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Archive for October 30th, 2010

Today (29th) was just about the most perfect day for taking photographs, lightly overcast! 

an overcast autumn day in London

I love this kind of weather coz then the colours appear more vibrant and not bleached out by the sun. Add to that; autumn!  My favourite season of the year by a whisker…. just ahead of spring which in the UK is just fabulous.
I usually get 5 hours off on a Friday so I made the most of the time and headed off round the neighbourhood to get some photos for my autumn collage;

autumn colours

trespassing on a neighbours property to get my shot 🙂

I am trying to create a movie on my computer! (unsuccessfully so far 😦 )
The colours at this time of year are fabulous; reds,

autumn colours

yellows,

vibrant yellow

orange

fiery orange

and of course brown.  But not just brown – dark and moody, pale and creamy, yellowy brown, greeny brown, reddish brown; an amazing mix that shows off the red, yellow, and orange to perfection. Add a backdrop of evergreens, and how can you go wrong – a veritable pallette of warm, cozy and vibrant colours.

autumn leaves

First I meandered and trespassed 🙂 round the neighbourhood capturing the most amazing shapes and colours.

fabulous shapes

Then I headed to the ponds on Hampstead Heath, one of my favourite places to go for a walk.
Hampstead Heath is one of London’s famous parks and covers an area of 320 hectares (790 acres).  Protected as an area of outstanding natural beauty it is bordered by Highgate, Hampstead, Golders Green and Primrose Hill.

hampstead heath

Hampstead Heath near the duck ponds

A massive area of shady woods, wide open spaces, ponds, parks both natural and landscaped, winding paths, hills and vales, ponds that are home to amazing variety of wildlife,  especially birds

hampstead duck pond

ducks on the pond

and thousands of trees…..these being the object of my interest today.

hampstead heath

autumn trees

The ponds in spring are a hive of activity; the geese fly in with a cacophony of sound that carries far and wide.  Swans abound and harrass the other birds, bearing down on them with fierce intention seeing off the Egyptian geese with no mercy spared.
Autumn is more sedate and frequented by the year-round residents; ducks, gulls, pigeons, egret and dozens of coot.  The ducks ponds are a marvellous area of sloping greens lawns dotted about with benches,

sloping lawns, trees, benches and the pond

some of which are placed as a memorial to a loved one now long gone, shady trees, bushy hollows and winding paths to meander along.

hampstead heath

open fields and winding paths

An area to be enjoyed no matter the weather or season; cyclists,

cyclists enjoying the heath

walkers, lovers,

lovers walk along shady paths

mothers pushing toddlers in prams 

mothers stroll by pushing babies in their prams

and fishermen

fishermen take their chances at the duck pond

all co-habit; enjoying this wonderful open space – certainly one of my favourite places to hang out.

duck pond on Hampstead Heath

a bit of history, courtesy of wikipedia

Hampstead Heath (locally known as “the Heath”) is a large, ancient London park, covering 320 hectares (790 acres). This grassy public space sits astride a sandy ridge, one of the highest points in London, running from Hampstead to Highgate, which rests on a band of London clay. The Heath is rambling and hilly, embracing ponds, recent and ancient woodlands, a lido, playgrounds, and a training track, and it adjoins the stately home of Kenwood House and its grounds. South of the Heath is Parliament Hill, whose view over London is protected by law.

The Heath has long been a popular place for Londoners to walk and take the air. Running along its eastern perimeter are a chain of ponds – including three open-air public swimming pools – which were originally reservoirs for drinking water from the River Fleet. Kenwood is the location of a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the smallest such site in London; lakeside concerts are held in summer. The Heath is managed by the City of London Corporation, and lies mostly within the London Borough of Camden with the adjoining Hampstead Heath Extension and Golders Hill Park in the London Borough of Barnet.

and coz I tend to think in song titles, this is the song that inspired my post…..except I’m in London and it’s autumn 🙂 (poetic license)

California Dreaming

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