On the face of it Autumn is a melancholy time of year. Cooling of temperature and shortening of days signal that progression into cold, dreary winter months lurks just around the corner.
However, there is much we can enjoy about this mysterious season. It is a time of transition that is vital to the cycle of nature and the world.
Beginning with the culmination of the Summer – a time of infinite potential – Autumn begins a retreat into preparing for Winter. This is reflected in the day to day life of wildlife animals at this time. It is necessary to take stock of the excessive provisions we have been given, and to count the joys experienced in the holiday season.
Orange and red are the colours representing the Autumn season, reflecting the beautiful and changing natural landscape.
Shorter days and cooler temperatures are undeniably unappealing but they are also responsible for the gorgeous reds, golden/yellows and and brown tinges apparent in nature at this time as they trigger the green photosynthetic pigment of the leaves to break down (called chlorophyll). As a result, the coloured shades are exposed in the leaves. Then, they are shed completely in preparation for the Winter.
These displays and colours can be seen in all areas of woodland, notably those where chestnut, oak and beech trees stand. Some examples are Epping Forest and Highgate Wood.
The hibernation seasons of Autumn and Winter are marked throughout literature by their focus on stillness, contemplation and crystallization. Through these processes we will be ready to appreciate the phenomenal period of renewal that characterises spring, when the earth awakens, bursting with new life.
Even in cities there are a number of stunning parks to walk in, where one can truly absorb the picturesque beauty and feel of a misty autumnal morning. The scenery of this season is unmatched by any other. Sunsets are luminous over the yellow, orange and red trees and leaves. It is altogether a feast for the senses, and what could be better than a walk through woodlands with warm clothes on followed by your favourite comfort food and a hot chocolate?
There is a mysterious, yet serene feel about this time of year enhanced by the crispness, clean – smelling air as it carries coloured leaves around, before crunchy ones land delightfully underneath your feet.
We associate Autumn with an ending, but it is really just part of the natural cycle, with much to savour and appreciate!