Bittersweet October

Earlier this year, I booked a second autumn holiday at the Old Manor House Pig Barn in the pretty Saxon hamlet of West Dean, East Sussex. Former Eastbourne hotelier and amateur archaeologist Julian Martyr runs three holiday cottages here, called the Dovecote Garden. The cottage is probably the oldest building I've stayed in, easily trumping the Lower Farm Cottages in Blockley and Whitewells in Herefordshire by at least three hundred years!

Aside from photographing the already familiar Abbots Wood and Friston Forest, I had Brede High Woods and Camber Sands earmarked on the map; the unsettled weather that makes coastal photography so interesting, never materialised, so unfortunately I didn't make it to Camber Sands on this occasion. The first four days of my holiday was accompanied by thick fog; I've wanted to capture autumn woodland shrouded in fog for many years. Thanks to the proximity of Friston Forest, the misty glades were just a five minute walk away. The wet summer and autumn proved ideal for mushrooms; chefs and hippies will be delighted with their gatherings. 

Brede High Woods, situated on the High Weald, six miles north of Hastings, is a particularly diverse and attractive location. The only drawback is getting there if you rely on public transport. The woodland is in the middle of nowhere and the nearest bus stop is a thirty minute walk away in Broad Oak. Which brings me onto the subject of catching a night-time bus all the way to Rye by mistake! Thank goodness for my SatNav app and the kind man at Rye station, who re-opened the ticket office, so I could legitimately complete this supplementary leg of my journey.

Calamitous detours aside, my new book is now complete and ready to upload for printing. Many of the photographs taken over the last week feature in the book, but as I would like to retain an element of surprise, only a couple are seen below. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Autumn in Abbots Wood

Vanishing Point      Burgundy Drop Bonnet, Friston Forest

Friston Forest, Autumn Mist


Brede High Woods      Friston Forest in Autumn

Brede High Woods


Kasia Sokulska said…
Hippies and chefs only?! Ha ha! I love mushroom hunting in the fall forest, especially at dawn. It's an amazing experience. If I could combine it with taking photos as well, that would be my dream forest adventure!
Lovely set of images, Alan. One can actually start liking fall again, unfortunately here it lasts but a minute and it's followed by months and months of monochromatic vistas that are made survivable by mostly sunny weather...
I'm very happy to hear your book is finally ready!! Good luck, my friend! I'm very happy to be able to finally see some of your work after such a long interval.. :D
Alan MacKenzie said…
I'm glad to be taking photographs after such a long intermission, caused by "photographer's block".

I'm getting my hands on the Canon EOS 1DX on Monday! I'm not the owner, but the person lending me the Canon 300mm lens has just received his £5229 camera. He takes it to bed with him, apparently! If we have time, we'll take it for a test run.

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