Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Coombe Hill monument

It was such a lovely sunny day today that I decided to go for a walk on Coombe Hill. There's a big monument up there and the views out across the Aylesbury Vale are stunning.

I was heading up there to the monument
It was cold but quite sheltered in the trees, but as soon as I got out into the open by the monument I was quite literally blown away (both by the amazing view and the wind!) There was an icy wind blowing that nearly knocked me over, so I stayed long enough to take a few pictures then headed back to the shelter of the woods.

Looking left along the Chilterns
and right along the Chilterns

The woods were full of lovely old trees that were twisted into all sorts of strange shapes. It reminded me a bit of a spooky wood film set.

There were lots of birds in the trees and I saw some Chaffinches and Long-tailed tits. They don't stay still for long, so are quite hard to take photos of, but I did my best.

Long-tailed tit
I also saw my very first Nuthatch - it looked a bit like a small woodpecker and was running up and down a tree trunk. I also saw a Buzzard being chased away by some crows. I was too slow to get the camera out in both cases (as my hands were so cold!)

There was a little bit of fungus around ...

Bracket fungus

Candlesnuff and Earth-tongues

Fungus had grown right up a tree trunk

It looked like it was starting to grow again

Orange Peel fungus

A frosty Porcelain fungus

Purple Jelly Drops

Sulphur Tuft growing up a tree trunk
The hill is right next to the Chequers estate (the Prime Minister's weekend retreat). You can't see the house from the road, but this is the gatehouse, notable only because of the enormous security camera on the front of it.


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