27 October 2015

10 things I love about autumn

Autumn and spring are my favourite seasons. I think it’s because of the changes we see during those months, changes in the colours of our world, in the life all around us.

So, what are my ten reasons for loving autumn so much?

1) Colour
The colours in the landscape, and I don’t just mean the trees. The diversity of colour in the berries is astonishing and they provide such a welcome burst of brightness on grey cloudy days.

2) Leaves
There’s nothing more fun than kicking your way through a great drift of crunchy autumn leaves and there’s nothing more peaceful than sitting quietly beneath a tree, watching and listening to the leaves fall.

3) Homemade soup
As the days get shorter and the temperatures cooler, my mind turns to comfort food, and there’s nothing better than a big bowl of homemade soup and a chunky piece of bread. And it’s healthy and nutritious!

4) Knitting
My hands get too warm to knit in the summer months but come the cooler evenings and I’m reaching for my knitting. Yes, I did get my stash of wool freighted all the way from New Zealand when I moved to Wales. Yes, I have knitting in progress: finishing off the sleeves of this jumper I started last winter, and the rib started for a fairisle vest.

5) Scarves
Of course, I wear scarves all year round but, in winter, they’re more of a cosy necessity than an optional extra. At current count I have 21 – and these come from such diverse countries as India, Cambodia (several), Peru, Morocco, Scotland (family tartan, of course!), Turkey, Australia, and New Zealand – but I need more!

6) Nutty squirrels
The grey squirrels in the parks and woodlands here are going crazy at the moment, madly scrabbling about trying to find and secrete away as many nuts as possible to tide them over the coming winter months. Their antics are laugh-out-loud funny!

7) Slippers
When you have slippers as delightful as these, how can you not like the cooler evenings when they come out of the wardrobe and on to the tootsies? I think they’re hedgehogs, but that’s open to interpretation.

8) Fungi forays
Though I’ve always loved to eat mushrooms, my appreciation for non-edible fungi has only really sprouted in the last few years. Like the berries and the leaves, they add wonderful colour to the autumn landscape. Their huge range of size, shape and colour is astonishing … and they can be frustratingly difficult to identify!

Waterbirds like this Shoveler are among the most common migrants

9) Migrating birds
With the changing seasons, Britain sees an outpouring of some species and a huge influx of others, so the skies and the fields and the estuaries and the wetlands are suddenly home to many different types of birds. As an added bonus, this is also the time the starlings perform their wondrous murmurations, those aerial dances where thousands of birds fly in incredible synchronised formations.

10) Robins
And finishing with another bird because this little cutie deserves a mention all of its own. They’re friendly, they’re cheerful, they’re cute, they herald Christmas – which may or may not be a good thing. As the leaves fall from the trees, they seem to reappear in great numbers – were they hiding there all along or are they returning from their summer holidays?

That’s my list – what’s yours?

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