We are coming up to the end of October, that in itself is scary, where does the year go! Now is the time for fabulous autumnal colours, varying from pale yellow, through to rusts and jewel reds. An ideal opportunity for an amateur who is still learning how to use a camera properly.
Saturday morning I set off with my somewhat reluctant friend MB. I discovered later that he didn’t much like Sheffield Park and never has done – each to their own.
Have you noticed that if a day starts off out of kilter, it just continues to go down hill? We know how to get to Sheffield Park, but MB has a new sat nav so with the address punched in, just for fun, we followed the directions. Not only did it take us the longest way out of Worthing, straight into the heavy traffic on the A27, once off the A23 we found we were winding our way through country lanes, straight into a road closure and subsequent redirection which added a further 20 minutes to our already long journey. MB was hungry and he is not a happy man when hungry. When we finally arrived at Sheffield Park, it was heaving with people. I can honestly say that I have never seen so many cars at a National Trust property, apart from when they are holding evening events. This was obvious really, it was beautiful Saturday and clearly everyone had the same idea, even the overflow car park was overflowing. I overheard one NT lady in the shop saying they had already had 3,500 visitors.
Our first aim was to eat, however, as you can imagine with the number of people at Sheffield Park, they were queuing out of the door and down the path at the restaurant. We should have brought a picnic, isn’t hindsight just great? We shuffled along, until the food counter was in sight, then suddenly MB then let out a cry “…******* …wet paint!” The door to the restaurant had been painted earlier and was still tacky. There were no ‘wet paint’ signs, he had leant against the door and now had cream paint on his new jacket. Oh dear, today was not going right at all.
After we had eaten, we went to the main entrance to locate a manager to complain, he was not the only person who had connected with the tacky door. I wandered off with my camera as Mr Angry sought the manager. When he caught up with me, he was equally angry having been told that there are signs up now and what was she supposed to do about it!! Great management technique, poor MB, I don’t think the NT will hear the end of this, and probably neither will I.
Back to looking for autumnal colour. It was not easy to take photos, without people being in the way and along the edge of the lake, it was as though it was holding its own press conference. It was packed with photographers with tripods and long-angled lenses, I felt very much an amateur but we all have to learn somewhere. I am still finding it difficult to remember if it is a larger f stop that gives depth of field or the other way around – a simple thing but it won’t sink in. So some of my long distance photos are not as sharp as they should be, That is probably another reason why all the others had tripods and zoom lenses – Christmas list noted. You can tell from the photos below why so many were capturing the view.
I was surprised not to see as much colour change in the trees as I had expected, many were still green just turning to yellow, I was hoping for a fantastic range of russets. Those trees that were turning looked astounding against the blue sky.
I think I will visit again in another few weeks to see if the colours are better, and probably on my own and I will make sure I don’t use a sat nav or lean against a door in the restaurant.