Carriages full of pumpkins all ready for the Halloween ghost train. The engine-driver, in pumpkin coloured top, posed with passengers bearing pumpkins, but my smartphone blurred their images and they are ghosts- edited out. We set off for Gaitbarrows on a merry morning, stopping by a box of apples left on a wall for us to help ourselves. A plastic cow looked on from an orchard. In the approach to Halloween the boundaries are blurred, nothing is quite real.
A confiding robin at Leighton Moss
Walking by the public hide at Leighton Moss, a friend and I talked about how we like our wildlife. Wild, preferably. We like to come upon the unexpected, to find things for ourselves. Even so, I concede the place for a well- managed Nature Reserve that gives everyone the opportunity to see wildlife up close. Like this robin who knows what is expected of him. Bearded tits were taking in grit, to help them digest the hard phragmites seeds found in the reed bed. They're ghosts too, my images didn't do them justice so you will not see them. A chevron of geese flew overhead, calling to each other, and was quickly gone.
A fair day, but without the clarity and brightness of recent days. On Gaitbarrows, autumn colour shows in beautiful birch trees and hazel scattered over limestone pavement. Yesterday was so warm that leaves fluttering down from trees gave the illusion of butterflies.
Jan Wiltshire is a nature writer living in Cumbria. She also explores islands and coast and the wildlife experience. (See Home and My Books.)