Monday, 29 October 2018

the magic of Autumn

October morning, Rothamsted Park
© Teresa Newham

The clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in.  For the last few weeks I've been making the most of any sunshine: taking a walk when I can, hanging washing on the line for a few hours, coaxing the last of the tomatoes to ripen on a sunny windowsill.

turning leaves at the side of the road
© Teresa Newham

September may have been cooler than usual, but October started deceptively mild; then suddenly we had a cold, damp, misty day, all the trees and hedgerows dripping with moisture; and all at once I was aware that Autumn was definitely upon us.

elderberries in the lane
© Teresa Newham

Everywhere you look trees and plants are preparing for Winter; leaves are turning, berries are ripening. There's still plenty of colour. but it's gradually fading; squirrels are much in evidence as they gather food ahead of going into hibernation.

red berries in the hedgerows
© Teresa Newham

I spotted plenty of red berries on my walks: an abundance of holly, hawthorn and one other which I couldn't identify but which struck me as being potentially poisonous - White Bryony, perhaps?

ivy on the trees
© Teresa Newham

Ivy, too, is starting to develop its berries, which are an important food source for birds in Winter, while toadstools are showing through the undergrowth.  I had no idea whether they were edible or not, so I left well alone. Where's a forager when you need one?

toadstools near the golf course
© Teresa Newham

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