20131123_An Early Morning Trip to Coombe Country Park, near Coventry.
When : 23rd November 2013 Who : Just Me
Where : Coombe Country Park, Near Coventry, but in Warwickshire.
Maps : 1:25,000 OS Explorer Map No. 222 Rugby & Daventry [and a bit on map no. 221 Coventry & Warwick] … but neither is needed unless you plan to walk further afield.
Car Park, Grid Ref. : SP,404,794
Distance : Maybe a couple of miles or so, but distance wasn’t of any importance.
Significant heights : None, almost no ups or downs at-all
If you click on a pic’ and it should launch as a larger image on my flickr photostream.
Or go direct to my set of pic’s per this link – There are more to be seen that way.
After writing a diary post about a recent family walk around Coombe Country Park, I received a nice comment from a fellow blogger from the Coventry and Warwickshire area. Thank-you Lauren …. You can check out her photo-blog lolfrompasa with this link
Anyway, this got me thinking that I might just share a few thoughts and photo’s about a previous trip to the Coombe, but going back to late autumn last year …. The morning of 23rd November 2013 to be exact – Why so precise, well looking back over the winter of 2013/2014 the cold frosty morning of back then has turned out to be a real rarity. We’ve had rain (lots and lots of it), mild temperatures all winter long (I’ve only had to scrape ice off the car maybe only five times – certainly less than ten times anyway), and no snow at-all (‘cept a flurry of sleety stuff for about 10-minutes last week), and hardly any bright cold sunny winter days to enjoy and lift the spirits for about 3-months now.
So, although I didn’t write a diary post then, in hindsight, it’s maybe worth throwing down a few words now.
I’d awoken early, before the sun was up, grabbed and donned some warm clothes, ate a quick breakfast (always gotta feed the inner man), made a flask of coffee and grabbed camera (and a small bag of stale bread). I was out of the door before the sun was peeping over the horizon, to make the short journey from Rugby, out past Long Lawford, Church Lawford, over the bridge at Bretford, along the dead straight Fosse Way up to and the through Brinklow, up the hill out of Brinklow and off towards Coventry.
Now all of these places have their charms and photo-worthy places, but my destination was Coombe Country Park. However, I did stop at the side of the road once; a scene of some fir trees silhouetted against the lightening sky with a bright moon above, kinda shouted “TAKE MY PHOTO, AND TAKE IT NOW” …. so, I did ! and then promptly headed off on my trip again.
Once I’d driven down the long straight drive into the park and had paid my car-parking dues (£3.70 I think), I headed off past the not yet open visitor centre, down the wide, hard surfaced path and reached the main lake (Coombe Pool).
Now, rather than give a detailed description of my route, the following paragraphs and photo’s should give a flavour of what can be seen at Coombe. I defy anyone to not find something of beauty in the park at any time of year, but I must admit the sights of Autumn 2013 were absolutely stunning! So, places in the park I visited and things seen included :-
The main lake called Coombe Pool : The reflections were superb, especially as the sun came up lighting up the colours in the lakeside trees – Lovely !
Resident swans on the formal pool near the old Abbey buildings : They were happy to pose for portraits until my bread ran out, and then one adult decided to attack me, well, more accurately he/she had a go at my camera, giving the filter on my lens a good clout – The resulting image isn’t so sharp, but he/she was very close at the time and moving really quite rapidly.
The main lawned area with its specimen trees, and the Redwood hill/arboretum : I particularly liked the shafts of sunlight piercing the relative gloom under the trees, and I’ve always loved the soft almost furry texture of the redwood’s bark, beautiful to both look at and touch.
The informal woods and Smite Brook : Simply lovely to be in, especially with the covering of fallen leaves on the floor in varying shades of browns, oranges and yellows.
Wrautums Field : The large open space in the midst of the woods was carpeted by frost, the greens of the grass softened by the white of the frozen dew. Closer inspection showed a fantastic array of ice crystals on the blades and stems of the grasses; almost like a miniature hoar frost …. I spent ages here, even lying down to be near ground level in pursuit of my photo’s. What was lovely to start with became even more so when the sun came up above the surrounding trees, lighting up the field a tiny bit at a time.
Wrautums Field : I just couldn’t pull myself away from here, and spent even longer taking loads of pictures, including some isolated tree leaves which almost glowed in the sunshine, the edges sparkling with the frost. I ended up sat at a bench drinking in not only hot steamy coffee but also the sights all around.
The Wrautums : This is a strip of woodland bounding the field on its northern edges. This is a mix of conifers interspersed with deciduous trees, especially around the edges including silver birch and beech amongst others.
Back in the woods and pool/lake side : I spent some time trying to see the detail as well as the over-all picture of the woods – There’s an age old saying of “Not being able to see the woods for the trees” … and this can be very true in a literal sense as well as rhetorically … However, I tried to do just the opposite as the woods are so much more than just the trees, like fungi, trapped leaves, light/shade and reflections. I even got stung by the last of the years’ stinging nettles trying to get in close to some bracket fungi with my camera – Dedication to my art ? maybe, or perhaps just a tad careless !
The waterbirds : The usual suspects of ducks, geese, swans, coots, etc, abound, especially near the causeway over the lake, but today I particularly wanted to try and capture some of the many gulls that congregate here, whilst wheeling around in flight.
The avenues of trees either side of the entrance drive : A multitude of photo’s have been taken of these over the years, and I tend to get drawn back for one or two pic’s every trip. I think the straight lines, deep perspective, minor variations in uniformity, long shadows and subtle light beams all combine to make for interesting images. You may disagree, but I’m guessing you won’t.
Well I think that’s about it; a morning to really gladden the heart, lift the spirits and make you feel the world isn’t such a bad place after all.
Thanks again to Lauren for her comments that inspired me to write and share this diary post.
I hope you enjoyed my scribblings …. and …. If you’d like to comment on my diary or any of my pic’s please feel welcome. I’d love to hear from you.