Saturday 23 January 2016

Autumn on the Water

Approximately one third of the surface area of Milton Country Park is water.  Not surprisingly, the bankside trees and vegetation make a large contribution to the spectacular autumnal display in the park.

Autumnal yellows and golds reflected in Todds Pit
Todds Pit - 11 November 2015

In the first instance, the water simply reflects the colours of the surrounding trees.  Although this image was taken in the second week of November, in this mildest of autumns, the reeds and a great deal of the surrounding tree foliage were still bright green.

Goat willow bushes shine yellow on an island in Dickerson's Pit
Dickerson's Pit - 16 November 2015

This theme of the slow rate of change of some of the foliage is continued in this photograph.  Here goat willow growing on an island in the middle of Dickerson's Pit shine bright yellow as they catch the late afternoon sun.  In the foreground, the reeds are still the same colour as they have been all summer long.

Brown reeds at the edge of Dickerson's Pit
Dickerson's Pit - 12 November 2015

In contrast, it is these reeds (? soft rush Juncus effusus) on the northern edge of Dickerson's Pit that have already turned brown, while most of the surrounding trees are still green.

Collecting Leaves


Yellow leaves collecting in inlet
Dickerson's Pit - 25 November 2015

Leaves that fall onto the water are blown about by the wind until they eventually accumulate in a quiet backwater.  The leaves in this picture probably have not moved very far at all: this inlet is so sheltered these leaves are where they fell.

The Reed Bed

Over the course of this blog, I have been recording the changes in one particular reed bed at the north end of Todd's Pit.  In April, the reeds were still completely brown, despite the general greening of the park at the time.  By May, the bed was a fifty-fifty mixture of green new growth and dead brown reeds from the previous autumn. The reeds finally came into flower in September, by which time all trace of the previous year's growth had finally disappeared.

Reed bed turning brown backed by trees with yellow foliage
Todd's Pit - 2 November 2015

By early November, the reeds were already beginning to turn brown.  The flower heads in particular had already lost the purple brown of earlier.

Reed bed with brown reeds
Todd's Pit - 4 December 2015

Just over a month later, the reeds were almost completely brown.  Compared to the same bed in April, the bed is denser and the reeds are a more golden brown, but little else is different. 

Next:  Wind




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