Autumn leaves

When my knee was at its worst, we had the best autumn weather. Nice, mild, sunny with some wind. The absolutely best weather for good walks.

So when I was well enough to go for walks, I knew I wanted to try to get to a forest. I was happy enough to walk in my own area for the sake of walking, but there’s nothing like a good walk in the forest!

I asked my camera club friend if she would be interested in going to Castlefreke woods, near the Galley Head lighthouse, and we finally went there last week. The weather forecast for that week was… let’s call it questionable, when it came to going for walks. But the forecasts can change very quickly here, and Wednesday was absolutely perfect. And as I’ve mentioned before, this year we have more autumn colours than I’ve ever seen since we moved to Ireland so it was a nice treat to get to the forest.

Going for walks in the forest in the autumn has always been special to me. I have some lovely memories from my childhood when my mother took me and my sister to a nearby forest in the spring and in the autumn, and some of my (few) good memories from school are from outdoorsy days when we went out to the forest or when I played with friends among piles of autumn leaves.

Walking in the forest at this time of year is so calming and so pleasant! The last few years I lived in Sweden, sadly I had lost my appreciation for the autumn because I suffered so bad from the darkness and snow/ice horrors of the winter. I’m so happy to live here now where the winter isn’t too bad, and I’m able to enjoy the autumn again. And now with my passion for photography, I have lots of reasons to get out there.

Earlier this year I had decided to work on my macro skills, but lost the inspiration because it’s been such a windy year, and wind is the macro photographer’s worst enemy. With the magnification of the macro lens, every movement is magnified and it becomes impossible to set the focus correctly. But I found inspiration in a YouTube video where someone photographed mushrooms on the ground, and decided to try to find subjects close to the ground where some wind wouldn’t matter. But I never took the time to give it a try.

For this walk I took the macro lens with me because I wasn’t sure how much photography I would be able to do with my knee still bad enough to prevent me from going off the path. And voilà – mushrooms just at the side of the path!

I just wish I had taken the tripod with me so that I could try focus stacking. I’ll make sure to bring it the next time. But this was certainly one of the most enjoyable photoshoots I’ve done this year.

Linking with Denyse Whelan’s Wednesday words and pics.

20 responses to “Autumn leaves and mushrooms”

  1. Sue from Women Living Well After 50 avatar

    Susanna, what a stunning walk – surrounded by nature and your photos are capture everything beautifully. Forest walks are so good for our mental health and have so many things to discover. Love your Mushroom photos in particular. I’m so pleased your knee is improving. Thank you for sharing. #WWandP

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks, Sue! Yes, walking in the forest works wonders for the mental health!! This forest is very small, perhaps more like a park than a forest! But I love it and it’s large enough for a good walk, especially now when I wasn’t able to walk very far. Now a week or so later, I feel like I’m back to normal with the knee at least when it comes to walking, so that is wonderful.

  2. Debbie Harris avatar

    I love these photos Susanne, the mushroom have come up a treat. I love near a forest and walk there regularly, and I always enjoy the variety of colours, animals (kangaroos) and the peacefulness of it all. Just out of interest what is ‘focus stacking’? I’ve not heard of it before.

    1. Susanne avatar

      How wonderful to live near a forest!!! This little forest is at the other side of town but it’s close enough if you have a car. I miss having something like this at walking distance from where I live, but instead I have the sea and little country lanes and that’s not bad either.
      Focus stacking is a technique where you take multiple shots with different focus points, and then merge the images together to make one image where everything (or almost) is in focus. I read about this years ago and then you had to do it manually – set the focus points, take the photos, and then do some fancy stuff in Photoshop or other editing application. It sounded exhausting and too time-consuming so I ignored it, but then later I learned that there is a built-in setting for it in my camera! So I’ve tried it at home once and loved what you can do with it. I have an Olympus camera and it only works with certain Olympus lenses (such as my macro) but you do need a tripod for it.

  3. Jennifer Jones avatar

    This is a beautiful forest Susanne. I’m slightly envious that you have such a lovely walk nearby. Beautiful colours in your photos.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks, Jennifer! I just wish I had this closer – now I need to get there by car. But it’s ok, I have other lovely walks around here.

  4. Lydia C. Lee avatar

    What a gorgeous place to walk – that top photo is stunning!! I hope the knee improves or you find a way tio make it manageable! #WWandP

    1. Susanne avatar

      That top photo is my favourite too! If you mean the colourful path. Although the top photo with leaves on the ground is also nice. Thanks for visiting!

  5. Leanne | avatar

    I always love your photos Susanne and that forest walk would have been a delight – they call it ‘forest bathing’ for good reason! So glad the weather worked in your favour and I can understand why you prefer the milder climate of Ireland after the dark and icy weather you grew up with.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Forest bathing is a wonderful expression! It says everything about what it does to our mental health. Sadly we’ve now gone into the “constant wind and rain” period so I’m happy I could squeeze in that day in the forest before it started!

  6. Denyse Whelan avatar

    A place of beauty in which to lose oneself..I loved this walk too. I have given just about all of my ‘good camera’ stuff to my photographer granddaughter and I am pleased she will have some fun with my older but very heavy camera. I love a good close up too. Great work!! Great to see you join in for Wednesday’s Words and Pics. Next week it will be the 10th one! I am enjoying our connections via blogging each week and hope you are too. Denyse.

    1. Susanne avatar

      I hope your granddaughter will enjoy your camera! That’s good how you can give it to someone who’ll appreciate it when you don’t use it anymore. Thanks for coming by!

  7. Christie Hawkes avatar

    These photos are stunning, Susanne. There are few things as magical as a forest in fall, and you captured it beautifully.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Christie, I agree, there’s nothing like it!

  8. Min @ Write of the Middle avatar

    Hi Susanne, ahhhhhh this post is just what I needed! Nature is so restorative and uplifting for me. A walk in the forest is one of my most favourite things along with autumn leaves so you can see why your post was very much enjoyed by me. Beautiful photo’s and you can take me on a virtual walk in your forest any time! Thank you! xo

    1. Susanne avatar

      I’m totally the same! Just looking at these photos now is therapeutic. I’m happy you enjoyed following along on the walk and I’ll take you on more walks in the future. 🙂

  9. Deborah Cook avatar

    That looks lovely and so inviting. I’m not really a ‘walk in nature’ kind of person but think it’s because I imagine steep inclines and overgrown foliage and have a fear of snakes.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Oh I can see how that’s a problem in Australia with snakes and more! But there are nice city walks to do too.

  10. Anne avatar

    What serendipity to find those beautiful fungi by the side of the path – and the photos are glorious. I love the detail of the moss and how it looks as if it’s its own forest for the mushrooms. The first photo – of the path through the woods – just makes me think of possibilities. That you cannot see beyond that slight curve, until you move along the path, makes me want to come and explore it to see what happens to be beyond it! Thank you for sharing – I truly appreciate YOUR appreciation of the natural beauty surrounding you in your not-really-new-anymore-new-home. 🙂 <3

    1. Susanne avatar

      You are so much more analytical than I am! I was just admiring the colours, the atmosphere, and enjoying the moment. This small forest is a wonderful place, especially in an area with few forests (and this is more like a park really but large enough), I went back there on Saturday for a walk with my husband and he loved it.

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