The last few weeks have seen the UK move into Autumn which as yet has been quite subtle changes. We have visited the Severn Valley on a few occasions and also ventured to an arboretum that is also quite local. In fact there are two that I didn't even know were there. The colours of the trees are changing, perhaps more subtle than last year when we had some glorious reds.
This year seems to be more golden somehow but, perhaps that is because we haven't got to that stage yet. Well, apart from the acers which always provide a spectacular show.
Perhaps the most incredible sight has been the berries which have added wonderful deep rich hues to the landscape. Fruit seems to have had a wonderful year in this part of the country and lots of the trees are laden with apples, damsons and plums too. In fact I have been waiting for the first frost because it is surely time to go and gather some sloes.
Come, let us go into the lane, love mine,
And mark and gather what the Autumn grows:
The creamy elder mellowed into wine,
The russet hip that was the pink-white rose;
The amber woodbine into rubies turned,
The blackberry that was the bramble born;
Nor let the seeded clematis be spurned,
Nor pearls, that now are corals, of the thorn.
Look! what a lovely posy we have made
From the wild garden of the waning year.
So when, dear love, your summer is decayed,
Beauty more touching than is clustered here
Will linger in your life, and I shall cling
Closely as now, nor ask if it be Spring.
However, the lack of frost so far this year has meant that the roses are still in bloom together with fuchsia's cascading beautiful colour in the gardens.
For myself, it has also been a wonderful time of firsts. Whilst sitting on the river bank last week, a snake slid under my knees much to my total surprise. It was a grass snake so totally harmless (although I wasn't quite sure at the time). I don't think I have ever been quite so up close to a snake in the wild and confess to being just a little startled at the time. But, it was lovely to see and quite beautiful at close quarters.
Bird wise, I also saw some different one's for the first time in my life. I have never been lucky enough to see a Crossbill so was delighted to see several of them one evening in the valley. I did take a picture but, as you can see, it is very poor. It was virtually dark by the time I spotted them.
But, the beauty is that I did get to see them and that made the day very special :) Finally, we were also lucky enough to see a Goldcrest which is another first for me. No image at all this time because the only one I managed is a blur of wings, it was a nippy little thing.
We have had some unusually lovely days for October and this has meant that dragonflies are still about patrolling the river and the streams so I shall leave you with a Migrant Hawker which I did manage to capture at rest.
It has gone a lot colder this week and I am hoping that Winter doesn't arrive just yet. I am loving that final feast of colour.