Autumn has arrived!

Autumn has arrived!

Autumn arrived about 5 days ago when the leaves on the trees suddenly started to change colour and over the next few days they became very colourful indeed.

When we got out of bed this morning there was bright sun and blue sky so we decided on a trip to Epping Forest to see the autumn colours.

Just to prove it there is a picture of me in thoughtful mood, camera draped around neck, and one of Amanda in the forest with a large friendly tree – and it is all one tree!

When I’ve had a good look through the pictures that I took I’ll post some more here together with some details of our walk. Watch this space!

Winter – here we come!

Winter – here we come!

We are now in November and it is distinctly chilly compared with October’s temperatures. The clocks have also gone back an hour, to Greenwich Mean Time, which means that it now gets dark before 5:30 PM. But look on the bright side – it’s only seven weeks to the shortest day and then the days start to lengthen again.

One has to be selective when taking photographs at this time of year. When the sun is relatively low in the sky all day photographs of streets in towns and villages tend to have very dark shadows on one side and very bright sun on the other making the result unpleasantly over contrasty.

However low sun can produce especially nice pictures in the right location such as this one that I took of Maldon a few days before Christmas one year.

Colours? What colours?

Colours? What colours?

There are now just two days of October left and the trees are still in full leaf with very few turning colour. Very few leaves on some trees are turning yellow, the weather is still very mild and there are still butterflies flying about. What happened to Autumn?

I wonder if other countries are experiencing a late Autumn.

Another visit to Copford Green Church

Another visit to Copford Green Church

I went back to Copford Green Church on a fine sunny day a few days ago and took some pictures of the exterior of the church. It was about the middle of the afternoon and because the sun is relatively low at this time of year it was casting large shadows of the nearby trees on parts of the church.

When I got back home and looked at the pictures on my computer I could see that whilst the parts in the sun were fine the shadows were so black that they were virtually devoid of detail. Most of the pictures were, therefore, scrapped although I kept a few.

I went to the church again yesterday, another fine sunny October day, but this time in the middle of the morning. On this occasion the sun was shining straight down the churchyard and casting very few shadows so the pictures were fine.

You can see the pictures by following the link on the Essex/Colchester page on the main part of the web site.

A visit from the Admiral

A visit from the Admiral

Yesterday’s weather was dismal but today we have sun again. Now that we are in October it is not as warm as it was but there are plenty of insects still around such as Dragonflies and Butterflies. Amanda took this photograph of a Red Admiral butterfly in the garden today.

That reminded me that about a month ago we had a lot of Latticed Heath moths coming into the house after dark attracted to the lights and I had taken a photograph of one but I had forgotten about it until now.

Quite a pretty moth even though it doesn’t have vivid colours.

Both photographs were taken with the new little Casio camera and Amanda likes it so much that she wants one. So we are going to get another one and since I bought mine prices have dropped by nearly 25% which can’t be bad!

I’ve seen some large Dragonflies in the garden but I don’t stand much chance of getting near enough to photograph one. They have very good eyesight and are very wary of any movement.

Extra mural activities.

Extra mural activities.

I'd like to be able to say that we went out this afternoon because the weather was so nice again – but I can't because it was raining most of the afternoon. The weather forecast was for showers and I suppose it was but with only a few minutes between each and the showers were long.

Still our proposed destination was St. Michael and All Angels Church at Copford and it was the inside that we were interested in seeing so the weather could do what it liked – and it did!

This church was described by Pevsner as the most remarkable Norman parish church in Essex. It is interesting architecturally and has a pretty woodland setting but the remarkable Norman wall paintings are the real attraction and that is what we went to see. These paintings were described by Simon Jenkins as amongst the best in England and you can see why.

Just remember that these paintings, together with the building, are Norman and date from around 1130 which makes them nearly 900 years old.

The picture above is of the Apse with the altar just out of the bottom of the picture.

What is unusual in a church is to see a complete set of the signs of the zodiac, all 12 of them, and some of them are shown in the picture above on the underside of the Chancel Arch which leads into the Apse.

This shows Christ as the central figure in the 'Christ in Glory' fresco shown in the first picture above.

It was certainly a worthwhile trip and I intend to go back in better weather and take an exterior picture and to try to get a general view along the nave.

A promenade in the park.

A promenade in the park.

We have had quite a number of warm, sunny days this September and so it was last Sunday when we went to Maldon.

We walked down to the Hythe Quay where the sailing barges moor and east along the promenade which slowly curves round as it progresses eastwards so I stopped to take this view looking back to the quay where you can see the barges with their tall masts moored alongside. The church is St. Mary’s which is one of Maldon’s churches and dates from Saxon times.

We turned off the Promenade before we reached the end and made our way to the riverside path and headed further east towards Northey Island. This view is from the path looking North across the river towards Heybridge Basin.

We reached the road to Northey Island and went down to the water’s edge. The causeway across to the island was still under water and is accessable only at low tide. It was on this causeway where the Battle of Maldon took place in 991 between the Saxons and the Vikings.

We made our way back along the riverside path and went back through the Promenade Park where I took this last photograph. The masts of the sailing barges can still be seen in the distance.

Another lovely warm September day.