1 October 2017
All night thin rain has fallen soaking into the dry and dusty earth; building on canopies until good solid sized drops have accumulated and then; then like an invading army that crept deceitfully in to place, across the beach and up the cliff and through the forest now descends with dawn’s first light with trumpet and with drum and sets to pillage and to wash away the summer.
2 October 2017
Dew as heavy as jam upon the grass, great splodges dollops and globules of water hang upon the blades like drops of honey falling from the frame. There is a thickness in the world that adheres to surfaces and transfers gobbets from place to place from sward to boot and tries to penetrate but is repelled yet still chills the foot within.
3 October 2017
Yellow banners are being raised on trees as if belayed up masts by muscled men and barefoot boys clambering aloft on tall ships; they wave and flutter from the pinnacles or hang unfurled from lowly yardarms. Sun gold bursts amongst the darkening greens; pale butter smeared across the tips of leaves; and near the surfaces the beginnings of an infinite variety of browns.
4 October 2017
Chill was banished and went home alone when cold wandered over and settled in last night. Blades of grass bunch up to hold what little warmth is left; leaves bend low to snuggle up with mother trunk and trap her heat; even nettles crouch low and close to fight a cold that will hold the dew upon the grass all day till night time.
5 October 2017
The sun is striving as it makes its morning climb above the treeline; lighting the tops on the other side of this little valley. It has a world to warm but seems to concentrate on this small spot; focused here where cold has been sharp enough to silence cockerels.
6 October 2017
Fine mist hangs from the zenith and balances on blades of grass; invisible for a hundred yards and then it forms from nothing as if appearing out of another dimension. Edgeless it is just there dominating the landscape like some all-consuming creature from the terrified nether reaches of the mind; devouring trees and absorbing swathes of grass, sliding noiselessly across space and slipping unseen around corners.
7 October 2017
Bright sun cuts through clear air, as clear as if rain had swept and washed the dust from out the air; shadows sharp and precise, each leaf laid cleanly upon a branch or trunk. And with it a delineated warmth; in shade the chill of night prevails but in sunshine the heat comes through and warms one side of everything it touches.
8 October 2017
There is a stillness which feels misplaced in this season of constant change; of sun and wind and rain exchanging places hour by hour; of leaves that glowed green one day fading yellow and brown and falling in another; and of water flowing and deepening and chilling. Single birds break the silence, this year’s children; a breath of air that gently stirs the leaves to music; and then the thin cool drizzle comes as no surprise.
9 October 2017
Yesterday’s drizzle dampened heat and held it close so today begins with enough warmth to smell; to smell the still growing things that will continue slower and more stately through the winter; to smell the things that have begun their slow journey back to soil; and to smell the air that hints of far of places.
10 October 2017
Birdsong pierces the stillness like gossips twittering behind hands that hide their mouths but not their malice; but these songs are ballads of the summer that has been and winter that is to come; of what is in the past and what may yet be, the flights of fancies yet unflown; and the stories of generations passed down the line.
11 October 2017
Moon waning in a clear blue sky; sun rising strong and bright creates an edge of shadow on dew laden grass that steams into the air to rise and coalesce; perhaps to form the clouds that will obscure the fading moon and break the hold of heat the sun controls to cool again upon the grass and settle for another night.
12 October 2017
Thin light that’s barely there allows the eyes to see once saucer-sized; to see what is hidden in a full glare. Subtle variations of colours will appear; what was a lake of green becomes a sea of shades, a myriad of differences; yellows changing by the day separate into one hundred hues unblended; and in the brighter spots even browns all heading to the tone of soil hold their natures individually.
13 October 2017
Precious stone set in a silver sea of fine thin dew sent sparkling by this sun that shines back to a glorious summer spent warming hearts and earth; though somewhat lesser still it warms and soaks into the skin of leaf and tree and you and me; and gently it warms the world inch by precious inch.
14 October 2017
Mists hang like sheets between the trees, each layer holds its own distinction until finally they merge. Underlit by a new sun they are pale wan banners stretched across the world. Clouds sit in fields; some puddled in the lower reaches others flooding out as thick blankets pierced by hedgerows quartered by lines of trees. And almost imperceptibly slowly they slip and slide and tumble into rivers and into ditches and floating flow along and away with the waters.
15 October 2017
Flickering lights greet the gusty wind that lightly plays across the treetops; bright sunshine sparkles on green and yellow and orange as if they were signalling to far off siblings. And then there is a moment of stillness when nothing moves and even ducks go silent; and in another instant the wind returns and wakes those self-same crowns and heralded by a thousand falling acorns flurries of leaves are shaken forth and flutter down.
16 October 2017
Wind in high places sends treetops waving whilst down below strange songs and noises fill the woodland. The swing and swoosh of leaves in branches, sounds from some fairy tale that tells of distant lands; the creak of ancient limbs that have stood strong and stable through one hundred summers but may chose this winter to bend and break; and the scurry of this season’s birds close to earth as they seek protection from weather the like of which they have never known.
