Friday, 11 September 2009

Changing seasons

I think autumn is here. This morning was clear and sunny, but with a definite bite in the air, and as I drove to work, under skies full of hot air balloons, I realised that it has all been creeping up on me without my noticing

The hedges are full of purplish-red unripe blackberries, the leaves on the beech trees and horse chestnut trees are starting to turn every shade of yellow and brown. It's going to be a bumper year for conkers.

I have the same drive to work every day and it is easy to focus only on the irritations - the everlasting roadworks, for instance, or the drivers who think tail-gating is a good idea, but I do drive through some lovely bits of countryside.
This morning, I saw a little animal run out from the hedge and across the road - my first thought was 'squirrel', then 'rat', but when I got to look a little more carefully, I reaslised it was a Stoat - they tend to be quite elusive and I can only remember seeing one about 2 or three times in the past.
The guy behind me hooted at me for having braked but I'm glad I did. (I wouldn't have wanted to run over it even if it had been a rat)
It ran into the opposite hedge just under a magnificant Rowan tree absolutely loaded with berries - very dramatic againt the pale blue sky.
I didn't have my camera with me so the pictures are from a trip to Westonbirt Arboreatum, last autumn. I think maybe it's time I went back there.

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