The View From Here


 

Look out of any window now and there is a golden glow. It’s probably the last week it will be like this. Over the next couple of days, according to the forecast, the temperature may drop to below zero for the first time this winter. And then, no doubt, the remaining leaves will be gone.

Relocating my work space clutter temporarily to the dining room table I’ve discovered it isn’t very warm in here. Yesterday it was just my feet that were cold. Then last night the numbness extended up to my knees. I’ve been eyeing up the central heating control panel on the far side of the room. So far I’ve resisted. Would Mike really notice do you think if I were to tweak it just a bit?

 
 
 

Acer 013 Wm[1]

 
 

Acer palmatum ‘Osakazuki’

Acer ‘Osakazuki’ did an odd thing this year. Half its leaves turned red while the rest were green and then, for a couple of weeks at least, it seemed to get stuck. Now the green leaves have caught up, only for the first lot to drop off.

 
 
 

Autumn leaves 009 Wm[1]

 
 

They do offer a striking contrast to the cyclamen leaves below

 
 
 

Callicarpa bodinieri 'Profusion' 002 Wm[1]

 
 

Callicarpa bodinieri ‘Profusion’

The Callicarpa on the bank has grown to a reasonable size now and its berries are really standing out. Only a matter of time before the birds find them then I guess.

 
 
 

Autumn leaves 011 Wm[1]

 
 

But it’s the woodland that provides the most spectacular feature this month. As the ornamental trees, the acers and the cornus, started to drop their leaves, the native beeches and oaks came into their own.

 

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Walking out this morning I heard a scuffling in the distance, an animal running away. It brought to mind another encounter from earlier this summer. One late afternoon, whilst watering in the greenhouse, an unexpected noise pulled me up. Something was in the river. Something splashing. Something big. Feeling mighty brave in the circumstances I crept round the rhododendrons to peer down below. Nothing.

A couple of days later, blow me if the same thing didn’t happen again. AND a couple of days after that.. always about 5.30 p.m. So what could it be? Another farmyard escapee? A villager out for a walk, taking a short cut down through the river? The Beast of Bodmin Moor? Bodmin is quite some distance from here but without doubt I’d heard something lurking in the deepest and darkest part of the woodland. And whatever it was we needed to find out. Ideally before it found us.

For several days we leapt into action at the first sound of splashing. For me another dive behind a rhododendron bush (being the original Doctor Who peeping-round-the-sofa kind of girl), with Mike heading for a different vantage point farther up the river. For days we saw nothing. Infuriating in the extreme. A stake out was planned.

Finally, ‘the beast’ made its mistake. It lingered over a drink from the river just a few seconds too long and Mike caught a glimpse of white tail disappearing betwixt the trees. That bloomin’ rhodo-nibbling, rudbeckia-munching roe deer.

 
 
 

Autumn leaves 012 Wm[1]

 
 

The river is down in the dip beyond this railing.

The predominant sounds this morning were of birdsong and the faint whisper of the breeze. As leaves start to fall light can penetrate the canopy for the first time since late Spring. The colours are just superb this year.

 
 

Linking up with Christina’s Garden of the Hesperides for Garden Bloggers’ Foliage Day.

Click through (here) to see how Christina and many other gardeners are using foliage this month.