Picture Post: Basking in the light of early autumn splendour

Autumn colours in Roundhay Park. (Picture: James Hardisty)
Autumn colours in Roundhay Park. (Picture: James Hardisty)
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IT is easy to feel a little melancholic at this time of year. Summer has packed up its bags and headed south and there’s a noticeable chill in the air as the days quickly start to shorten.

But early autumn can also be one of the most breathtaking times of year when the natural world explodes in a brief orgy of colour.

The weather at this time of year can be similarly unpredictable, as the past few days have shown, but when the sun does make an appearance it still has just enough warmth for us to bask in its golden glow - as little Lola Rosenberg does, pictured here having fun running in and out of the shadows of the trees at Roundhay Park.

For the next few weeks the ever-changing autumnal colours will provide a stunning contrast to the lengthening shadows before the trees finally shed their leaves in readiness for winter.

Our public parks are a wonderful gift bequeathed by the Victorians and a great visual barometer of the changing seasons.

Roundhay Park is one of these priceless jewels. Bought by the City of Leeds in 1872 it was opened as a public park in September that same year.

Today, the park attracts over a million visitors a year, but it hasn’t always been so popular. John Barran, the Lord Mayor of Leeds who bought the park, was ridiculed in several publications for having forked out money on a “White Elephant.”

At that particular time Roundhay wasn’t as accessible from the city centre as it is today and could only really be reached by a single route - the old ‘turnpike’ road.

The purchase of the park was regarded by some as a reckless waste of ratepayers money - and critics even published a printed booklet called The Big White Elephant in 1879.

But if Barran were alive today and returned to the park, he would no doubt smile as he watched all the people, both young and old, for whom this great park is as much a part of their lives as the changing seasons themselves.

Technical details: Nikon D3’s, Lens Nikon VR 70-200mm, Aperture f/4 Shutter Speed 1/400s, ISO 250, Exposure Comp -2.3EV.

Words: Chris Bond

Picture: James Hardisty