Leef Peeping

Field MapleThis autumn has seen the trees clothed in exceptional colours. The reason for this is apparently the dry warm autumn days and cool nights that have made Northamptonshire resemble New England. I have noticed the number of field maples and wild cherries that are planted around the town this year, I know that they were here in other years, but they have never shouted so loudly before. According to some reports the autumn colour is a result of climate change, and we may be in for colourful autumns every year.

The colour is not however limited to just the maples and cherries. After putting on a show of golden leaves the hawthorn are swathed in red berries just waiting for the winter visitors to come and gorge themselves. As for those winter visitors, I have yet to see the redwings and fieldfares that many have reported, but maybe they will make themselves more obvious once the weather gets a bit chillier.

The lack of rain this year can also be seen by the levels to which the reservoir in the Country Park have dropped, allowing me to get views along the far bank that I would usually have only seen from under the water as I slowly drowned and my camera stopped working. This has also allowed large flocks of waders to gather on the shores alongside the teal and wigeon.

Just in case you were wondering, leef peeping is the name given to the tree equivalent of twitchers. There are special hotlines and websites (mainly in America) for people to send in their sitings of trees showing good colour so others can go and view them.

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