November, and at last some of the trees are realising that autumn is supposed to be colourful!
Grey, mild weather, plenty of wind and several days of very heavy rain, has resulted in many of the trees dropping their leaves, which the wind then catches and drives into drifts in the gutters, where they lie in sludgy, mud-tinted puddles, before really showing much of that famous autumn colour at all. At last a frost has come, and on a few inspiration-seeking walks near my home, I have found the oak and the beech, the chestnut and the cherry, have started to turn glorious golds and rusts and russet reds.
The roadsides along any country lane are colonized by countless pheasants, that strut about like clockwork toys, with feathers of bronze and teal edged in gold like oriental artwork. The woodland floor is covered with a blanket of spiky conker cases, oak apples and squirrel rummaged leaf litter, whilst the echoing calls of tawny owls drift in through the open window on dark evenings.