Fall into Autumn



I took eleven days holiday to visit my favourite woodlands before the clocks went back. It's always a strange feeling, when the sun sets in afternoon and one inevitably draws comparisons between summer and winter activity schedules. When the December sun goes down in mid-afternoon, at the same time in June, I'm only just getting ready to go out.  

Two storms in as many days left some forests quite bare of leaves. Days of thick cloud and strong winds followed, so it was a relief when the sun finally came out on 27th October. I've been visiting a small woodland on the Sussex/Kent border for two years. Despite its size, there's always something new to discover. The west side looks into a valley and catches the evening sun. There's a lovely pub about twenty minutes walk away. What more could a real ale-loving landscape photographer wish for?

Sunset in an Autumn Woodland

Sunset in an autumn woodland

Mellow Autumn

On September 28th, I enjoyed a beautiful walk along a country lane leading to a small woodland in East Sussex. It felt just like summer, except for the low sun angle. The road has oast houses, a waterfall and a small level crossing leading to the wood. I live in an area with alkaline soil, so I have to travel to the High Weald to see the Fly Agaric mushroom. They always appear in very late September and I have to be quick to beat the rot and mushroom pickers. The Fly Agaric is best enjoyed for its visual beauty, as its underground root systems play a role in woodland ecosystems. Anyone tempted to pick and eat a Fly Agaric will be talking to deer in 20 minutes and vomiting up their pelvis, while leaping over twigs like a show jumper on Pluto. 

Fly Agaric

Fly Agaric

Fly Agaric Absract

Early Autumn

Friston Forest, in East Sussex, is a beech and sycamore plantation the size of a small town. The hamlet of West Dean is nestled in a valley between Friston Forest and Exceat Wood. I rented a holiday cottage there a few years ago and enjoyed misty, early morning walks with my camera. My favourite location is just a five minute walk away, on relatively open hilltop. There is always something interesting to find on the woodland floor and the autumn evening sunshine lights up the south-western corner. On 12th October, I photographed three Bonnet fungi growing on an old beech stump. Later, on 29th October, I found the remains of a Wood pigeon, which had probably been killed by a Buzzard.

Autumn beech leaves bokeh

The Fallen

Autumn Maple Leaves, Friston Forest

Fungi in Friston Forest

Autumn Sunset, Friston Forest

Autumn Scene, Friston Forest

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