Change in the Air

I love walking at this time of the year; summer is over but autumn has not really kicked in yet. Regular readers will notice that that this site has been quiet recently. I really don’t like writing about the same things over andover again, but this magical and slightly scary time of the year never ceases to engage my emotions and imagination. The changing nature of our seasons are always magical. The spectre of winter just around the corner is never far from the back of the mind.

S Shrops 1

So, to walk out in the morning was to enjoy much of what summer has to offer but also being impossible to feel the change. The temperatures are down but the sun shone. The wind blew from the West, not list but not strong. There was ‘nip in the air’ but there was a kind of intent. Just wait a week or two.

Foliage still sits on the trees waiting for the first high winds of the change. The landscape though its changing. The harvest is now coming in and the landscape is shorn. The sunshine illuminates the hills and the field but John Barleycorn is no longer swaying in the wind.

This was quiet walking weather. Showers threatened but while the sun was out we had the hills to ourselves for much of the time. Larks sang puncturing the walk with the most fabulous of concertos. The House Martins were still with us, not yet winging their way to Africa.

Bridges

At this time of the those other famous creatures come out in force. While much of the walk was quite and solitary we were regularly joined by groups of young women taking their Duke of Edinburgh courses. As ever we checked where they were going and inevitably we met them later in the day only to confuse them as we were now coming from the opposite direction to themselves. At the moment their map reading focussed simply on getting to their campsite!

S Shrops 1

A flock of D of E youngsters scrambling above the waterfall


We didn’t escape the rain, you really can’t avoid it at this time of year. As I’ve said many times before, if you want a quiet day on the hills then study the weather forecast and be brave. But with waterproofs suitably donned walking in the rain adds variety and in the reasonably mild air this part of the walk was just as interesting.

The sun fought back and as we regained high ground we could see the squalls, blown by the Westerly winds, heading down the valleys. Up high the squalls left us alone.

I shall be up on these hills a lot of the next few weeks, trying to catch the spectacular autumn colours. Last your heavy winds wiped out the autumnal display so perhaps this year I’ll be lucky. And there is still enough light of the day to encourage the last wild camps of the year.

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