'Autumn is a second Spring when every leaf is a flower' - Albert Camus
We're midway through September, on the cusp of seasonal change. Here in the UK we're having those lovely warm last throes of summer days, blue skies and warm sunshine. Along with a change in the wind and chilly evenings with clear skies.
Autumn is beginning to creep through the country, from North to South. The trees are almost ready to drop their seeds. Beech nuts the first to scatter on the woodland floor, sweet chestnuts are still tight inside their spiky green cases, waiting to burst out. There are lots of knopper gall around this year, a distortion that appears on acorns caused by a gall wasp laying eggs on the buds in Spring. Although they don't do the oak tree any harm, I always wonder how this affects the acorn crop for squirrels, jays and other creatures that rely on them for winter food.
Migratory birds will soon be making their way to the UK to over winter. Pink Footed geese have already landed on our shores. I saw a skein honking away over my house earlier this week flying to my local wetland nature reserve. This is a sight not to be missed, you can find the best place to see them near you on the RSPBor The Wildlife Trustswebsite.
It wouldn't be Autumn of course without nature's best bounty, ripe fruit. Berry season is well underway, blackberry crumble's demolished in minutes. Sloes ripe for picking and adding to gin.
The hedgerows are full of hips and haws. The sweet smell of Hawthorn blossom replaced by a sea of ruby jewel berries, as soon as we've had our first frost the birds will strip them, a blank canvas ready for next Spring.
The best is yet to come though! My favourite part of Autumn, the changing colour of leaves. The verdant green woodlands gradually change from yellow through to golds and reds. We can have spectacular displays of Autumn leaves here in the UK, particularly if it stays dry (fingers crossed this year).
That leaves our most mysterious, magical sign that Autumn is here, fungi. Of course we do need some moisture and rain for fungi to spring up. Enjoying misty Autumn morning walks through your nearest woodland, you'll be treated to the colourful, strange world of fungi.
I'd love to hear about Autumn where you are, have the leaves already begun to change, have you felt or noticed any changes in the air?