This morning was one of “those” days when I decided to get up in the dark, so that I could have the pleasure of driving round one of the busiest part of the M25 into work. “Why” I hear you ask. Well, I work in Richmond, and have one of the most wonderful parks on my doorstep. And it’s for that reason that I try to drive in a day every couple of weeks so that I can visit the park for sunrise.
Usually I take a couple of trains from home to work, and then scuttle along with the rest of the commuters, pick up my “usual coffee” from my fantastic local coffee shop (more about that another time – but needless to say, they all know my name, and exactly how I like my coffee), and then head into the office, without a thought of how lucky I am to be working in such a wonderful town. Infact, it’s not often that I consider how lucky I am to be working – but I try to remember that as often as I can.
But, this was meant to be about the park. At this time of year, it’s a wonderful winterland (should that be winter wonderland?) to visit. The gates open at a very sociable 7.30 during the Winter months – and sunrise starts making itself known a short while later.
This morning was a beautiful sunrise – the colours looking like a tutti-fruitti selection of colours across the blue winter sky. The vapour trails lit up like golden trails of ribbons.
This sunrise alone would be worth visiting Richmond Park, but add to the sunrise the ground frost, mist, and deer, well, it all adds up to a very worthy reason to crawl out of bed in the dark! This morning was as good as any I’ve had in the park – the deer were playfully rutting with each other, waiting patiently for their turn to join in. I even saw a deer taking his morning bath, but still rutting with a deer standing on the side.
Although the main rut has finished now, the young stags will continue to practice the rut with each other, ensuring that when they’re old enough to challenge the ruling Stag, they have enough experience under their belts to be a worthy challenger.
The ground frost made the trees and grass glisten white this morning, and there was a definite misty air to the park.
Each time I visit, there are different things that appeal. The Sunrise might be extra special, or the mist extra misty! The deer are unpredicatable – sometimes they will stop and stare at you, sometimes they run away.
But each visit gives me an opportunity to appreciate an area of open space, where I can get up close and personal to wild animals. If you haven’t been, then I wholeheartedly encourage you to go. Winter is a more sociable time to go – in that the gates open at 7.30 just before sunrise. In the summer, the gates open around 6.30am and misty sunrises are rarely seen. But whether you visit at the start of the day, during the day or at the end, park up and take a walk. You will be amazed at the opportunities to view the deer – but just remember they are still wild animals. Show them some respect, and in return they will grace you with their beauty.