Saturday, 17 October 2015

An October walk in the Ribble Valley.

At this time of year it's about the turning of the leaves from the greens of summer, to the reds and golds of Autumn. It's nature's swansong before winter finally sets in. The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder, and the leaves are beginning to turn into the beautiful colours of autumn, as the chlorophyll, which keeps the leaves green throughout the summer, retreats for the winter.

This is a field maple, and like all maples is one of the most impressive of trees when in autumn colour. When you think of maple you think of maple syrup and the Canadian national flag, and of Japanese maples sold in pots for use in gardens, but we do have maples of our own,  as you can see.

I spotted this Virginia creeper growing up a farmhouse wall. It isn't strictly a native to the Ribble Valley, as its name  suggests, but then neither am I and we both seem to thrive here. Perhaps the climate here is not too dissimilar to that of Virginia.

Last month was about the berries, but this month it's predominantly about fungus, which is everywhere. This is a bracket fungus, it grows on the trunks of trees, and sticks out rather like a bracket attached to a wall. I'm not an expert on fungus but most fungi can be eaten, I'm led to believe, but without expert knowledge its a risk too far, as the consequence's of making a mistake can be devastating. 

Here are a few more I spotted.

Honey Fungus                                                       Cep

                                                   Shaggy Inkcap

Russila                                                            The Deceiver.
                                                                       I wonder why its called that?

I spotted this fox crossing a field, it was a long way away but I put the camera on full telephoto and placed it on a fence post for support. The depth of field is quite narrow but at least the head is in focus. I once went to Bournemouth for Easter and urban foxes were commonplace, but foxes in the countryside are more illusive and I was pleased to get this one. 

These are the seeds of the horse chestnut tree. As a boy we used to soak them in vinegar to make them hard enough to win conker competitions. A hole was bored through the conker and then it was used to smash someone else's conker before yours was broken. You received a few rapped knuckles but it was great fun. Playing conquers seems to be banned today as being too dangerous, like walking to school and playing outside with other children. Sad, don't you think?


  1. Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the colors nature displays and the bright blue sky. I love the aroma of spices from people cooking instead of BBQ, and I love the sounds of football playing on the TV. It's all a comfort zone to me and brings back a time when I was young. Plus I'm not one who likes the heat of summer. Thanks for the walk!

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