The warmth of summer seemed to linger longer this year, trailing into late April before the sharp freshness of cooler nights and mornings made their presence felt. But now the lower temperatures are here, there seem to be signs of autumn everywhere.
The deciduous trees of the upper mountains in particular have been putting on their annual show, turning an amazing array of reds, oranges and yellows before falling en masse to create gaudy mosaics.
A late Sunday afternoon walk is a sensory delight. There are windfall piles of leaves to crunch through whilst admiring the claret-red of Japanese maple leaves, not quite ready yet to fall. The air is scented by fragrant smoke from chimneys. The last vestige of summer blooms, including roses, vintage hydrangeas, nasturtiums, begonia, daisies and geraniums peep through gardens and front fences. Hedges of camellias provide bursts of colour, soft white petals fall to the ground bringing thoughts of snow. Bird calls sweetly pierce the air.
There is something about the light in autumn, the different slant of the sun, especially in late afternoon. It is particularly golden, imbued with warmth.
As the day fades and the temperature falls, it is tempting to walk faster, to get home quicker where it will be warm. But it is nice to take the time to admire the mountains in the late autumn sunshine.
What is autumn like where you are?
[Photo: autumn leaves]