Sunshine at Upton Country Park

Thursday 20th February 2014

Today started with rain, but the forecast said it should be clearing during the morning so I didn’t hurry too much to take the dogs out. It was still drizzling when I finally decided to leave, though, so I wrapped up in full waterproofs and headed out – with both Max and Jez, much to my amazement. As the weather wasn’t great I thought we’d go to Upton Country Park. It turned out to be a good choice. In the carpark we met some friends so stopped to say ‘Hello’ and then we headed off to the Woodland Walk, where I spotted this rather nice bracket fungi which I must have walked past on numerous occasions before.

Bracket fungi on a tree

When we got to the lake Jez was fascinated by the ducks chasing each other around and got up on an old tree stump for a better look.

Jez watches the ducks

Walking on, and I finally found some shoots on the hawthorns.

Bud burst on the Hawthorns

Best of all though was that, as we walked on, I turned to look to my right and there was a buzzard, perched a few yards from the path. It was quite unconcerned by our presence.

Sitting watching the world go by

We walked on round, meeting up and chatting with more friends along the way. And as we did so, the sun came out. When we got to the gardens, near the shoreline, the sun was just right on one of the old oak trees down there. I always think this is such magnificent tree – it’s so old and gnarled.

Old Oak

I was worried it might have been damaged by the storms (one close by lost a large branch last year), but it’s all in one piece.

Gnarly

Finally, as we walked around the front of the park, I spotted some really bright orange jelly fungus growing on one of the trees. It looks great against the blue sky.

Orange Jelly Fungus

so I didn’t need my waterproofs – in fact I was too hot by the end of the walk. Typical!

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