But it’s not at all a stuffy place!  A sense of humour manifests itself in many forms.

See the shark's fin in the water?

See the shark’s fin in the water?

Throughout this month the children have been treated (or tricked!) with a collection of spectres and ghouls lurking in the woods. Eek!!!

Just hanging about

Just hanging about

Or sitting patiently on a bench, for Jude

Or sitting patiently on a bench, waiting for Jude

There is also a growing Wildlife Park, where you can ‘meet the meerkat’, watch bizarrely plumed fowl strutting their stuff, and gasp at the exploits of the birds of prey.  The flying displays are one of the park’s most popular features, and are well worth seeing.  I’ll let you discover them for yourself. For me the park is mostly about the landscape.

Trees and topiary

Trees and topiary

And gasps of acer colour

And gasps of Acer colour

Beautifully weathered statues loiter wistfully amongst the trees.  They mingle with newer wood sculptures, showing no apparent resentment.

Walks spiral off in all directions from the mighty Jubilee Oak, and another named for Catherine Parr.  You don’t have to follow a specific route but simply wander to wherever your eye finds most pleasing.  It doesn’t really matter.  It’s all lovely!

Despite it being a glorious day, the park is quite peaceful.  Strangers nod to each other, wearing beatific smiles in the unaccustomed October warmth.  Only when we reach the Autumn bays is there a sense of urgency.  Bathed in rosy colour, we gaze upwards.

This is what Autumn is all about

Autumn in all its splendour

I'm more taken with the Sycamore wings

I’m more taken with the Sycamore wings

I can sense you beginning to tire.  There’s only so much beauty the eyes can take in, and we’re not far from the promised tea rooms.  If Meg were here she’d be fingering the bark on so many of the trees.  But you’ve earned your bowl of soup, and some of that yummy cake.  Which one to choose, I wonder?  There’s a full menu on the website, all very reasonably priced.  (Dare I admit to having the pensioner’s special?)

The Arboretum is just beyond the lovely market town of Bedale, in North Yorkshire, and details of how to get there are also shown on the website.

walking logo

I’m feeling quite tired myself after all that exercise.  I’ll just say my thank you’s and get that kettle on, I think.  You’ve certainly brought variety this week.  Thank you so much to all of you who keep following me down this path.  I really value your company.  Anyone wanting to join in will be made very welcome.  Details are on my Jo’s Monday walk page.  Just click on the logo.


Scotland has some of the most beautiful gardens, and in wonderful locations too.  Thanks, Anabel!

Inverewe and around

And I can’t argue with this description from Violet, either :

The prettiest town

A little fog gives a nice air of mystery, don’t you think?

Monday Walk : Texas Countryside

A comprehensive guide- see the sights with Jackie!

Day 2- Berlin

Richard doesn’t mind being a beach bum.  With beaches like this, who would?

Cornwall’s Seven Bays in pictures

A ‘kick of happiness’ is what you’ll get if you join Drake this week!

A lake, peaks and a queen

Ever tried Australian salmon?  Ruth explains why you might not have :

Salmon Ponds

Not so taxing as last week’s walk, but still you might prefer just to gaze in admiration :

Rain, Rivers and Waterfalls : The Steall Falls

Next up, a nice relaxing stroll around Central Park (or a ride in a horse drawn carriage if you’re feeling flush)

Travel Album: New York City (2)

Tobias is showing us a very different kind of beauty.  Come and see!

A Short Walk in Saint-Saturnin-de-Lucian

I hope you enjoyed the walks this week.  I certainly did!  Where to take you next week?  I haven’t made my mind up yet.  I shall just wish you all a Happy Halloween week and hope the weather stays fine.  Bye for now!

Thoughts on benches

A little meaningful conversation?

A little meaningful conversation?

Some posts seem to just glide effortlessly onto the page.  Others don’t!  They kick and bite and scratch.  You can’t find just that photo that you wanted, lost in the annals of untidy folders.  Too many thoughts collide in your head, often at silly times like 5 in the morning. And then there are those that miss the deadline by a smidgeon.  Just enough to be annoying.  I’ll leave you to work out which this is.


Rustle and tussle

A backlit ballerina

Twirling in the wind

And whilst I have been known to cheat occasionally, in the interests of a beautiful azulejo or two- can you spot these people sitting on benches?

I’m off out to kick a few leaves now.  You never know- I might spot somebody loitering on a bench.  If I do I may even share it with Jude.

Six word Saturday


“Reasons to be joyful- one…two…”

The sunshine after the rain

My lovely friend Sherri gave me my six words this week.  I was still busy thinking along the ‘Joy is‘ lines when she left me this comment- ‘I now have Ian Drury’s famous words ringing through my mind ‘Reasons to be cheerful, one, two, three…’ ‘  Sherri always manages to make you feel good, even when she’s not feeling great herself.  And I love the song!

The joy continued as I walked down the road.  When did I last see so much colour, still in the trees at the end of November?  It really is beautiful.  How can it fail to lift the spirits?

Look at this!

Sunshine after the rain

Breathtaking, isn't it?

Beautiful, isn’t it?

