Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

Autumnal Reverie at Branton Lakes

Strolling around the Breamish valley in Northumberland after days of relentless rain, one simply cannot ignore the fact that autumn’s colours have hit their peak. Just a few days back, they seemed rather withered, but the rain has injected vibrant life into the dying leaves, rejuvenating them quite remarkably.

About a week ago, prior to the arrival of Storm Babet, the countryside had a somewhat sere appearance. However, the rain has splendidly rejuvenated the colours. Some oaks now don a pale yellow hue, while what I initially mistook for a horse-chestnut turned out to be the rich, aged gold of a cherry tree. Beeches have begun to rust into an array of tawny browns, and the bracken now adorns a warm, deeply satisfying shade of rich mahogony.

Bleeds of haws and rose-hips paint the hedgerows with a winter larder for the birds. A mulch of fallen leaves cushions the roads underfoot. The memory of the autumnal equinox is slowly fading, giving way to the rapid approach of Christmas.

In the late afternoon, a leisurely walk around the Branton Lakes Nature Reserve. Sunset is not too far off — a time that heightens the senses. A surprising break in the cloud cover, and the sun delivers a magical encore.







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