Sunday, 22 October 2017

If you go down to the woods today...

You might find some of these...

According to the Internet, they are Bulgaria inquinans, sometimes referred to as Black Bulgar, Bachelor's Buttons or Rubber Buttons.

If I’m honest, they rather gave me the Heebie-jeebies but I couldn’t stop looking at or photographing them. They look like something out of Doctor Who!

This is although more appealing. It looks like a little mushroom or more likely a toadstool. If anyone reading this is an expert on these things, please feel free to enlighten me.

I could easily be wrong, but I think this is Turkey tail polypore thriving on a dead tree. Isn’t it strange how beauty can grow out of death and decay?  

All the above and more were growing on this pile of ‘dead’ trees at Stourhead.  

It was very dark and dank in this part of the wood which probably explains the abundant growth. 

Once out from under the thickest of the trees, we began to see lots of autumn colours and beautiful vistas.


Autumn repays the earth the leaves which summer lent it. ~ Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Norman Alliston, 1908.


Stourhead has been described as the most beautiful and magical of all the great landscape gardens, and we can’t argue with that. We live about fifteen minutes away by car and visit several times a year. Spring and autumn are beautiful but then winter and summer are not to be sniffed at. We’ve also visited at Christmas time when mulled wine is served in a stone cottage, lit by a roaring fire. If that’s not your thing, you might enjoy dinner in the Temple of Apollo or a picnic on the lake. All these venues are available to hire here.


Of course, you don’t have to hire a private venue to enjoy Stourhead it's owned and managed by the National Trust and is open throughout the year.  For details of opening times and prices plus more information, visit the National Trust Website.  

If you would like to see photographs of Stourhead in the summer, please visit Just a Perfect Day, previously shared in June 2014.



66 comments:

  1. These are just beautiful photos and it looks like a wonderful in the woods. You really have a photographic eye for the unusual and those Bulgarian inquinans really do look like something from Dr. Who. Thanks for sharing your day out with us. I always enjoy them.

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    1. Thanks Alex, I find it difficult to photograph anything that moves, so these were perfect for me! :) Terry photographs birds and animals but when I try I just get blurred images. I’m very happy to know you enjoyed this.

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  2. Autumn is a season filled with magic, and you saw lots of it at Stourhead - such a beautiful place to see. Love the blue fungi, I always enjoy seeing what grows out of the dead trees, and how nature uses and re-uses her substance. Thanks for sharing! Hugs, Valerie

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    1. Hi Valerie, I do love this time of the year, but then I tend to say that no matter what time of year it is! There is always something to recommend every season. Nature is a wonderful thing – I know that, but I’m still constantly surprised. Hugs Barbara

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  3. I am always so impressed with nature because those dead trees are the fertilizer for the new growth that will occur over time. If trees didn't die, there would be no new growth. I simply ADORE the photos of the fungi and underbrush, but I also appreciated the beauty of Stourhead.

    Too bad we don't have a National Trust in the states. We are all about tearing down anything old and putting up something new. Thankfully, we have the Historic Register, but the establishments are seldom open for visits.

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    1. I must admit I hadn’t really thought about it before, but seeing so much life in one ‘dead’ corner of the wood rather opened my eyes.

      There is a lot of building going on in the UK too, and large areas of the countryside are being covered by concrete, which is why the National Trust is so important. I’ve just been reading about the Historic Register online. It sounds as if they are doing good work, but it’s a shame the properties are not opened more often.

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  4. Interesting living things growing on the dead. You do have an eye! Beautiful place.

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    1. Thanks Sharon, and yes, it is beautiful.

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  5. How incredibly beautiful. Heart balm. Thank you.

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    1. That is such a lovely thing to say, thank you.

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  6. You have such a creative eye, Barbara. You caught amazing details in the shots. I'm in awe.

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    1. Thank you Nas, I really appreciate your comment.

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  7. Making me miss the woods something fierce. Grew up in the backwoods of North Carolina and been living in the hard-stone of Southern California for a while now. You get achy for trees and such after a while.

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    1. I understand that feeling oh so well. I grew up on a farm surrounded by fields and woods. Friends yearn to live on the coast, but I’m always happiest where there are trees and open fields.

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  8. Hi Barbara, It's good to catch up with each other again! That really does look something out of Doctor Who! Stourhead looks wonderful as the leaves are turning, its always a good place to visit. Sarah x

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    1. Hello Sarah, I was delighted when I came across your blog this afternoon as I’ve missed reading your posts. I love visiting Stourhead but would not want to be in that particular spot after dark! Those things are creepy.

