Shipley - Signs Of Autumn
w/e 16 October 2016
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

There have been several mornings recently when it's really felt like autumn and it's what we Ilkeston folk call "Fair weather" but the Annual Charter Fair doesn't arrive in town until this coming week so for this set of images we went to Shipley Country Park on the lookout for more signs of autumn.

We entered the park near Osborne's Pond and although the views across the water were as pleasant as ever, the quest for autumn colours did not look too promising.
Shipley Lane

We ambled up Shipley Lane where the signs were a little more encouraging but the predominant colour on most of the trees was still green, albeit in various shades of the hue.

At a hedgerow halfway up the lane we did spot one sign of the season - brambles.
Rose Hips

And in the same hedgerow there were also plenty of rose hips.
Derby Lodge

As we neared Derby Lodge, one small tree stood out but we were beginning to think we were wasting our time and had come too early to see the autumn colours at their best.
Splash Of Colour

Rather than turning back though we decided to persist and turned right into Bell Lane which, since our last walk in the park, has been resurfaced with a fine tarmac covering. The trees and hedges though that line the lane were still all green and it was not until we turned right again to follow the path towards the Visitor Centre that we encountered a single splash of autumn colour.
Cinderhill Coppice

Reaching Cinderhill Coppice things did look more promising with both red berries and golden leaves becoming the more predominant colours.

A closer look at some of the leaves in Cinderhill Coppice showed the various stages of the transformation.
Living Bird Table

As we crested the brow of the hill though we were greeted by a truly lovely autumn scene. A wildflower meadow with a backdrop of a range of seasonal colours was the sight that greeted us. The meadow is Shipley Park's "Living Bird Table" and provides a natural source of food for a wide range of birds. According to a small notice at the edge of the meadow (right), the land is cultivated and sown each spring with a variety of seeds to encourage insects and invertebrates and provides food for the birds well into the winter. The success of the scheme has resulted in flocks of up to two hundred yellow hammers and various finches being seen in the area during the winter months.
Seasonal Scene

As we made our way on to the Visitor Centre and then back to the start of our walk through the park, a last look back at this seasonal scene and the wildflower meadow showed that our quest for some signs of autumn had been worthwhile after all.

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