Oct&Nov: Autumnal Adventures!

It always seems to be this time of year that passes by me like a blur, one minute it is the start of Autumn and the next it's freezing cold, blowing a gale and rain clouds are always trying to find you! I'm sure that the ever constant Christmas adverts don't help with this feeling but alas... It feels like I haven't managed to do much photography yet again, but when I looked back onto where I had been and what I saw on these walks, I was glad I had days which were all lovely, rather than several excursions which had been hindered by the bad weather!

Another reason I haven't managed to get out much is because I'm moving house (again!) so I've spent my free time viewing flats and sorting out what I need to buy etcetera! This alongside the rapidly darkening evenings has meant that I have not had much time for walks whilst the weather was suitable to have a bit of an explore. I also did triple my usual hours at work in October alone so that meant majority of my days off that month were spent binge watching TV and moaning about how tired I am as I had zero energy to drag myself out for a walk most days! Still, this money has come in handy for the move (although I would have liked to buy some camera equipment if I wasn't moving!). I'm hoping once I get settled in my own place that I will be in a good place to start getting out with my camera again. I've had several moments where I've disliked the work I've produced and this has impacted my enthusiasm for taking my camera out with me. I always take my phone with me, but it can't always get those quick shots that my Canon would have. I'm taking this move and the approaching end of 2019 as an opportunity to have a fresh start with many aspects of my life, and to motivate myself to do my hobbies such as photography!

During the moving process I had to go to Crook to sign some documents for my flat, so I took this as the perfect opportunity to spend a bit of time by Lake Windermere before my appointment was due. As it was quite cold for a late evening in November there was hardly a soul on the lake shore, and those who were around were plenty far away that we had plenty of space to just wander along. As we overestimated the amount of time it would take to arrive (expecting just a little lakeside wander) based on the traffic, we grabbed a coffee from one of the little shacks that was still open at that time and sat on rocky outcrop as the sky began to project the sunset, and that days performance feature warm oranges and cold blue shades. The palette of colours was reflected onto the surface of the water and the colours caught on majority of the waves caught by the tide of the lake. Now and again a boat would cut through the water and the colours would have a moment in time where they looked like a piece of tye dye before falling back into their correct places to mimic the sky. By the time that we had to set off back to our car most of the colour had faded from the sky, and the hills and islands we had previously been facing faded into the darkness.

One overcast Sunday, we decided to take advantage of being members of the National Trust and visit the grounds at Sizergh Castle, particularly as I expected there to be some fantastic autumnal colours around the house and pond. I was right! The winter foliage along the paths had filled their designated soil and began to hang over the stonework which marked the pathways. The flowerbeds had been filled with carefully chosen plants which bloomed with vibrant orange petals and shrubbery which had shades of red and pink which contrasted beautifully against the evergreen plants within it. It seems almost as if they have carefully chosen the trees which are planted here too, as each tree seemed to be in different stages of autumn, some of the leaves were yellow and about to drop off the branches on the next windy day and others seemed to have just began to curl up against the cooler temperature. The Japanese Garden was also full of colour, something which I'd found rather plain in the summer months, and the raindrops resting on the leaves of the plants were glinting under the cloud-restricted sunshine.

When the weather began to drizzle once again that day, we made our way into the small patches of woodland which lie on the castle grounds and surrounding land for shelter. Although it was a little sloppy under foot, it did provide solitude from the falling rain. We managed to find a dry-ish fallen tree just off the path to stop and have a drink from our flask before heading towards the small pond which has a viewing station to watch the wildlife that resides here. The colours here are much more muted than those in the main garden, but it is a great spot to escape the hustle and bustle of the visitors within the castles grounds. Once the rain had lightened, we made our way back into the grounds and wandered to the pond which rests underneath the main entrance to the castle. The rain had brought out the red pigment in the brickwork along some of the walls which were home to trellis plants bearing brightly coloured plants reminiscent of summer - something to make you smile on such a dreary day!

For this years Bonfire night we decided to wrap up warm, make a flask and some snacks so that we could find a good spot on the ascent of the Helme to watch the fireworks going off across town and a nearby pub. We knew from last year this is a fantastic place to watch the pubs fireworks from, but we wanted to go higher up the hill this time for better views over the town before and after the main display. It was fun wandering along these paths by flashlight, looking out for distinct markers such as clump of trees to make sure we were vaguely on the correct path we needed. Some other people had the same idea as us so we managed to find a spot higher up and slightly further away from other people so that we could have a clear view all around us. After the main display had finished, we made our way to the principle top of the Helme and watched some fireworks go off over the farmland and small villages to the southern side. As there was little light pollution this side it meant that the fireworks really caught your eye when they went off and it was fun trying to work whereabouts we thought they had come from. Once we had finished our flasks and more stars began to appear in the night sky, we made our way back down the hill the way we came before heading back home to warm up.

I like to try and get out for small walks even when the weather is a bit temperamental, and I've found a few places near my house that provides enough shelter from the rain, or are not too far that I won't get too wet wandering back earlier than planned! There is a cute little wood just off the next estate along from my house, its just nice and simple with evergreen trees and the usual shrubbery resting at the trees roots, but in springtime this area is filled to the brim with beautiful bluebells! The paths here are quite dry despite the rain, but there are a few muddy patches formed for the rain falling through clearings in the canopy above - if you don't mind a few bramble bushes these can be maneuvered around though! Another place I have found is a little patch of trees on the edge of farmland on a hill adjacent from Kendal castle. It has fantastic views of the old ruin from here, but due to the grassy pasture it can be quite soggy! I've enjoyed finding different routes up to this hidden viewpoint, as it appears it is rarely used by locals at all times of year! I will be bringing my camera up here once we have better weather as its quite a steep slope at places and I'm guaranteed to slip at some point!

Usually in the summer months I will try to avoid road walking or pavements wherever I can but the advantage of the nights drawing in is that I prefer the streets at night, especially if it has previously rained and the street lights are reflecting off the drops that remain on the ground. I think the quietness of this time of day during the darker months is also a reason I enjoy it so much, as my last house was in a pretty rural location I'm not that used to sounds of a busy town. This has certainly made my walks back from work much more enjoyable as I've finished most nights once all the colour has been drained from the sky. This is making me keen to get out and do some street photography, it always seems to be this time of year I get the urge to do this! I know I will be pulling my phone camera out constantly once houses start decorating for Christmas, as that will be here before we know it! Scary to think this year is coming to a close!

Here's hoping for a bright, or at least dry, winter season!