From the vaults: Leaf fall (30/11/2009)

Leaf fall

Autumn is an ambiguous season. There’s an inevitable melancholy associated with the end of summer and shrinking of the daylight hours. But there are compensations too: that distinctive autumn light, the smells of garden bonfires and, perhaps best of all, the turn and fall of the leaves.

This year’s leaf fall was a protracted one here in the English midlands. As late summer gave way to an extended spell of mild
autumn weather, mixed woodlands were a riot of colour as the different varieties turned and gradually dropped to ground over a number of weeks. It was also helpful that wind speeds stayed unseasonably benign throughout much of that time, giving the trees an opportunity to shed their foliage at an unhurried pace.

All in all it was a spectacle which went a long way towards lifting the gloom surrounding the dying of the light. A clear, crisp, blue sky winter, with bone hard frosts and snow on the tops, would round the year off nicely.


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