Sunday, 13 October 2013


Autumn is in full swing now and as I noted in an earlier post, I can smell and feel this third cycle of the year. Autumn or "Fall' as our North American cousins call it, is a period of transformation, a word which infers a state of movement towards something. Indeed, Autumn is a period of raging storms, blustery winds and cold rain which mark an abrupt end to Summer, the time of plenty and warmth. Autumn is also the beginning of Winter and the start of the cold, dark days. Soon we will be freezing, catching colds and flu and hunkering down under duvets clutching our hot water bottles and gargling with neat whiskey.

During the Autumn the last of the berries falls to the ground as do the seeds in the hope of transmutating the following Spring into a new life and in order for the cycle to begin again. If you haven't made that blackberry jam yet it is simply too late. Nature  is now shutting down in preparation of the Great, Big Sleep which will last until May.

In the woods I can smell the Autumn: the dampness as the rain pelts down with no sun to dry it out, the rotting leaves, the fermenting fruits which send the deer into a drunken stupor and make the wasps very angry. I can hear the Autumn too: the incessant tock, tock, tock of hard rain from the storms and saturated atmosphere landing on the leaves in the woods, the plop of chestnuts, beech nuts and acorns as they catapult onto the soggy earth.

Photo copyright SvD.

It looks like Autumn too: The sky appears lower as the clouds gather constantly above our heads and the horizon has all but disappeared. The days are getting shorter, duller, all grey, brown and black.

Autumn is a time to begin storing for the Winter like the squirrel who although he forgets where he buries his treasure, keeps stealing, collecting and foraging in the hope that when he does need a square meal he'll remember where to find it. The squirrel, along with his mammal friends and even the birds, made his babies earlier in the year who are now fully grown. Now all that is left for him to do is to settle in to wait, watch and hope for the Spring.

Photo copyright SvD.

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