Falling for Fall

…when I glanced out of the laboratory window one morning and saw that the trees outside were half bare, I thought suddenly of my home and family. Sloe and rose haws would be out in the hedgerows, and Lizzie would be carving the turnip lantern ready for All Hallows’ Eve.

There is something about autumn that lends itself to magic. It is the season of Halloween, when the veil between this would and the next is supposed to be at it thinnest. Darkness seems to close in on us as the days get shorter. It is the evening of the year, a time for rest and reflection after the activity of summer. 

Equally, it is a gift to write about. Landscapes have always been my favourite thing to describe in words and represent visually, and there is so much to say about the autumn landscape, from the changing tree colours to the lingering mists and morning frosts. So, in honour of the coming season, here are some of my favourite words on autumn. Let’s enjoy them and look forward to fall.

November always seemed to me the Norway of the year ~ Emily Dickinson

Listen! The wind is rising and the air is wild with leaves. We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves ~ Humbert Wolfe

“Come, little leaves,” said the wind one day,
“Come o’er the meadows with me and play;
Put on your dresses of red and gold,
For summer is gone and the days grow cold.”

Soon as the leaves heard the wind’s loud call,
Down they came fluttering, one and all;
Over the brown fields they danced and flew,
Singing the glad little songs they knew.

“Cricket, good-by, we’ve been friends so long,
Little brook, sing us your farewell song;
Say you are sorry to see us go;
Ah, you will miss us, right well we know.

“Dear little lambs in your fleecy fold,
Mother will keep you from harm and cold;
Fondly we watched you in vale and glade,
Say, will you dream of our loving shade?”

Dancing and whirling, the little leaves went,
Winter had called them, and they were content;
Soon, fast asleep in their earthy beds,
The snow laid a coverlid over their heads.

George Cooper

A step back in time


Today I visited the beautiful Berrington Hall just outside Leominster, Herefordshire. Built 130 years after the execution of King Charles I and Cromwell’s Puritanical grip on the country that followed, its opulent neoclassical style is a stark contrast to the world in which Tom and Eliza lived.