Under a Blood Red Sky

Just typical – mid-October, a day off work and ex-hurricane Ophelia rolls up.

With a grim weather forecast the original plan of a day out around Leighton Moss and Gait Barrows was changed to the far closer to home Dunham Massey estate. By 10am the temperature had reached a remarkable 21°C and the southerly wind was picking up.  Somewhat bizarrely the sky had taken on a distinct reddish tinge. As mid-day approached a bright orange sun broke through.

Pointing a telephoto lens at the mid-day sun is usually a bad idea. However with the light intensity approaching levels more normally associated with dusk it was too good an opportunity to  miss. Apparently on its long journey north Hurricane Ophelia picked up a lot of dust from the Sahara. Mixed with smoke from fires burning in the forests of Spain and Portugal this was the result.
A Fallow Buck taking a break from rutting season.
Carefully checking the Deer House………….
Another tired looking Fallow Buck enjoying a rest.
Doe a deer, or to be more precise in this case a female Fallow Deer. During the rutting season the dominant Buck maintains a Harem. Typically these tend to be found in the heavily wooded areas.

With a strange absence of bird life it was time to take a walk back towards the main house and the “Winter Gardens”

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The common Honey fungus The Sickener – half eaten!
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Cyclamen neapolitanum Yew berries – a Redwing favourite
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A mega Owl ! Great camouflage
Plenty more leaves available ……………….

The real highlight of the “Winter Garden” was the Cercidiphyllum japonicum, or カツラ, 桂. The distinctive smell of candy floss and burnt toffee resulting from the sugars breaking down in the leaves was incredible.