I rambled across the Estate again today – my half day off. The gardens are looking
quiet quite bare – winter has most definitely set in. The tree have lost all their leaves. Except those great giants on the front lawn. They stay green all the year round! The squirrels are hiding away out of the cold and the grass seems ever tinged in frost or dew.
I decided to walk down to the Fairy Lake – to see if it has frozen over yet. There is a layer of ice there, thick enough for the coots and moorhens, but not yet for the likes of me. I snuck a bit of toast from breakfast and threw crumbs onto the lake. It was ever so funny watching the birds skating around on the ice to get at them. I left the lump of bread there – it can’t be easy for water birds to find a meal in the winter.
I then walked along the canal, though it is more of a stream really, and I found a tree on the edge of the pond that has lots of old initials carved into it. Even though I have walked these footpaths time after time, I have never spotted these marks before. Perhaps they were hidden by leaves. Well, I didn’t have to think twice – I grabbed the penknife my brother Geof gave me for my 13th birthday and carved a neat(ish) “J.M” onto the side of the tree. I wonder who will find it in the future. The tree is sure to outlive me.
Next time you are walking around Ickworth park why not head to the Canal Lake (by the walled garden) and see if you can find the tree covered in the initials of servants who used to work on the Estate.