Wow, a big change in just a few days – I started writing about autumn the other day, because there were some amazing colours everywhere – it was late November but most of the trees were still looking spectacular.
There is something very special about the autumn season, its partly a time of harvest, and knuckling down for a winter, but the low light and cold air also means that when you get a good day it can be spectacular, with long shadows stretching away and burning golden leaves against the bluest of blue skies. The big Skelton Beech tree (commonly known as Howard) has been in a display of firey colour day after day, with the birches and cherry trees rounding off the performance. The maples had dropped their leaves already, leaving endless yellow carpets around the woods. Beautiful, and a great time of year to be working outside.
And then, on Thursday, came the storm. Big winds over Leeds, roads closed, roofs stripped off buildings, trees down . A very rare day at Skelton where the woodland got taken inside for the day, for the visiting class to enjoy den building and willow weaving in safety.
The storm blew through in just a few hours – calm again in the afternoon after a morning of mayhem. No major damage on site – two small trees down, both dying old hawthorns, with poor root systems. But afterwards autumn is officially over – almost the trees are about bare. Winter must have arrived with the storm.