Maybe my memory is suspect, or I’m being impatient, but Autumn is not what it should be, nor how I remember it. It’s been a weird year weather-wise in the UK: a bitterly cold Winter was followed by an unusually warm Spring; Summer was miserable, cool and grey, and Autumn started with a heat wave with record temperatures of 29.9C at the start of October.
Rainfall this year has also been bizarre. The North and West of the UK has had excessive rainfall; in complete contrast, the South-East’s Rainfall has been well below normal with East Anglia suffering the worst. Many of our trees have suffered from drought stress: already stripped of leaves having gone from summer to bare branches, by-passing Autumn completely, as the leaves have dried to crisps. Other trees remain stubbornly green but with withering leaves – few trees, so far, are developing their normal autumnal colors.
I’ve been out twice this week looking for Autumn colors and they have been hard to find – but they exist if you search. Here are the results:-
You’d be forgiven if you thought you had time-travelled looking at these Beech leaves. A Sweet Chestnut is a little more seasonal.
On other trees – many of the leaves are blown, diseased or grounded. A real mixed bunch. But just once or twice you find what you are looking for – Oak leaves that really do carry the badge of Autumn, whether they are fallen or still on the tree. Hopefully there is better to come.