Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Woodcote and Goring

After a somewhat stormy weekend the weather has calmed to sunny spells with very mild temperatures. I started off this twelve mile walk from the same spot in Checkendon village as in my previous posting and managed to link together a walk of twelve miles with about five miles in woodlands. Here is the route of this walk:


View Checkendon - Goring - Woodcote in a larger map

My previously posted pessimism about the fungi this year was not justified, there were masses - in places. They seem to be most numerous on the fringes or near disturbed ground rather than in the heart of the woods.

fungi,toadstool,mushroom

The autumn colours were still bright and cheery but many have fallen during the weekend storm, but I only saw two fallen trees in the woods. Sycamores were particularly colourful.

autumn,sycamore

The first fungi was a Parasol Mushroom.

fungi,toadstool,mushroom

Near Ipsden is this strange looking house, a suitable set for Harry Potter? It looks like it had dropped there out of the sky, totally out of place. It's called Brazier's Park.

Braziers Park

The views to the west were good, this one shows the local landmark Wittenham Clumps or 'Mother Dunch's Buttocks' as a wooded hill in the distance. This is near to 'Catsbrain Hill' which fortunately did not live up to its name.

Ipsden,Wittenham Clumps

I had to walk along the busy A4074 (Reading-Oxford) road for a few hundred yards but was soon out into countryside, there were a lot of birds around, I think they might have been after these haws.

Haws

Back into woodland and more glorious fungi, may be a Blewit?, Oyster?

fungi,toadstool,mushroom

Sometimes the sun livened up the scene with glorious colours.

autumn colour,fall color

Out in the wilds this old farm outbuilding had hens foraging around totally free range (they are just creeping out of the shadows).

farm outbuilding

Goring itself did not provide much of photographic interest. Walking back up to Cray's Pond I found these spindleberries in the process of splitting open to reveal the orange seeds within.

Spindleberry

On into 'Great Chalkwood' gave an unreasonably large number of fungi to look at, not enough time to see them all. Here is a little fungal medley ending on everyone's favourite Fly Agaric.

fungi,toadstool,mushroom

fungi,toadstool,mushroom

fungi,toadstool,mushroom

fungi,toadstool,Gymnopilus Junoniuspicframe

Gymnopilus Junonius?
fungi,toadstool,mushroom

fungi,fly agaric

But above all the walk was seeing beech woods in autumn, here are just two of many pictures that I took.

beech woods,autumn

beech woods,autumn

To end with something a little more exciting than trees and fungi, in the last field before joining the road at Checkendon I saw these representatives of native British wildlife... Alpacas.

alpaca

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