Suddenly, there in the hedgerow on our morning walk is a clear signal that change is on its way. The persistent strands of Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) wrapping old wooden fences and draping themselves around small trees and shrubbery were green only a few days ago, and this morning they look more like Yuletide (or Christmas) paper, all red and green and silvery in the early light.
Oak leaves are acquiring the splendid rosy bronze tint they wear in late September and early October before falling to earth, and beech leaves are already edged in coppery red and cognac. One of my forestry references identifies our beeches as being of the species called simply "common beech". To my mind however, there is nothing common about the beeches on the hill with their majestic height, silvery bark, dense foliage and rounded crowns. They are simply magnificent.
Part of me wants to dance about and applaud the glorious colors coming into their own, but another part of me, as much as I love Samhain (or Halloween) and the harvest season, is dismayed at the thought of entertaining an early autumn this time around. Fall should not arrive until late September at the very earliest, and then it ought to hang about until the end of November.
Please Mama, not yet........ Gift us with several more weeks of sun and warmth and gentle breezes, no ingathering and cold nights for a while longer.
Happy September, everyone!