Linacre in Winter

A little while ago Tiro and I went trundling out to Linacre to see the reservoirs in winter.  Not full deep winter, mind you, just the recent bit of the season were the proper weather’s not quite kicked in yet.  It was cold, yes, but no sign of frost, snow or ice which was so common this time two years ago.

With the leaves almost gone, and the branches and trunks bare in the bite of winter, there’s plenty of chance to see fungus growing on fallen trees:

tree fungus1
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tree fungus2
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tree fungus3
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tree fungus4
The remains of ivy weaves itself around a tree trunk:
woven ivy
Linacre has many carved faces-in-the-leaves: in stumps and tree trunks. I felt this one was mirroring the forest in winter; a craggy oak-leaved face with eyes closed, beginning the long sleep:
tree faceMost leaves have now fallen:

leaf on a bridgeAnd the ones remaining are already well into turning:

fading leaves

Pretty much the only wildlife we can find out in the cold is a solitary ladybird:

ladybird.

Eventually we come out onto the shore of the bottom reservoir: it’s been drained so that engineering work can take place:
empty 2
Take a look right at the top left corner: just going into the water is a black and yellow striped pipe. Just below that is a sandbank strip. Pay attention: you’ll need to remember the distance between that bank and where I’m standing to take photographs in the next few pictures.

(Click on any of the following for a the full sized picture!) As we stand there, we realise that we can see something on that sandbank.  Over in the distance, through the zoom lens I see:

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I’ll admit I don’t get to see Grey Herons very often: in fact, this is about the third time I’ve ever seen one.  Even from a distance.

And then, something amazing happens: we realise that there’s not just one.  It’s a tad blurry, yes (put it down to distance and that fact that they’re moving), but you can make out two herons flying, just under each other.

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I’ve never seen two herons together before. As they land, we’re treated to this:
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And life is amazing 🙂

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