The last few runner beans are ready for picking, rosy fruits gleam like baubles on the apple tree, and spiders weave their silken webs through mauve Michaelmas daisies. At dawn, mist rises from the valleys then disperses to reveal the glories of a rural autumn under a clear blue sky.

Elizabeth Gaskell described this mellow season in Wives and Daughters, “It was one of those still and lovely autumn days when the red and yellow leaves are hanging-pegs to dewy, brilliant gossamer-webs; when the hedges are full of trailing brambles, loaded with ripe blackberries; when the air is full of the farewell whistles and pipes of birds… when here and there a leaf floats and flutters down to the ground, although there is not a single breath of wind.”

The Welsh poet, W H Davies, reckoned it was a poor life if we didn’t make time to stop and stare at the beauty of nature.

“What have you been taking pictures of today, then?” asked the cashier at the corner shop when he saw my camera slung round my neck. “Autumn!” I replied. Nature’s bountiful colours, textures, scents and tastes are experienced at their sumptuous best in autumn. Take a look, and thank God for such good things.


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