Autumn Weekend Walk
Last weekends visit to Morestead was a great chance for a city dweller like myself to get a proper dose of Autumn. The weather was dull but kind enough – a brooding, leaden sky showed off the smouldering colours to the full. Apart from the more picturesque aspects of this time of year I was astonished to find a mass hibernation being prepared for on the woodland floor – but if you want to know more about that you’ll have to visit at a later date. For now I’m just serving up a Hampshire autumn day in pictures.
The trees had just started to colour up; the starkness of the bare fields with their fine pelt of new winter crops were a good foil to the glowing colours in the copses.
The colours were delicious – shades of toffee apple, barley sugar, caramel and cinder toffee competing with the brilliant various reds of ripe berries and fruits, under the trees it smelt and looked good enough to eat.
Under a cathedral of Beech, ash, hazel and oak the light streams through an ephemeral, shimmering stained glass of leaves.
The weather was still pretty mild last weekend, unlike the sudden chill we are having right now – snow in London in October! But on this day I certainly felt overdressed as the sun (what we saw of it) was still hot, the angled light giving depth and throwing long shadows whenever it appeared. The vast rolling chalky fields appeared colourless until the light hit them, then the brilliant emerald of new crops flared in the dun earth. Colour flashes and winks, turns on and off, changes it’s hue or gathers in intensity on a whim at this time of year. A single tree can in an instant be spangled like a mirrorball, it’s shivering leaves spotlit in a beam of light as gaudy as anything humans could manufacture, then be extinguished – poof! as the light moves on.
Once we were home again I couldn’t resist slipping out one last time to drink in this view. I’ve been photographing the above scene for over a year now and in every season, and the colours in the fields have never been more startling. On the way I stopped to admire these cooking apples, so heavy that the tiny tree they grow upon seems incapable of bearing their weight. Windfalls are a bonanza for unidentified wildlife as the gnaw marks on the scattered fallen fruit testify.
Night comes quickly now that the clocks have changed, and dusk came when it was barely 5pm.
I don’t mind the change though; I love the cosiness of autumn and winter.