As if overnight the gold of autumn has gone.. now just a carpet of leaves on the woodland floor. All that is left are the brown leaves of the Oak and even they are starting to thin and drop. But for the next week or so and no matter if you are a well weathered and Ancient Oak as the handsome specimen above…. or one of the taller mature Oaks of the more open woodland, it will be your rich brown leaves that cast the shadows…
This morning it is cold. The overnight frost vanished so quickly you would not know it had paid us a visit but the lakes were left frozen. But that frost had done its job and removed just about every leaf from the Beech, Sweet and Horse Chestnuts and Sycamore.
The benefit is of course that the low morning sun could cut its way through to that carpet of leaves casting long shadows yet a surprisingly warm glow…
Now the leaves have gone from the Beech we can enjoy the spectacular patterns and graining of the trunks that are topped off by a skeleton of branches. Trunks with roots digging deep to support these majestic trees of the woods, from winters winds to come….
But we will let the Oak have the last word.
We could not leave with out paying our compliments to the famous Old Man of Calke.
Aged at well over a 1000 years this Veteran Oak still stands firm on its mammoth trunk
( I will have to measure its girth sometime)
Each spring we watch to see the new shoots appear, then marvel at its very full head of bright green leaves across the summer and then
finally with some trepidation watch autumn takes its toll.
We always ponder if this might be its last winter….but after 1000 years I guess it will out see me !
Another great day….but for once it did feel as if the start of winter had arrived.
(C) David Oakes 2016