Even the ones lying in puddles are pretty!

Even the ones lying in puddles are pretty!

And then you have lovely mopheads of hydrangeas

And then you have lovely mopheads of hydrangea

During the week, I provided huge novelty value for a gentleman walking his dog in our local cemetery.  I wasn’t visiting a grave, but passing through on my way into town.  This old cemetery has a huge swathe of trees and I deemed it a fine opportunity to test out the camera function on my new smartphone.  My face must have been a picture as I repeatedly produced ‘selfies’ of me scowling into the phone, totally incapable of switching to landscape mode, or whatever it’s called!

Eventually I ‘cracked it’, but the dog was not amused.  He and his master had by then completed several circuits of the cemetery, each time the dog having a little snarl at my heels.  I must have looked like a grave robber!  I smiled apologetically at his owner, waving the ‘camera’.  He then ventured near enough to point out a nice wood sculpture, just in case I’d missed it.  When I’ve sorted out processing, I might be able to share some of the photos with you, but that’s definitely for another week!  Meantime, let’s enjoy a Festival of leaves.  It’s the last week for entries.

More joy when I bumped into a friend that I haven’t seen for the longest time.  Following radical back surgery, he was looking great!  One last little treat- I bought myself a bunch of tiny rosebuds for just £2.  They’re beaming away at me from the hearth- red, lemon and peach.  So- let’s have it!  What brings you joy?

In all of this, I have to spare a thought for our American friends, fighting freezing temperatures and snow.  In parts of Australia they have the opposite problem, sweltering heat!  All in all, it’s not looking too bad to be here in England right now.  If you can find time, don’t forget to say hello to Cate at Show My Face.  Without her, what would I do with my Six word Saturday?


A festival of damp leaves

My Virginia Creeper- clinging on!

My Virginia Creeper- clinging on!

I’m being a little bit naughty this morning, but hey, it’s Sunday!  I’m allowed?  I just have time to squeeze in two challenges before I go walking again tomorrow.  The forecast is wet so I’ll have to take the sunshine with me.

An abandoned leaf- but it's still green!

An abandoned leaf- but it’s still green!

This one's properly 'washed out'

This one’s properly ‘washed out’

And this one- a brittle brown

And this one- a brittle brown

But I do find colour hard to resist

But I do find colour hard to resist

Do you have a favourite?  Or some leaves to share?

I’m contributing to Festival of leaves- week 3 and also squeezing in a last minute entry to 1 Day 1 World Project 9:00 to 10:00.  I should just get away with the latter because Lisa is all the way over in Seattle so way behind the UK in hours. I’ve been meaning to rejoin her challenge for weeks and time is just slipping away.  I took these yesterday morning, on my way to zumba, in the rain.

If you can squeeze some time, please join in with either or both of these challenges.  They’re so worthwhile.  Happy weekend!

Festival of leaves- week 2

Solitary on an Algarve bench

Solitary on an Algarve bench

Or an Algarve beach

Or even on an Algarve beach

Have you seen any lovely leaves lately?  This is an Autumn challenge I discovered just last week. Rather nice, isn’t it?  Just click on the link to start those leaves falling.  I was out kicking the English leaves about today.  Just as beautiful!  Join me next week and see.

Six word Saturday

6ws-participating-in-bannerWould you believe,  GREEN this week?

IMG_9952Do you sense a theme going on?  Green has never been one of my favourite colours.  I always feel it needs something else to “lift” it or to provide contrast, but that’s probably my lack of skills with a camera.  In a week of not much happening, I thought I’d try to entertain you with a gallery of green.

It’s such an English colour, isn’t it?  And the colour of that little green demon, jealousy, of which I’m often guilty.  The leaves are falling at an alarming rate, so I guess this is my goodbye to Summer.  Next week’s colour is sure to be Autumn.

Time to see what’s befallen my friends on Six word Saturday this week.  Follow the links or click on the header to visit Cate at Show My Face.


Six word Saturday

Not an artistic bone in my…

What can I do with all these pretty leaves?

I often have good ideas, but am totally incapable of carrying them out.  The other day I saw a wonderful leaf photo of Ganesh.  I wish I could remember whose blog it was on, and I could show it to you.  The leaves were mostly green, but I got to thinking that with all the fabulous Autumn colours still about, I ought to be able to produce something a bit special.

Nothing too ambitious, you understand.  I know my limits!  A dog, a cat, maybe, if I tried really hard, an elephant with a howdah on it’s back?  I could picture them perfectly.  So after much effort, what did I produce?

Not exactly a floppy-eared puppy dog!

A cat? This is more like Piglet from Winnie the Pooh.

And the elephant? What a disappointment! An anteater maybe…

Not going to be framed any time soon, are they?  I’ll roll them up and put them away.  Well, at least I may have given you a Saturday smile.

If by any chance you’re reading this and have recently posted “Autumn Leaves”, or the Ganesh photo, please give me a shout, with the link, and I’ll be glad to include it here, to show what real artistry is.

As usual, many thanks to Cate for hosting Six word Saturday.  The link or the header will take you to her Show My Face blog and all will be explained.