I love the autumn and its changing colours but this is not a family trait. My maternal grandmother hated the season, seeing it as the time when everything died. Ironically perhaps, she died in a September.
Okay the weather can and does get rough at this time of year but we also have some wonderful late sunshine now. At least with autumn you expect the weather to be dodgy at times. I can’t say I was impressed with this summer’s offering.
The other downside, I suppose, is the fact the evenings draw in that much earlier but, for me, the plus side to that is those early nights give a great excuse to curl up with a good book in front of a nice fire. Okay I’m biased. As a writer, I want people to read but as a form of entertainment, I don’t think it can be beaten. Why? So many books, so many genres (including in non-fiction), and you can read one book X number of times if you wish. Okay you can go and see a film X number of times but you don’t pay per read with a book!
Keats described autumn as the “season of mellow fruitfulness”. He’s right of course but I describe it as the “season of soup, hot chocolate, central heating and other home comforts”! I’ve only had central heating installed for four years so still really appreciate having it. Trust me, night storage heating is not the same!
The season has its compensations then.
I love walking through the fallen leaves and it won’t be long before you find me clearing up said leaves outside my home. This exercise is an excellent workout. I also think I get my money’s worth out of the garden subscription service just raking up the leaves and binning them for the Council to take.
To all those who blow their leaves out on to the road or pavement, please don’t. The leaves, especially when wet, create a hazard for pedestrians and cyclists and only last autumn I almost fell trying to cross the road at the Baddesley Road/Hursley Road junction. Why? There were so many leaves in the gutter they completely obliterated all view of the kerb and so I nearly missed my footing.
If you don’t use the Council’s garden subscription service, you would be better off raking the leaves into a corner of your garden and leaving them to rot down there. I’m not particularly great at gardening (though I am a whizz with a lawn mower!) but leaves can be used as a mulch on bedding plants etc to protect them over the winter months (and Wellie I’m sure could confirm this). Best thing about this? It’s free!
I could do without the fireworks season but then so could most dog owners. Sadly this won’t be an issue for me this year, having recently lost the lovely Mabel, but it will be again in future years I’m sure.
A useful start I feel here would be to either adopt the idea of silent fireworks (I remember reading a story on the news that an Italian area does this) or to limit firework sales so the wretched things can only be let off at the weekend of Fireworks Night. Having seen what fireworks can do to a pet dog, I pity the wild animals who go through this night after night after night. I also advocate the organised displays as these are controlled (they don’t go on too late into the night for a start). I also think they’re safer.
And, given the image below, can I please put in an early reminder to double check your bonfire heaps before you light them given hedgehogs love to curl up in these.
I’m also not a Halloween fan. (I have no problem with the idea of bobbing for apples but trick or treating? You spend all year telling kids not to take stuff from a stranger and then for one night the exact opposite is done. It seems like nonsense to me. It also seems like blackmail and I’m not keen on that either!).
At the moment, the old oaks in my garden are shedding their acorns rapidly. It can seem like you’re being pebble-dashed out there and this caused a number of comments from visitors to a family party held recently. From the number of acorns down already, I’d say the squirrels are going to be kept busy burying their supplies for some time. This will no doubt lead to a reasonable supply of new oak saplings next year!
Autumn holds out the promise of better things to come. You can’t have the next spring without the previous autumn and winter after all. There is a natural rhythm to life.
I also love Jeff Wayne’s musical version of The War of the Worlds and one of my favourite tracks from it is Forever Autumn.
I also love the fact little is wasted in nature. The fallen leaves rot down and help feed the trees they came from. This food helps those trees to continue to grow so there will be new leaves in the spring. I also think the sight of a full grown holly tree with its berries is amazing. It’s also pretty amazing how quickly the birds can strip those berries off again!
So what is your favourite season and why? What are your views on autumn?
Read blog posts by Allison Symes published on Chandler’s Ford Today.