Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Autumnal Wanderings

We've just returned from a cracking half term week away at the in-laws, which involves a long car journey and a ferry trip.  We got back on Saturday evening - on Sunday, the car went kaput and I put my back out whilst brushing the dog.  Oh joy.  Thank goodness neither of these things happened while we were away…

The back is a pain in every sense of the word, but it's manageable thankfully.  It certainly makes putting on boots and tights a bit more of a challenge...  I'm also fortunate that I've had no desperate need for the car over the last couple of days.

We awoke this morning to find the weather bright and very cold, with the first real layer of frost this side of the summer.  Autumn in the north west of England has been very mild thus far, which has been lovely, but I do enjoy a nice, crisp, frosty morning.

The last of the red berries

The leaves proudly display the first proper frost of the season

I dropped the kids off at school and then took the car to the garage, in the hope that they might be able to work their (inexpensive) magic on it and get it sorted again - fingers crossed, everyone...  Being such a lovely morning, and in the hope that it might loosen up my back a little, I decided to take a longer but more scenic route home.  It being a last minute decision I had neither camera nor appropriate boots for the trek, but still, I decided to give it a go.  And I'm so pleased I did…

I love the way the frost has gathered on the edges of these leaves

Beautiful moss or ferns growing on a discarded tree branch

Ordinarily on walks such as this I have company - two giddy kids, a giddy dog and a husband exasperated at my desire to stop and take photos of the family and the local scenery every five minutes.  I love our family rambles, and we are so very lucky to have some wonderful scenery and walks right on our doorstep.  But this morning it was just me.  Just little me.  All by myself.  And it was bliss.

I noticed things I wouldn't usually have the chance to see or consider.  I could take my time taking photos, albeit on my phone rather than my camera.  I didn't have pockets stuffed full of discarded hats, tissues, snacks, dog bags…

I'm not naturally an impulsive person - I love order and lists and the like.  But I got a thrill from the spontaneous nature of my decision.  I enjoyed the fact that it wasn't a planned journey and that it was a little unexpected slice of 'me' time.

I absolutely loved the colours, the fresh air, the way the trees are shedding their leaves with gusto as the effect of the frost hits.  Yes, it would have been nice to have some more blue sky, but as we head rapidly for winter and with snow forecast for this evening and overnight, I suspect today may have been the last real opportunity to catch autumn in all its colourful glory before everything becomes brown, white and grey.

I love the way the green and yellow leaves 'pop' out against
the warm brown colour of the ground

More leaves...

We live in a village which developed around its cotton mill heritage.  To the best of my knowledge there are no working mills left in the village any more, and indeed most of the mill buildings have been demolished, but there are still nods to the past to be found here, especially on the local skyline.

The building in the foreground is a former mill; the chimney relates to
another former mill site across the road - birds now nest in the top of it!

My walk today took me along what was formerly the railway line through the village.  The last train ran through here many years ago, around half a century since.  The metal railway tracks themselves have long since gone, but you can still follow the route of the railway, passing over a stone viaduct and spotting small but significant remnants of the line here and there.

Autumn in our beautiful town, looking towards the surrounding countryside

I returned home with a ruddy red face, cosily warm hands and feet (unheard of for me - I struggle to warm my extremities in summer never mind freezing temperatures), inspired, thrilled and with the most ridiculous huge grin on my face.  And my back was a lot looser too, yay!  Note to self - must do this again sometime soon!


A couple of weeks ago, the Boy and I went on a nature walk.  We collected lots of twigs, cones and fallen flora and leaves, and even a feather, with a view to making a collage or a painting upon our return.  Following a warm drink and a biscuit, we spread our treasures on the table and got the paints out.

The Boy initially wanted autumnal colours, but plumped in the end for blacks and purples, to indicate the night sky.

The Boy and his painting

Happy times...

He got so engrossed in his paintings that he forgot all about our autumnal treasures!  The leaves have sadly disintegrated, as leaves are want to do, but I've saved the rest and I'm sure we'll come back to them one day soon…

Bye for now xxx

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