Hold On: What Time of Year is It Again?

A month ago I posted about a walk in my favourite South Shropshire Hills. Summer had finished but, mainly die to the heat, it didn’t feel as if Autumn had begun. Yesterday, I was out that way again and I found the seasons even more confusing!

These hills are always stunning in Autumn. We don’t have quite the display of autumn colours than you would expect to see on the edge of the Caringorms but down in the shelters valleys things can be pretty magical. I feared I had missed Autumn. I was in Poland for some of the time and when I returned the country was being battered by high winds and hurricanes. I assumed most of the Autumn leaves had been blown away.

Ragleth

Yesterday, I immediately took a sharp climb and — to get the heart beat tracing a little — I left tracks to push up heather slopes. From the hill’s ridge I had stunning views out to Wedlock Edge to the North. Mist hung in the valleys but here on the top — even at this early hour — the sun was breaking through. I met a local walker out with his dog. Down there, he said in those valleys they’re all sitting about moaning about what a miserable morning it is!

As I walked on the sun became stronger, the lowland mists cleared and I experienced the best walking weather I have all year. If this had been a summer day in the Scottish Highlands it would be judged the perfect summer’s day. There was a gentle breeze which was warm. I could feel the strength of the sun on my face. It was a day to climb high and simply stroll around aimlessly. Again I left the paths and explored some of the narrow cuts — or batches in the hill side. Finally I took advantage of some high bridleways to preserve my time up high for as long as I could.

From Ragleth Hill

As I walked I was delighted to see that I hadn’t missed Autumn at all. In sheltered spots the leaves clung on and were well on their way to their seasonal best. I had to remind myself that this was November 1st. I can’t remember the last time that I had seen such a display here so late in the season. It has been unseasonably warm for week and I wonder if the lack of a real cold snap has held the Autumn colours back?

Ashes Hollow

For any readers here who regularly walk these hills, this weekend might just provide the perfect Autumn display. There are no high winds forecast and I reckon the saturation of the colours will be at its height over the weekend and into the beginning of next week.

We really had be a little disturbed about our weather, and in general terms I am. But the hills are unpredictable places. And a summer’s day in November? I’ll take it for once.

Bridlepath

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Comments

  1. Best accessible hills from the western side of the midlands, Andy. We never get tired of them (although we sometimes get tired walking them); even caught them briefly in snow last winter.

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