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  9. I hope all of the teddy bears going down in the woods today are very careful about eating any mushrooms during their picnic holiday! What enchanting photos, Barbara1 i shall pin some of them on my celebrating Britain board- I will remove them if that is not all right with you! Happy Autumn!

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    1. Hello Colleen, I was humming that song as I put the post together! Of course, you can pin them, thank you for the compliment. I hope all is well with you. Happy Autumn.

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  10. Absolutely gorgeous, Barbara!

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    1. Thank you Linda, I’m so pleased you enjoyed the post.

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  11. Ooooh, I love all your macro shots of the various fungi and plants. Beautiful. I also love the landscapes there. I've never been to England but some of the photos I've seen show a very beautiful countryside.

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    1. I’m a bit biased because I love England – but yes, the countryside is beautiful. I hope you get the chance to come and see it for yourself one day.

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  12. I am wild about fungi -- and about all you saw there. Those blue buttons -- they are fabulous. So magical and mystical. It looks like you had a stunning fall day and what a wonderful way to spend it.

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    1. Hello Jeanie, it was a beautiful day, a little chilly but a good time to be out walking. Magical and mystical sums it up perfectly.

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  13. Love the charming scenes! The mushrooms, though... :-) some things look better from a distance!

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    1. Hi Sandi, they are a bit gruesome but fascinating none the less.

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  14. Well..now that the leaves have fallen..l was out
    yesterday, trimming, sweeping up leaves from my
    Virginia Creeper....And all the time this song by
    Nat King Cole kept going through my mind...

    The falling leaves drift by my window
    The falling leaves of red and gold
    I see your lips the summer kisses
    The sunburned hands I used to hold
    Since you went away the days grow long
    And soon I'll hear old winter's song
    But I miss you most of all my darling
    When autumn leaves start to fall
    Since you went away the days grow long
    And soon I'll hear old winter's song
    But I miss you most of all my darling
    When autumn leaves start to fall
    I miss you most of all my darling
    When autumn leaves start to fall..

    Better still lets have a listen...

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/684eg6S8dCw

    Brilliant...Classic Soul..!!! :0).

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    1. I’m very envious of you clearing up Willie, I so want to get out in the garden, but it's just too wet. We had drainage put in last year (at enormous expenses) and we no longer have a river, but the lawn feels like a sponge. We are at the bottom of a hill, and all the water seems to settle in our garden! Terry keeps telling me to “keep off the lawn” which is very sensible because it does mess it up.

      I love Nat King Cole, and he is serenading me as I type this. You realise I will be singing The Falling Leaves for the rest of the day. Not that I mind, it’s a great song beautiful sung. Thank you for sharing the link.

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  15. Just lovely, I could do with a walk there! xx

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    1. You very nearly did Sue! When we walked to King Alfred’s Tower, we were right next to Stourhead. Maybe we could go there the next time you come for a visit? Nice lunch at the Spread Eagle Inn which is on the estate and then a walk. Spring time is nice – maybe April/May? We could do it for your birthday perhaps? Have a think. xx

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  16. Barbara my dear, isn't this the most beautiful time of year? Yet when spring comes, I say the same thing. Both fall and spring are a wonderful duo, showing us the miracle of what seems to be death and the miracle of live once again. Enjoy every moment of these wondrous discoveries!

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    1. I’m just the same Anita and can never make up my mind which time of year I like best. The only thing I know for sure is I don’t like the cold– but then I love crisp, frosty mornings! The best thing is to enjoy it all! Hugs to you sweet friend.

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  17. Oh my gosh, Barbara. All these wondrous sights. Thank you. I would love to stroll through Stourhead. It's just beautiful, I've never seen Bulgaria inquinans before. Fascinating. Very Sci-Fi:)

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    1. Hi Sandra, Stourhead is certainly worth a visit at any time of year. I hope you get there one day, and if you do let me know and I will come and say hello!

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  18. I love these pictures.They would make great writing prompts!Autumn is certainly a lovely time of year.

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    1. Hi Darlene, please write away! I’m sure Amanda would love an adventure at Stourhead. :)

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  19. Beautiful pictures. It is amazing what you will find in nature when you stop and take a closer look. Such interesting growths! I also adore all the fall colors you captures. Thanks for sharing. :)
    ~

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    1. Absolutely, Stephanie and carrying a camera certainly focuses the mind. I really look at things now rather than just giving them a casual glance.

