The Leaves of Clumber Park

The woods have really pinged into life since the frost and we are finally seeing some good autumn colour. My camera, of course, is doing its best to take the colour back out. I really don’t know what goes through the minds of camera designers, but they really seem to hate colour.

I first noticed this when taking a sunset with my old camera. A deep red, cloud-flecked sky behind Sandal Castle became a pale pink sky with pale grey wisps.

In the old days of film you used to buy Kodak for restrained colour or Fuji if you wanted something brighter. These days, with my camera at least, you can get the same effect from selecting “Scene” mode. I selected the “Cuisine” option, which brightens all the colours. It’s meant for taking pictures of food but it seems to work for autumn leaves too. Some, like the oak leaves didn’t need help. With others I forgot to use the setting. It did help with the landscapes but even with this help the colours in the photographs are more restrained than they were in real life.

Julia had a Safeguarding Course at Worksop today so it seemed like a good time to visit Clumber Park. It’s the home of an 87 acre lake and the longest Lime Tree Avenue in Europe. It was planted in 1840 and is 2 miles long with 1,296 common limes.

At the end of the lake is a shallow section with a number of tree stumps and drowned trees. These date from the 1980s when subsidence from coal workings dropped the level of the ground. The new low-lying areas filled up and the trees dies. A few still stand to provide perches for cormorants and gulls.

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Drowned tree at Clumber Park

I read a haiku today, by coincidence. I can’t remember it, but it was about how maple leaves are at their best just before they fall. I wish the same could be said for me.

In Japanese they have the word koyo – autumn foliage.

Eleven Photos and the Benefits of Blogging

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Teasels in flower

The main picture shows some teasel in flower. They have gone over a bit but you can still see some of the bluish flowers. I thought I’d include the picture after showing the mature ones earlier on this week.

 

The fungus is growing out of one of the raised beds in the Mencap garden and the mooring ring is from the quay at Burleigh pottery in Stoke.  I spotted the blue butterfly on a visit to Men in Sheds in the summer and the bear was in a field near Scarborough advertising a music event. The dragonfly was pictured on our trip to Rutland Water, but I don’t seem to have identified it on the photo and can’t find the reference. I think it’s a Common Darter if I  remember correctly – I only see common things.

 

The bird with the bandit mask is another Nuthatch and the Swan was cruising down the river at the back of the National Arboretum last year. The mouse is from a harvest loaf we cooked on the farm and the remaining two photos are also from the farm – a Mint Moth (there were dozens about in the herb garden) and a poppy with chamomile.

They all bring back memories, and without blogging I wouldn’t have restarted with the photography – another thing I like about blogging!

A Grey Day

It’s a drizzly grey morning and the traffic is slow. That sentence reminds me of something, though there are no jumping fish and a distinct lack of cotton.

As usual, the drizzle seemed to bring out more traffic and the journey became more of a trial than usual.

I can’t help thinking the whole blues thing would have developed differently in a colder climate, or if the musicians were often clogged up in traffic following a cement mixer and a skip lorry.

That’s what happened to me this morning. There was also a woman on a Moulton bicycle, and an idiot on a moped.

The site of the incident was, as usual, the three lanes of traffic leading up from the Goose Fair roundabout to the site of the old gallows. It always seems so appropriate when you see how people behave there.

First the Moulton mounted woman had to skip up onto the pavement to avoid being killed by a bus. Then, as she returned to the road and stopped at the pedestrian crossing, the mentally challenged moped rider swept through and nearly hit a pedestrian on the crossing. There’s something about a bus lane that seems to suspend the normal rules of traffic. And there’s something about this stretch of road that, one way and another, that brings out the worst in a number of drivers.

The rest of the day is likely to be similarly grey in aspect as I have a list of domestic tasks to get through, some paperwork to do for Julia and more internet research to do for the jerk seasoning.  It’s not a thrilling list, but it needs doing.

 

 

I can’t think of a title – it’s that sort of day

We just had an interesting problem. Julia is working with an old notepad, or whatever we used to call small computers before we had all the stuff you can get now. You know the one – it looks like a small laptop instead of the current ones, which look like large phones. Having said that, a lot of phones also look like large phones compared to the old-fashioned phones. Life, and fashion, can be strange.

After charging and setting it going she found the screen was upside down. It took ages to sort out, particularly as she can’t read upside down. I can, as it’s a useful skill to have when visiting offices and trying to sell things to people. She was adopting a female approach – logic and trying all the buttons in an orderly fashion. I tried route one – went on my laptop and typed in “upside down screen”. Thirty seconds later the problem was solved. Sometimes a direct approach is best.

I’m now basking in self-congratulation. Julia is, it seems, unmoved by my brilliance.

To be fair, she’s probably still confused that I didn’t try hitting it,which always used to be my preferred option. Over the years I’ve discovered that hitting computers hardly ever works. That’s a feature I’d like to see on modern technology – a special reset switch that activates when you hit the malfunctioning item.

The answer, in case you ever need it, is – Control + Alt + the Up arrow.

I’ve finished my list of local Farmers’ Markets, though it’s likely to be of limited use to most of my readers. If anyone wants a copy (covering approximately a 40 miles radius round Nottingham) let me know and I’ll send you a copy.  There are 26 of them.

