Grebes and swans

As the sun goes down on Melchett Mere (previous post), the grebes use the last of the light to carry on fishing, frequently disappearing under water.

And the mute swans begin to settle for the night.

 

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Low sun on Melchett Mere

On a clear January afternoon the sun slowly settles down behind the trees. The effects on the water of Tatton Park’s Melchett Mere are quite striking.

low sun on melchett mere

Boxing Day in Tatton

Many people were out to walk off the Christmas food in Cheshire’s Tatton Park. A clear sky, sun going down, still water on the lake, trees, gathering mist over the grass – promising ingredients for photographs, despite the reducing light level. How about these trees?

Deer Antlers

It’s the antler growing season in Tatton Park, Knutsford. The growing antlers have a wonderful soft appearance, compared to the harsher, more angular full grown variety. I was fortunate to capture antler pics of both red deer and fallow deer on recent visits to the park.

The antlers of the two species are completely different, in that fallow deer are the only UK deer with palmate antlers.

Bluebell time

What a glorious springtime in many woods in the UK, with the bluebells out. The above are at Anderton Country Park, Northwich. The following are in Tatton Park, Knutsford’s Dog Wood, recently cleared of invasive species to encourage just such native plants.

bluebells_dog_wood_feature

At the same time you also get the deeply pungent smells of wild garlic, with its white flowers. Somehow each sticks to its own, as you rarely see them closely intermingled.

wild_garlic_anderton

 

The autumn rut

We’re walking by the lake in Cheshire’s Tatton Park on a grey late October afternoon. Red deer often congregate near the Knutsford entrance, but today are not to be seen there. Further into the park we hear the baying of a stag, then and answering roar from a slightly different direction, and so on.

Turning up towards the bank covered in the great avenue of beech trees we pass a few delicate roe deer, and then catch the pungent smell of the red deer, a deep pungency that you only get at this time of year.

Higher up, a couple of women are stopped, looking over to the right. Gaining height, we suddenly see what they are looking at – two large groups of red deer, each with a large stag at its heart, surrounded by females and younger deer.

The great stag with magnificent antlers lets out a mighty roar, soon answered by his counterpart with an equally mighty roar. The other deer appear to ignore them and carry on munching, or standing or sitting taking the air. Apart from the stags, only the watching people seem to be greatly impressed, slightly afraid even.

Power and dominance are clearly established, there are probably enough females to go around; it never comes to the locking of antlers.