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  20. Your photographs turned out gorgeous. I can't get over those buttons, such an unnatural shade of blue to find in nature. I'm glad Colleen mentioned teddy bears; I wasn't sure if I was the only one who thought of the song. And that lovely stone cottage! Stourhead looks like a beautiful place to stroll. Good to see you're enjoying autumn, Barbara. It's pretty colorful here, as well!

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    1. Hi Marcia, it is an odd colour which is why I wondered if they were picking up reflections from the sky. But then the outside of them is brown, and I would have expected them to be black, so maybe I’ve discovered a new species or more likely my camera is playing tricks on me! I must go back and check them out another day. The stone cottage is lovely, especially at Christmas time when the fire is alight.

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  21. What a lovely place. Are those black fungi edible? I'd love to try.

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    1. Hi Roger, it’s beautiful – maybe a day out for you and your family? It would get you out of London for a few hours.

      I wouldn’t be tempted to take a bite out of the fungi because they look so horrible, and I just found this online; They may look like liquorice or black gumdrops (and indeed in the USA they are sometimes referred to a Black Jelly Drops or Poor Man's Licorice), but Black Bulgars are not considered to be edible fungi and they may possibly contain toxins. Perhaps you should stick to mushrooms. :)

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  22. Hi Barbara I wrote a comment but I think it may not have gone through so I am trying again. Just wanted to say that these pictures are beautiful and Stourhead seems to be a place where a writer can get so much inspiration and write about pixies and fairies and gnomes again. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures

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    1. Hello Shashi, thank you so much for trying again! I don’t know what is going on with the comments at the moment, but I’m very happy to have this one.
      You are absolutely right about Stourhead. It is easy to believe in fairies and pixies while walking about the grounds.

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    1. That is really kind of you, thank you.

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  24. The start of this is a great way to being a haunted forest, because some of those things looked a little scary. (lol) The Fall colors are always so amazing and lovely. Hugs...RO

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    1. Hello Ro, It was quite creepy under the trees. I'm sure there are lots of stories to tell about the hidden places at Stourhead. I long to write them, but sadly I don’t have the talent. Hugs Barbara

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  25. Barbara those bachelor's buttons do not look like my flowers. I can see why they would give one the heebi jeebies. The other fungi not so much. Beautiful photos of Stourhead. It certainly looks like a wonderful place to visit. Hope you are having a great day. Hugs!

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    1. Hi Debbie, they are a bit spooky aren’t they? My day is going well, and I hope the same is true for you. Hugs Barbara

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  26. Truly amazing, breath taking photos! WOW! I loved them! I love mother nature! You found such life growing everywhere! Big Hugs!

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    1. Thank you Stacy, Mother Nature is truly amazing. Hugs Barbara

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  27. There should be a fairy sitting under that toadstool:)

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    1. Perhaps there is Sandra and we just can’t see it. :)

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  28. It never ceases to amaze me the number of different types of mushroom and fungi that are out there!
    Your photographs of Stourhead are lovely, I really must try and get there!

    All the best Jan

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    1. I’m sure you would enjoy Stourhead Jan it’s a lovely place to walk.

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  29. Those are sure some cool fungi. You have a pretty walking area at Stourhead. Hugs-Erika

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    1. Hi Erika, it is lovely at Stourhead and always worth a visit. Barbara

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  30. The pictures of the trees look like beautiful paintings.
    Hope you have a wondrous weekend, Barbara.
    Hugs

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  31. Sue (this n that) has left a new comment on your post "If you go down to the woods today...":

    Hello Barbara,
    Thank you for sharing these beautiful gardens. I loved seeing all the fungi and then the gorgeous Autumn colours. No wonder you enjoy visiting there!
    Your photos are magnificent. Cheers and enjoy your weekend :D) xx

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    1. Hello Sue, blogger wouldn't post your comment (having a funny turn!) so I posted it under my name - sorry about that.
      I'm so pleased you enjoyed the photographs - I had fun taking them. Barbara xx

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  32. This is a magnificent post with great photos. I love hiking and taking walks, and the kind of scenery in Stourhead is right up my alley :)

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    1. You would love Stourhead, there are lots of places to hike – hills and valleys and some strenuous bits in between.

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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