Friday, 18 September 2015

Week 79 16/09/2015 - Autumn Approaches and the Deer are Looking Fine

Photo Blog Week 79 - Wed 16 September 2015

It was an odd day for me this week as this may be my last regular patrol so I was delighted that the weather chose to be kind. After all my breaks in photography over the last few weeks for holidays, forgotten cameras and atrocious weather I took more than 150 today and they proved challenging to edit down, especially a lot of autumn colour and red deer shots.

Red and yellow colours are appearing in the tree canopies, plants are turning to seed and autumn is clearly approaching. Being a nice day there were a good number of people enjoying the open spaces but after the school holidays there is a peaceful air about the place. I love it when it's full of kids but contrast is the spice of life. The males of both types of deer, fallow and red, are now fully antlered and bulking up muscles as the rut approaches. It is over these next few weeks that they are at their most impressive.


Starting next week, I have been given the opportunity for a trial with the Dry Stone Walling team for 3 months. Those of you who follow this blog will know that it is a subject which I regularly revisit. I attended an introductory weekend course in 2008 which, though it hasn't given me the skills which take practice to develop, it has given me the ability to bore for Britain given 10 minutes to talk.

I am hoping to continue my Patrolling role but on a more irregular basis and on a different day of the week as the Wallers also work Wednesday. I'll have to see how things pan out for the blog but keep an eye out for new posts some of which may be walling biased.

Tractor ride

The day oddly started with a ride in the Ranger's tractor.

Dan needed a lift to load this large stone pillar into the bucket. You'll see what happened to it further down

route: Car Park

 The classic South Face of the house over the main car park
Little highlights of colour near the car park

 The single patch of water lilies on the Mill Pond

 Water Lilly flower about to burst open

Brambles all over the Park. This one quite late in flower

 The trunk of one of the Sequoia's (Giant Redwood) in Crow Wood

  I haven't managed to identify this bush in Crow Wood which I don't think is native.
If you know, feel free to post an answer in the comments.

Autumn Colours

Autumn leaves on the ground

Maple turning yellow

Horse Chestnut


A 'reflective' look at the Mill Pond

A clear view of a sunlit Manchester city centre

Heading up Cage Hill

 Panorama from by The Cage looking out to West showing how wide the view is

East across the red deer sanctuary to Kinder Plateau

It is easy to miss the red deer at this time of year even when there are lots

The distinctive shape of Lantern Pike

Red Deer Sanctuary

Public access is not permitted to this area; the clue is in the word 'sanctuary'. It is where the deer can go to be undisturbed, especially important when the calves are very young when their mothers disappear with them into dips in the terrain to become invisible.

I needed to inspect a section of wall inside the sanctuary so was treated to an unusual view from deep inside.

This large group of hinds seemed rather puzzled at the invader.

but even at this close range the disappearing act continues

Rowan berries

  The black 'dot' is the control tower at Manchester International Airport.
The smoke is likely to be the airport fire service practicing. The have full size aircraft fire simulation.

Flowers still among the grasses with many casting seed into the air 

Deer Leap: These structures both sides of Lantern Wood provide a route for Red Deer from the Park and Moor herds to intermingle. They don't move in large numbers but a small number of animals will cross through stirring the gene pool a little.

The sun highlighting the contours of Kinder around the Downfall (centre)

West of Kinder the heather moorland gives the hillside a purple haze.

View down from the top of Cater's Slack near Lantern Wood.
The Cage which normally seems high up is way below the higher parts of the Park

top path through Lantern Wood

Step Stile

Remember that piece of stone loaded into the tractor bucket at the beginning of the day? Well, here it is again but now it is installed as the top step of this stile which the walling team are rebuilding.

High Moor

The highest area of the Park is the path from the top of Lantern Wood to Bowstonegate Farm entrance. Along here the views down and aside are stunning.

Lyme Hall house and garden

The Cage and across the towns East of Manchester to the northern Pennines

View North from high point

View South from high point along ridge to Sponds Hill and beyond

Jodrell Bank just visible

Descending from Bowstonegate Farm toward Knightslow Wood

I found myself feeling oddly nostalgic as I descended toward the end of this patrol. It's been almost 2 years and I'll miss this weekly privilege.
Fungi Fest: under a log near the head of Lime Avenue in Knightslow

Fallow Deer

Lime avenue passes through the Fallow Deer park 

This itch presents a good view of the structure of the antlers.
Fallow Deer males and females are Bucks and Does. The buck's antlers are quite different from the Red Deer having a flattened out section near the top. These are called 'palmate', as in 'palm' of a hand.
This Doe ands her fawn ambled out across Lime Avenue in front of me but were spooked the second they saw me

 Approaching the house along Lime Avenue 

more autumn colours over the garden

Red Deer

For completion of the day, all that was needed was some Red Deer Stags and passing the archery field with is soft green cultivated grass came across these invaders.

This sunning mature stag has managed to break the tip of one of the tines of it's antlers before it's even rut time. (middle single tine to left)




I'm not good at spotting birds and small animals but spotted this wren when I was looking at the deer. Several shots centered were blurred or hidden but I just caught it bottom right on this one

and a grey squirrel

The afternoon takes a final bow
as I head into the estate office to sign off for maybe some time

Today's track

Total: 7.98 miles (12.84 km) 5 hr 30 min

duration includes stops for chats, inspections, photo's and snacks

This Time Last Year

 Have a look at This Time Last Year 

Week 37 17/09/2014 Fungi Fiesta and Deer spotting

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Graham said...

Good luck with the new venture, Ged. I'll miss the blogs, and our lunchtime chats.

Ged i said...

Cheers Graham. I'll introduce you to other readers... almost 2 years ago, Graham was my mentor and introduced me to the Patrolling role. We have continued to meet up around lunchtime for a brew and a chat and it's one of the things I'm going to miss most.