While my friends in my beloved southern lands contemplate the beginning of spring and the reawakening of their southern world, here there is a decided autumnal nip in the air. The days are still warm, though shortening rapidly, but early in the morning and in the evening once the sun has lost its strength, ...brrr. For a few days now I have felt the march of autumn as it creeps up on us and seeks to replace a gorgeous summer with the first frosts and a golden, fading light.
It was the poet John Keats who beautifully described the English autumn as the 'season of mists and mellow fruitfulness', and that is definitely the time we are now entering. Apple trees are plump with fruit and the hedgerows are darkening as the blackberries ripen. Those same hedges carry hazelnuts, now browning and soon ready to be picked.
For the past few mornings, as I have driven from my little village home towards the main road on my way to work, I have been able to look across the low-lying moors of meadows, ditches and willow trees and have seen the mists gently rising at the start of a new day. This is a gorgeous sight, a blanket of mist hanging in the air perhaps a metre above the ground, distinct and alone, seemingly cutting in half trees and cattle alike.
Sadly, it is not something I have ever managed to photograph, and I would dearly love to. I see it in the mornings on my way to work but never at the week-end. I can't set off for work earlier to give myself time to take photos, because the mist would not be there earlier; if I leave it to another time, it's not there at all. This elusive mist has become a bit of an obsession with me. This, windless, morning it was spectacular. Tomorrow morning I will go out to try and catch it, and I feel sure it will be nothing more than a memory, a regret at not being prepared for a time of year that I knew would come but which I expected to be postponed forever by the long, wistful days of summer.