Thursday, 23 November 2017
We are enjoying yet another stunning autumn day here in the North of England - it’s cold but crisp, the light has a wonderful slightly honeyed clarity and the pavements are decorated with delicate origami shapes in an array of purple, yellow and dazzling red. For November 23rd this is highly irregular and I'd personally call it the best autumn in memory. The Forestry Commission predicted as much, back in August, when an unusually wet summer gave trees the opportunity to store plenty of sugars in their leaves. The following months have been almost uniformly dry, warm and still - no frosts to kill off the leaves, no water to turn them into mulch and very little wind to blow them away. The results have been breath taking. Autumn has always been my favourite time of year and the kids are used to me staring at the sky a lot and constantly stuffing fine specimens into my pockets to be pressed and displayed at home, but this year I've been insufferable. By rights it ought to be dark and damp and full-on SAD by now, but its almost December and the skylines are still dripping with beautiful, iridescent, flaming leaves.
Furthermore, I've just made a thrilling new discovery.