I braved the rain showers and intermittent rumbles of thunder for a wander around Cefn Onn Park, in north Cardiff, last weekend. I hadn’t been there for quite a while and, after the recent rains, I had an inkling there might be some fungi around. I was right! There were actually rather a lot of crusty, brackety, slimy, smutty and generally mushroomy things to be found. (No, I’m not going to ID them – I just enjoyed seeing some fungi again.)
The meteorologists tell us it is now officially winter and, if last week’s cold snap was anything to go by, they’re probably right. But, as I walk my familiar trails through Cardiff’s parks and green spaces, I’m still finding plenty of traces of autumn colour. So, I thought I would share these few shots from my recent visit to Parc Cefn Onn, on Cardiff’s northern outskirts.
The formal part of the park was designed around 90 years ago so many of the native and exotic trees have now grown tall and statuesque, though these are prettily interspersed with colourful maples which, in autumn, carpet the ground in gorgeous shades of red and crimson. The planting is sculpted around a valley through which runs the burbling Nant Fawr stream, there’s a large pond and formal paths and, my favourite, a wild area with meandering woodland trails.
When I visited, the rangers had lit a fire to burn off some of the smaller branches from recently felled storm-damaged trees. The effect of the sun’s rays lighting up the smoke as it curled through the trees was simply magical, and the smell of the wood smoke took me back to my childhood and happy memories of family nights spent around the open fire.