17 October 2017
Mist is thick, an obscuring blanket that can not be grasped. Sun thin and low pushes through to prise apart the folds and peek inside. A parent checking on a child in the dawn peering onto their world of dreams as muffled noises breach the stillness and a waking world begins to stir.
18 October 2017
Quietening as the year moves toward the winter hibernation; fewer leaves upon the trees to rustle in a gentle breeze; sap shrinking and withdrawing; animals sleeping and curling tighter as nights lengthen and staying longer in their nests and burrows for the warmth; birds singing but without the burst of joy and life that is the spring, deeper notes that have more gravitas and maturity; and a buzzard circles slowly held up by a lesser thermal.
19 October 2017
Ash leaves jumbled on the ground; green when they fell, deep and dark; long slow days as olive faded and emerald gave way to gold and yellow; as yellow struggled to grow to an orange with the merest hint of red; but before they could find a flushed complexion they began to dry and desiccate to lose all softness and curl into crisp waning moons.
20 October 2017
Light rain and rising sun bring the birds to deep melodious song. Leaves glisten in the light and droplets on their tips hold worlds within them. Pale grey clouds begin to move deepening and lessening to shades of steel and wandering white, then breaking apart revealing clear blue sky.
21 October 2017
Oak leaf darkens on a tree, the lobes hanging like an old man’s jowls; brown stains yellow blemishes and almost black blots discolour and tarnish the dark green smoothness. The tree may still be young a sprightly limber specimen of a decade or three, but this leaf is doomed to stain bruise and fade until it falls before the cold of winter.
22 October 2017
Yards or metres it matters not the measure but at low tide a flat beach stretches for what seems like miles; pools of life between the rocks, regular playgrounds of small creatures; rocks stretched out ahead, some barely protruding above the sand, some with seaweed grown within the crevices like hair and others that once rose higher but have been ground down by wind and water heat and cold grit and shingle.
23 October 2017
Hobgoblins spring from out the earth disguised as mushrooms; every shade of brown from black to white. The palest grow in rings as seats for elves and fairies widening year on year; lighter browns sprawl raggedy ann across the space; dark browns grow in groups cowled as monks; and the black goblins drip in the lightest rain and hang about waiting to accost unwary travellers.
24 October 2017
The woodland floor has quietened with gentle falling water. Leaves that pulsed with fluid fell and dried and crunched crisp and clean; now they are being claimed by the damp earth. Being softened without their summer plumpness the added weight will slowly crush them down toward the waiting soil which will drain the last of colour and feed upon their fabric until as fine skeletons they fail and fall.
25 October 2017
Despite the cooling day by day still young plants appear pushing heads through chill damp earth; none more prodigious than the nettles. Beside these fresh bright acid green new growths their elder brethren droop and let their leaves begin to pale and withdraw. Whilst the eldest will soon give up the stuff of life, amongst the youngest there are those that will survive the coming cold and put down deep roots ready to burst forth in Spring.
26 October 2017
As the forest floor thickens and the canopy becomes sparse, from out the mist great skeletons appear; lumbering giants bestriding the damp earth. Like tattered cloaks the mist falls from off their shoulders and slips and rolls down hills and over hedgerows and stripped of everything they stand with naught but dignity to face the world.
27 October 2017
Young dog bounces smelling every day anew. He knows where creatures burrow and what banks hold interest and checks each one each day as we walk along the river. Old dog and I follow the curves but hold the path whilst young dog sprints and races left and right and back and forth chasing animals no longer there and tracking memories of yesterday.
28 October 2017
Mist is gathered on the hillsides obscuring trees and hedgerows glowing in the early light; thick enough to slip between the trunks of woodland trees and steal the warmth they hold; a heavy mist that gathers on the tips of leaves and drips. It brings a chill and not one to be turned away with the first bright sunshine; this chill will sink into the ground and stay with us through Winter.
29 October 2017
And still the morning glories greet the day pink shades opening to a chill dampness. Whilst other flowers last and hold themselves into the winter months these mayflies of the plant world blossom each a single day so never age nor fade and fail.
30 October 2017
Still and silent silver waves sit upon the grass at that precise spot where sun and dew do kiss; a sea unmoving hushed not calling to the birds nor rippling along the sands of time. Yet time its toll is taking as grasses slow and cease their constant growing and prepare to sit out the coming chill and wait for warmth to stir their stems and bring them back to life.
31 October 2017
Little rain has fallen but the dew has seeped into the earth and raised the river just enough for it to sound. Twigs and leaves perhaps have moved to open gaps in nature’s dams and let the music of the water play again; or stillness and silence have given space to gentle sounds; dribbling and trickling over silt and between rocks the river speaks.