autumnal colours

It’s the time of year when all the blogs and social media feeds of the northern hemisphere are filled with spectacular photos of trees and leaves in wonderful autumnal colours – all warm red, rust and russet, yellow and orange vermilion. Personally, I have a bit of a problem with this.

I don’t deny that the leaves turn colour. But it seems that when I stop to take a photo of what looks like a promising heap of leaves, on closer inspection it’s actually a muddy pile of decay, quickly turning into mulch.
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nature lessons

When I was a child, my family used to attend church regularly. The minister was a kind man who cycled round the town as he said it put him in closer contact with his parishioners than driving a car would. I don’t know how the adults felt about him, but I was a shy little girl and he must have been one of the few men I trusted.

Perhaps what I remember most is that he had a story for every occasion and could turn any situation into a learning experience without it coming across as heavy-handed or didactic.
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great oaks

They say great oaks from little acorns grow. Certainly the acorns I saw on my walk yesterday have triggered a chain of thought, which I think is likely to result in a a blog post of some length.

First of all, the first time I tried to translate that gem of traditional English wisdom into Spanish, I was met with blank stares.

Apparently, what I thought of as an acorn – una bellota – was never going to grow up into an oak tree – un roble. It was going to grow into an encina, which is a holm oak and, it seems, to those who raise livestock on the Spanish dehesa, that’s a pig of a very different colour.
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ruffled feathers

It’s autumn, and the hedgerows are bright with berries. But there are other flashes of red, too, competing with the bryony, hips and haws.

This feathery tangle is Robin’s pincushion, which I found on the wild roses around the racecourse.
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‘ku

Looking through some old photos, I found this, from a project I had entirely forgotten.

haiQR postcard

I’m guessing this is going to be very frustrating for those of you who read the blog on your phones as you won’t be able to scan the QR codes and read the poems. I’ll leave it to you to sort out how to get round that!