Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Autumn gold, Powiśle, Łazienki

The day began with blue skies and strong sunlight, ideal conditions for catching autumn at its finest. Top: Łazienki Park, near the Bagatela entrance. Sun streaming through the leaves, much greenery still in evidence. Below: As I hopped off the bus at Rozbrat, this wonderful riot of colour caught my eye.

The Śmigły-Rydz park (below) a mixture of trees in different stages of shedding their leaves. The one in the foreground is quite golden - but look how many leaves are already on the ground beneath it.

Below: The cycle path crossing Śmigły-Rydz park winding past red bushes, trees of yellow, amber and green, and neo-classical architecture. Above this scene, the skarpa - the Vistula escarpment, leading up to the Sejm (Polish parliament).

Returning via the Łazienki park, the sun had gone in, so a bit of fill-in flash was required for portraits of the park's most famous fauna - the peacock and the red squirrel (left). The squirrels are getting quite aggressive - one darted up to me then climbed up my trouser leg, before jumping off, clearly annoyed that I had no food for it.

Imagine being just eight inches tall and getting into a fight with the fellow. Look at those powerful forepaws that can dig a trench in seconds. Those powerful shoulders and strong hind legs, that steely determination in those eyes. You wouldn't stand a chance. As an eight-inch human.

The peacocks can get quite stroppy too - crossing the park one morning last summer I had my way barred by a gaggle of five or more large males, tail feathers extended and sounding aggressive. But this guy (right) was more interesting in posing for the photographers (everyone in the park today seemed to be wielding a camera!) I managed to get eight shots at different exposures and flash settings before a child running past caused the peacock to move. As you will have noticed, the peacock has moulted; no goregous tail feathers to display. Behind the peacock, the Palace on the Water.

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