Signs of Autumn

All around us the signs of autumn are beginning to make an appearance. Despite the lingering sunshine and warmth there are tell-tale signs that the year is turning ever onwards towards the darkness of winter. In Gaelic there are two words for the sun depending on the time of year, and for now we have moved into the time of the little sun, with it’s weakening rays and shortening days. It’s dark now by 7pm, and this change in light has started the change of colours which we all love so much in the autumn. The green leaves of summer are becoming a little tattered and frayed around the edges.

The evening dog walks are happening earlier and earlier, as the nights draw in, and the squirrels are very busy among the trees building their winter stores. The dogs are fascinated with the squirrels, giving sudden chase whenever one crosses the path. Willow walks at this time of year with her head looking skywards, on constant squirrel watch.

The view upwards is beautiful, with the first orange leaves beautifully lit by the low angled sun. One by one the green leaves turn orange, become crisp and dry, and they tumble away from the trees. Spiralling and twisting in the soft warm breeze, drifting and dancing down towards the soft black earth. Every now and then in a sudden swirl of wind the leaves on the ground spiral up to mix and drift with the falling leaves. The air is filled with autumns dancing leaves, and low shafts of sunlight, and it steals my heart. Each moment is filled with so much beauty, so much of natures breath and movement, that it weaves a spell of mindfulness holding me in the perfect moment beneath the trees.

Meanwhile autumns jewels are glistening among the ferns and bushes. Rich purple elderberries plump with glittering sun, and wreathed in hand spun webs, weight down their slender branches.

Cool moist mahogany conkers litter the forest floor, glinting in pools of sunlight, hiding among the fallen leaves. Evoking childhood memories, it’s hard to resist gathering a few. To hold and turn a freshly fallen conker, is to tumble back to the past filled with hope and laughter among the autumn trees. There is so much to hold us, so much to fill our minds, that worries spill away with the drifting leaves.

Back at home there are more signs of autumn. The squashes are ripening at an alarming pace, and I’m running out of recipies.

The shadows have crept all the way across the lawn before the washing is quite dry, such a difference in just a few weeks. I love to see the signs of Autumn, and to feel the change of the season? It’s as though the world is taking a long soothing breath out, after the frantic restless energy of summer……I wonder if everyone likes this time of year as much as I do?

About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home on the shores of Loch Ness deep in the Scottish Highlands with my husband, my son and a couple of dogs. I love art which is here now and gone food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist and Cancer Support Specialist in Maggies Highlands
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41 Responses to Signs of Autumn

  1. lori says:

    Lovely, lovely.

  2. Leya says:

    You seem to have lovely autumn weather – here the leaves are blowing away…before reaching their richest colours. Lovely post – as usual!

  3. Sharon K. says:

    What a beautiful world you live in :-). Your posts make me want to move to Scotland :-).

    I love autumn………your narrative captures her perfectly. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I am fascinated with the changes in color, lighting, mood, energy level that autumn brings. I love the abundance of the harvest…and I dread winter even as I know that resistance is futile. Love the Gaelic concept of the “little sun” – perfect for the diminished power of the sun in winter.
    As always, beautiful pictures and words…

    • I love that concept too Annette, the little sun, and the big sun….and of course their transitions at Autumn and Spring mark times of beautiful shifting light and moods ๐Ÿ™‚
      The little sun never burns us, and only has the power to keep the greenwoods (evergreens) alive.
      Resistance is indeed futile, and yet we can’t help ourselves, but you know I’m certain I would find perpetual summer boring!

  5. I do. I do. I enjoy the autumn … very much. You have done a wonderful, sensitive, insightful, job at getting at the intimate side of all of this … the very personal side. For, a personal side there is! And, there are the Conkers! The nuts look just like our Chestnuts! Lovely, heartfelt, post. What you have described is what most of us feel (whether we can express it or not). D

    • I always love to meet a fellow Autumn lover David. Delighted to read how much you enjoyed the post with its memories and sense of change. Conkers always make me smile, and autumns colours are so uplifting. I’m hoping for a few crisp, sun filled days to come….

  6. LB says:

    A wonderful photo essay. I just love the long shadows and the clothes on the line. Perfect for the season!

