A Rainy Autumn Walk

Anxiety levels have been going through the roof in this household the past week -I didn’t realize there still was a roof to go through even- and I can so imagine it’s been like that in yours too. The majority of it was spend dealing with an intense dread about the possibility of the world descending another step further into fascism. Honestly, that is an ever present worry this timeline, but particularly so the past week. The result of the US election has given much to reflect on, also outside of the states. I have been critically observing how news outlets over here handled the overt lies of the Trump camp both before and after election day in the light of our own elections in spring, and it’s not very cheerful.

Additionally, Covid restrictions in my country have hardened again last week. I’m a bit hesitant to call it lockdown in an international setting as it means something different to every country, but the partial lockdown we were in has extended and become more strict. My dad retired on the day after the US elections but celebrations had to be cancelled because of Covid so he only celebrated it with my mum. We’ve also been struggling with personal stuff and uncertainties in the Treehouse, like many people are. So yeah it has been a week.

I’ve taken quite some photos of our moments outside over the past month. Mostly for future enjoyment, but also to give myself something to look at in case our partial covid-19 lockdown becomes a full lockdown and restrictions more severe. I figured, with the high stress and anxiety week we just had, some of you might enjoy this window into our woodland as well and maybe you’d like to join us via the blog for a rainy autumn walk?

October has come and gone in an instant and I think November might be heading the same route. I found it especially fleeting this year. I mean it always is, but well you know how it is this year. Before you know it the trees will be bare instead of decorated in multi-coloured leaves, as is already happening, and winter will set in. First, though, there is still a small bit of late autumn waiting to be cherished.

Since the start of Autumn I’ve found a lot of comfort in finding pockets of time to be outside and going for walks. Being mindful of seasonal changes, spotting mushrooms, oaks, hazels and chestnuts growing on trees, being observant of birds and other wildlife and taking in the slow take over of coloured leaves. These are things I would enjoy submerging myself in any given timeline and world state, but I’m giving myself permission to do it more this year.

I was really chuffed to get some photos of this European Robin. They are not an uncommon bird in these parts and you can spot them regularly being busy in woodland and shrubbery, however they are quite shy so the moment they realise that you have spotted them (aka the moment you grab your camera) they are gone. One of them was fine washing itself about a meter and a half away from us while we were chatting away, the moment we spotted it and fell silent to not startle it…it of course was startled and flew away.

I’m quite fond of these red breasted birds (who isn’t???). I recently found out that they have a hard time surviving the winter and most therefore don’t make it past their first year. So if you have a garden you can help them along a bit by scattering some of their preferred food somewhere in you garden (they prefer to feed on the ground). I say garden specifically as these birds really are not high flyers so they are (very sadly) unlikely to be enticed to a balcony.

There were so many oak, hazel and chestnut trees in this forest that I feel there are bound to be red squirrels living here but so far I haven’t spotted any. Who knows though, one of these coming days I might see them foraging for their winter larder and if not I’ll give it another shot next year.

The autumn season in my patch of the world can be quite long. The first trees start colouring mid September, but this can go on slowly through October and November. All of this is weather dependent though, last year the leaves stayed on the trees for a really long time (the occasion deserved to be mentioned on the news even) and we could enjoy autumnal foliage deep into December.

October over here, like in most places in the Northern Hemisphere, is peak mushroom time. I’ve really enjoyed seeing such a diversity of fungi sprouting up everywhere. They even show up in cracks and patches in the city. Normally, while walking or riding my bike I like to keep an eye out for passing birds but during this time of the year I am much more ground level focussed!

More and more trees are starting to get bare, and like I mentioned when we started this walk, I feel Autumn’s grasp on this land is already beginning to loosen. Occasionally I look up at the sky or out of my window and think I can see glimpses of winter arriving. Not so much in temperature here yet, but in the colours of the sky as the sun sets, or in how the wind dances through bare branches at night, or in how my cats roll themselves in our duvet like contently purring rolls.

Hope you are well and enjoying this last part of the season despite everything. Take care and until next time!

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