There is so much to love about autumn: it’s as if Nature is an award-winning play, and all the trees are her actors. She’s coming to the end of another successful season, it’s the last grand finale, the players are dressed in magnificent richly coloured costumes ready to take their final bows before a rapturous audience amidst great critical acclaim … and then the curtain comes down for another year.
Determination. Persistence. Resistance. Constancy.
Humans have cleared the land of ‘weeds’; laid a gravel path edged with a concrete strip; planted a bed of ornamental shrubs (many of which have died); and mulched that garden bed with metal chips yet, in spite of all that destruction of its habitat, this little Colt’s-foot (Tussilago farfara) has managed to push through and begin to flower.
I went for a lovely long walk around parts of Cardiff Bay yesterday and it was sunny and warm, so warm that I had to strip off my scarf and the thin jumper I was wearing over my t-shirt and under my fleece. Spring was definitely in the air and, on my return walk home, I discovered I wasn’t the only one to be feeling the temperature change. These crocuses were putting on a glorious display in the churchyard of St Augustine’s and in the small grassy area just down the hill from the church. Beautiful!
‘Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.’
Rachel Carson (1907-1964) was an American marine biologist and conservationist. This quote is taken from her seminal work Silent Spring, 1962.
I can see it coming. Rolling silently over the house roofs and tree tops from the south, where the sea lies, where the ocean roars. Slowly, gradually, the light grows dim, eerie, the sun’s rays weaker, unable to penetrate the gloom. Trees vanish, leaving mere ghostly outlines.
Sounds become muffled but, at the same time, strangely amplified. Voices echo, seem nearby yet, in reality, are hundreds of metres distant. Footsteps tap, tap, tap. Spectral figures appear, pass quickly by, disappear once more. Birds fall silent as if afraid to pierce the silence with their squawks, tweets, chirps.
Fog is everywhere, blanketing the lake, flowing along the brook, shrouding buildings, hovering over bushes, making branches droop, making hair frizz. Creeping tendrils wind their way through tree branches, wrap themselves around park benches, slither between railings. Fog makes throats choke and chests heave, and seeps into old bones.
On Roath Lake, the light-less lighthouse needs a light today and a horn to warn.