27 October 2016
Today was one of those busy days with no time for a proper walk. The sky was too blue not to take advantage and get some fresh air though so, when I was out running errands, I decided to take a little detour to Millers Pond. It’s been a while since I was last there and I thought there might be some nice autumnal reflections in the water and maybe a few ducks.
At the top of the hill Freemantle Common was disappointgly green, although the grass had a fair few dry leaves scattered about on it. The smell of damp earth and woodsmoke made me smile as I strolled along the trail through the trees, crunching through the fallen leaves as I went. These are the smells and sounds of autumn even if the bright colours were lacking.
On the road again I looked back through the tunnel of trees. They may be steadfastly refusing to give in to the season but there were tinges of copper around their edges and a certain bareness about some of the branches. The cerulean blue of the sky above made me wish I had time for a proper walk but I would have to make the most of what little I had and suck in the cold, fresh air and those evocative scents.
The smile stayed on my face all the way down the hill, up the other side and along the winding lane to the pond. These are they kind of days that make you glad to be alive. The reflective powers of the pond were somewhat dimmed by the scattering of lily pads almost covering it. There were no ducks as far as I could see either. Bizarrely, someone had thrown an old wooden chair into the water and it sat there half sunk beneath the muddy green and blue ripples. It looked like a perfectly good chair to me and I wondered why on earth someone would dump it in the pond?
There were little pockets of gold to be found if you looked hard enough and even the odd touch of red. Hiding close to the bank on my right I even spotted a couple of ducks but where all the others were was a mystery.
The leaves on the red currant bushes twined through the trees near the bank were golden yellow mottled with green. A few stray currants had somehow escaped the birds, little red orbs that almost seemed to glow they were so bright.
Thinking to sneak up behind the ducks I crept along the bank behind the trees. They were wise to me though and scooted off long before I got within range. In the end all I succeeded in getting was a slightly different view of the pond.
What I’d really have liked to do was set off along the greenway and maybe head for the windmill but there were too many errands ahead of me for that so I carried on around the pond, stopping every now and then to snap the view from a different angle. On the far side of the pond there’s a trail through the trees I rarely walk. It’s fairly overgrown and often a touch on the muddy side but today I decided to risk it.
This turned out to be a good move. The trail was mostly dry and half hidden by a carpet of fallen leaves in russet and caramel. The trees were a fuzz of greens and golds and the smell of leaf mulch brought the smile back to my face. Here there were glimpses of views across the pond towards the path I’d left, the backs of the houses just peeking between the trees.
Although the ground slopes down steeply to the edge of the pond a thick line of trees means the water is mostly hidden from view on this side. It’s a pleasant and quiet place to stroll despite this, especially today with speckles of blue sky above the canopy and crunchy leaves beneath my feet.
Towards the end of the trail there was a little fungi surprise, birch polypores if I’m not mistaken. All too soon I’d come to the gate at the other side of the pond and my little detour was almost over. With one last look back towards the pond I went through and back to the everyday world of errands and chores.
Please see my copyright information before you copy or use any of the above words or pictures.