  7. call me a weirdo but I like this time of year the best. Not when it is lashing it down like today, but for the crisp air and beautiful colours. I know it is a time of decay but also of nascent renewal too. Lovely images, and you know I want some of those squashes ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • They’re yours Kellie, I’ll bring them in on Wednesday ๐Ÿ™‚
      And I certainly don’t think you’re a weirdo, or if you are you’re in great company….I’m loving Autumn too! Decay and nascent renewal is a gorgeous way of putting it.

  8. Me too I love the autumn, it’s OK to go inside again and calm down, focus inwards. Beautiful words and images as always (the “autumn jewels” were the ones to steal my heart this time!).

    • Yes I think I’m always ready to slow down after the long busy days of summer….the work in the garden begins to draw to an end, and I can look forward to lazy evenings with the curtains pulled and the candles lit ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Yes Seonaid, I love autumn although I don’t want to because it brings dread of what will follow. It’s the time of year when I struggle most to be mindful. Your photos are stunning as always my dear.

    • Just let the colours and the swirling energy of the leaves hold your attention…..
      Winters not so bad if the sun shines….crisp bright days are beautiful even if the temperature drops. I love the excuse to draw the curtains, light some candles and tuck into a good book…. Knowing that it will pass and spring will follow ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Gorgeous autumn images, Seonaid. I so remember playing with those conkers on pieces of string at school. Seems a lifetime ago now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Your doggies are so adorable.

  11. gwynnrogers says:

    You take such dynamic pictures… I applaud you! Yes, here in the NW corner of the U.S. our daylight hours are shorter too. The leaves are changing and pretty wilted since our summer was so unusually hot this year. But the best part of the season is the cool mornings and evenings. The days are sunny, but the temperatures have calmed down. Fall and Spring are my favorite times of year as I LOVE the earth tones and the richness of the world around us. Thank you!

  12. Colline says:

    What I love about this time of year is the colour. Nature truly looks stunning when you walk among the trees.

    • I love the colours too Colline….the forest floor is just beginning to be covered in beautiful orange and gold leaves. Seen at its best of course when the sun shines ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Amy says:

    What a beautiful, eloquent autumn post, Seonaid!

  14. restlessjo says:

    You weave a totally compelling magic spell around the season, Seonaid. I can’t help but be captured by the colours and shadows, but I so don’t like the chill bareness that is to follow.

    • Thank you Jo, delighted I captured you ๐Ÿ™‚
      The chill bareness isn’t here yet, so linger a while enjoying the season we are in. Winter will come in its own time….and it will bring spring in its wake!

  15. Andrew Seal says:

    A wonderful post Seonaid. You and Tina are definitely on the same wavelength. The conkers took me back to my childhood in primary school playing conkers in the school yard. Your last image of the shadows on the grass cast by the sun through the laundry line is a masterpiece of magical photography. Thank you for lighting up the day ๐Ÿ™‚

    • My pleasure Andrew, it was lovely to hear how much you enjoyed that washing line shot. The shadows were what drew me…..I love the length of autumns shadows!
      Every time I pick up a conker I’m transported back t childhood games ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Robin says:

    So that’s what a conker is! It reminds me of our Buckeyes in that it’s similar in appearance. I love this time of year, too. The colors, the cooler weather, and the long shadows are all so wonderful. Your images and words weave a beautiful picture of Autumn. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve run out of recipes for squash, too. And pumpkin.

    • I hadn’t realised conkers were a purely British thing. They are so pretty, but the game we played as kids was great fun…..even though it resulted in some sore fingers and hands!

  17. Mjollnir says:

    Perfect light on the ‘conker’ shot and I must admit to liking autumn a lot ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. westerner54 says:

    Learned a new word from your lovely post: I didn’t know what “conkers” were, but now I do!

  19. Tina Schell says:

    Great minds do indeed think alike Seonaid! Loved your post and love fall as much as you do, except that it’s also a harbinger of winter, which is NOT my cup of tea! Also love your adorable pups’ appearance–ever on the alert!

    • Indeed Tina ๐Ÿ™‚
      I loved the look of your autumn signs. Rather than dwelling on the winter to come I try to stay with the beautiful season which is with us…..winter will be here soon enough…..but of course it then gives way to colourful spring! Autumn has so much to offer.

  20. beeseeker says:

    fine post: love that shadows shot with the washing line.

  21. I like working outside in cool weather, love the fresh apples, don’t enjoy doing chores with a flashlight, and I don’t like thinking about the white stuff that is coming down the road. ๐Ÿ™‚

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