I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that I love living in a country with very obviously different seasons. I like all of them in their own way, but if you were to press me for a favourite it would have to be Autumn . . . . I think.... ask me again in Spring.
It's the variety that appeals. Some days just as warm as summer, other days waking to early frosts and steaming breath. Sunrise at a time of day which still feels early (without being ridiculous), but not robbing too much precious daylight. Some wildlife arriving for a protracted visit; some preparing for an elongated sleep, others still bidding us fair well and good luck with the cold weather as they abandon ship for warmer climes. But of course it is the colours that are the headline act - anyone who cannot appreciate the aesthetic beauty of the changing colours of Autumn, at least to some extent, is a truly hard-hearted individual.
My new job is keeping me pretty busy at present, by which I mean I'm not getting out of the office as often as I would like. But my office is right on the edge of Cannock Chase AONB, a thoroughly suitable place to appreciate the changing colour palette of the natural world. Particularly when the forecast suggests clear skies and cool temperatures - a combination which often means mist!
And so it turned out earlier this week when I left home an hour or so early to take a sunrise walk before settling in front of my desk and screen for the rest of the day (working in conservation, contrary to what many people seem to think, does not equate to endless days out of doors enjoying the sunshine!). It was well worth the effort: the colours are really getting into their stride. With the bracken and silver birch working together with the low sun to create truly stunning 'colourscapes', and the mist and rolling heather covered hills gradually fading into a distant haze, the scenery was as good as I have ever seen it there - and I've seen it look pretty nice! Hopefully the handful of photo's here demonstrate even a hint of the pleasure I derived from my short walk that morning.
The Fallow deer are on the move as well, I didn't hear any bellowing but it can only be a matter of time, and I did see several bucks of various sizes moving around the heathland on their own. a sure indication that the rut isn't far away because the rest of the year they tend to form groups. I'm looking forward to try and capture some deer rutting activity before the autumn is through! But that is for another time!
The new job is one excuse for why this blog hasn't been updated regularly of late - but in reality it is more to do with my personal procrastination. Hopefully I'll make time for the next installment in a more timely manner!