Just like that, summer has slunk out the back door and autumn is pushing its way in through the front. Blink-and-you’ll-miss-it summer sunshine has been replaced with the crunch of leaves underfoot and the surprising veil of night drawing itself in earlier and earlier.
I love autumn.
I think we’re fortunate in England to experience a definable period of the year that we can call autumn. A friend of mine living in Southern Spain recently voiced her frustrations with temperatures too hot to layer up against the current drizzle.
I’m all for autumn and as it’s my first one back on English soil in two years I thought it was about time to celebrate this spectacular season.
A Shuffle Of Leaves
Who else is transported back to childhood when they see a drift of leaves piled up on the pavement? Ah, the crunch, the colour, the scuffle; it’s like I’m ten years old again on the walk to school. Well, release your inner child and get amongst them, work shoes and all. I hope that they reward you with extra shuffle and scratch as you kick and swish.
A wisp of wood smoke
Nose a-quivering, I love the dry crackle of wood smoke that drifts through the autumn air. The houses in the village take on even more country charm as plumes of smoke drift from each contented chimney and windows glow with the buttery heat from within.
What creature sums up the rustle and twinkle of autumn better than our beloved hedgehog? Leaf litter and hedgerows provide essential shelter for them as they hunker down for their big winter snooze.
Thousands of mesmerising cobwebs adorn every nook and cranny on those misty mornings throughout autumn. From a blade of grass to the garden gate, strings of diamonds suddenly bridge every gap. I’m even willing to indulge that jolting moment of walking into a web I didn’t see because they are just that pretty.
So much of the joy of autumn derives from childhood when I feel we are really encouraged to enjoy the best of the season. I grew up in a time when silky smooth conkers were a fascinating find on the walk to school, and battles were gleefully fought in the playground.
Drawing The Curtains
As the nights draw in there is something delightfully snug about closing the curtains on the dark night’s sky. It may be cold and gloomy outside, but to close the curtains acts as an instant warming balm.
The Snuggle Of A Scarf
I think we are all secretly pleased when the times comes that we can legitimately sink our necks into the snuggle of a scarf. Too little can we wear them in summer due to the inevitable and unpleasant sweaty neck. I’m sure I’m not the only one who happily wraps a scarf around my neck when the cool air bites, and sinks my chin into its soft folds.
Make Mine Mulled
At this time of year the seasonal warm drinks start making a premature appearance. Wine, cider, teas, soft drinks; put the word ‘mulled’ in front of anything and it immediately takes on a seemingly crucial role of a fireside accompaniment on a chilly autumn evening. Good thing I love a mulled wine, and I wonder if I’m not the only one who would happily drink it from the moment the clocks go back until the last mince pie has been eaten in the new year.
A Lot Of Love For Wellies
It wouldn’t be an autumn in England without a rather substantial dumping of grey, dismal rain. However, lurking in the back of the shoe cupboard in most people’s houses are the often neglected but much loved pair of Wellington boots.
Alfred Wainwright’s quote of “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing”, springs to mind as we eagerly pull out our Wellies at the first torrential downpour, still determined to get outside and walk the dog/ take the kids to school /generally splash about in puddles.
A Pop Of Colour
For an enchanting few weeks throughout this season, our trees treat us to a spectacular festival of colour. From ruby red to spiced orange, the turning of the leaves before they tremble and fall into winter is a riot of wonderful hues. Catching the glow of the leaves across the landscape in the golden afternoon sunshine is a fitting reminder of how beautiful this time of year is, and how much I’ll miss it until the next time.
I am struck by how much of my enjoyment of this season stems from my childhood memories. From learning about the hedgehog and Guy Fawkes in school, to bonfires and fireworks and scuffling through leaves, autumn is such a wonderful time of year for kids. Even though I am now a big kid, I know that I will continue to love the the magic of autumn year after year.
Do you love autumn? What’s your favourite thing about it?
A big thanks to Pixabay for all the lovely images that helped to illustrate this post.