Proceeding to the copse of 5 trees beyond the crossroad, a haunting atmosphere descended through fog. I observed a Merlin hunting a pipit on the way, relentless in its pursuit, arcing up and driving the quarry down to the heather over and over. I hope the pipit managed an escape. I spent a good hour at the copse. These survivor trees, just last week were in full leaf (see panorama on previous page) but now the scene could have been in mid winter. A black and white ghostly image below captures the scene.
Who was to know that the marshlands on the coast would be in glorious afternoon sunshine later that day. I took a long lens in the hope of early winter migrant birds whilst walking my four legged family but beyond the phragmites, the birches stood out and dazzled.
The following week to November 9th brought a prolonged spell of persistent rain. All day and all night, day after day. Another weekend of autumn colour seemed unlikely but the best was yet to come.
November 10th, Sunday
Mist rolled into the valley as the dawn photographers left and the sunlight saturated and highlighted the bracken on the northern slopes. A singular fir tree is the main focal point of this image.The lake was still and I took a number of images of the black water and lake shore trees. The mist seeped into the higher oak wood on the south eastern side of the valley.
The rich light of early morning departed and so did I – but as I drove towards Laragh the mist pushed on through to the Avonmore valley. I pulled over and entered the oak wood. A tall beech stood amongst the bare oaks. The floor of the forest was winter bound but the beech was coated in deep copper foliage backlit by sun and mist.
This image was taken in portrait mode with a 135mm lens. Shortly after, a doe paused not 25 yards from me and strutted slowly forward. Light pierced the wood and it’s nape was illuminated. I froze, enjoyed this special encounter and left the camera in my bag. Pure magic.
November 30th, Saturday
I decided to take a break from the Wicklow Hills and went in search of wintering wildfowl and birds of prey at Tacumshane in Wexford last week(Nov 23rd) where the late afternoon light and dark clouds set off this willow with the phragmites blowing in the wind.I did return to Glendalough. As December beckons patches of colour still wow and look particularly striking with a touch of frost and mist.
This image is the old church called St Kevins Kitchen due to the belfry being mistaken as a chimney. We can see that autumn leaves are almost gone but there is always some colour remaining. Birch will hold a few golden yellow remnants for the weeks to come and beech will hold some of it’s leaf until new buds push them off in early spring. But for this year, my autumn landscape adventures have reached an end. Christmas is not far away and a New Year of photographic possibilities lies ahead.