The poppy photo? Well, I always like to have a photo if I can, and it seemed seasonal.

The Best Laid Plans…

I didn’t quite get the Armistice Day post done as I suggested in the last post.  After writing two part posts – probably a thousand words or so in total -I decided to give it a miss because it wasn’t working.

At that point I switched over to cookery. Belly pork and roasted veg for tea, chicken and ham pie for tomorrow and vegetable curry for Wednesday. Tuesday, which you may have noticed was missing, will be fishcakes. I cheated by buying fishcakes last night, so I didn’t need to make any.

With the associated washing up, and moving of red cabbage, this took a surprisingly long time. Finding the tarragon took the best part of ten minutes because it’s a small packet in a chaotic kitchen. Julia had unpacked it last night and as she had neither left it in the bag or put it in the fridge I was left slightly clueless.

That left me with the choice of breathing life into a moribund post on Armistice Day or transcribing the list of Farmers’ Markets.

If you consider that the transcribing was more fun than the blogging you will see how badly things were going. It kept turning into a rant on the use of the poppy and the Great War centenary as a way of making money.

Things took a significant downturn when we had to do a Health and Safety assessment and fill out a wad of monitoring and personal development forms. It went badly.

Not as badly as the search for a birthday present though, that is really going badly and Julia isn’t helping by refusing to tell me what she wants.

Hopefully she wants a brightly-coloured paper bag containing supermarket chocolates, flowers and face cream, because it looks like that’s what she’ll be getting.

 

A Weekend of …er…nothing much

Got home just after 6am (after dropping Julia off at work, not after a night on the tiles!) and after a few Amazon reviews, a trawl of the internet for birthday presents (I have no idea, she won’t give me a clue and the day is looming), looking at the blogs of a couple of my new followers and a diversion into Avro Lancasters, I now find it’s 9am. Where does the time go?

Yesterday started with breakfast, dropping Julia off at work, taking stuff to the charity shop and going to a meeting. I’m helping someone launch a range of Jamaican seasoning, and this involved having another breakfast to test the recipe for his new omlette. It includes chilli, and has a definite wake-you-up quality.

Home for lunch. This was a cup of tea and a mournful look at the fridge as I decided that two breakfasts meant no lunch. I am dieting, and not enjoying the experience.

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Nice cup of tea

In the afternoon I compiled a list of Farmers’Markets in a 40 mile radius and may, possibly, have drifted off for a few minutes due to the sheer thrill of listing. The defining features of Farmers’ Markets seem to be that the website must be out of date and the contact details unavailable.

Then I picked Julia up from work, shopped, moaned about the price of things, fitted a cover to the car windscreen to ward off frost, made tea and toasted crumpets. It’s autumn after all, and you need to keep yourself warm and cheerful.

We re-heated a beef casserole I’d prepared earlier in the week and served it with red cabbage and kalettes. I like kalettes, they don’t take much cooking. they taste good and they are bursting with goodness, or so the website claims.

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Picture of kalettes from last year. I do have a beef casserole photo but it shows brussels, not kalettes, and potatoes, which I’m no longer eating.

After that I blogged, watched poor quality TV (including Strictly Come Dancing), suggested that we should go to tango lessons (I’ve always fancied myself as a smouldering Latin tango dancer, despite all the evidence to the contrary – lack of rhythm, two left feet and suspiciously Anglo-Saxon colouring),  made more tea, ate a supermarket panna cotta that was crammed with sugar and additives, downloaded Kindle books and, finally, went to bed.

There was, as you can probably guess from my anti-frost precautions, no frost.

I hate it when that happens.

And that brings us back to the top of the post. It’s 10 am now and an hour has gone into writing, and re-writing, a post about where my time goes.

After looking for a couple of stock photos to illustrate this post I’ve decided to do another post about my favourite photos, but first I’ll probably do one about Armistice day.

After that I’ll heat up the beef casserole for lunch and cook most of the food for next week.

Then I’ll wash up.

I do hope all this excitement doesn’t wear me out.

 

 

Autumn Leaves

I finally did what the photography magazines have been recommended for the last month and looked on the floor. There are, ass they point out, colourful leaves on the floor.

The problem is that on a well-walked path many of the leaves are looking a bit threadbare. I’m sure there are still plenty of nice ones in the woods but I didn’t really have chance to check today. Another trip is needed.

Here is a selection of a few of the better ones.

 

They are reasonably easy to photograph compared to birds, as they aren’t very mobile and you can move them round a bit. However, they are trickier than teasel as they tend to blow away as the breeze stiffens. See my last post for further comments on this.

I’ve added a couple of other shots too – one of leaves catching the light whilst still attached to a tree and a couple of an archway that links two of the islands in the lake (taken from different sides of the lake). I can’t recall the exact date when the lake was built but a quick scan of the internet suggests 1750, which seems reasonable. It looks a bit like a bridge but it looks a bit steep and impractical so I’ll stick with “archway”.

The final picture is an example of “health and safety gone mad”, as I would say if I was writing for a tabloid. I’m waiting for the warning about uneven ground. There was one at Donna Nook on Monday. Uneven ground in the countryside, whatever next?

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Yes, I’m sure they can. I expect the sign is more about avoiding liability than about preventing people being injured. Or am I just been cynical?