Autumn Beech

autmn beech, rothiemurchus, cairngorms national park

Autumn Beech wood, Rothiemurchus

Autumn has been late this year, and its stayed warmer longer than usual.  In this last week the Highland woods have been glowing against deep blue skies with beautiful days of sunshine.

against deep blue skies
Beech tree glowing in the light of the sinking sun

Pheasants squawked and scattered as I wandered, and I could see Roe deer down in the marshy area by the river.

Autumn Beech woodland, Rothiemurchus, Cairngorms National Park

I love the almost painterly look and feel of some of these images.  To be in the woods held by the light and colour was just a beautiful experience.

Autumn Beech woodland, Rothiemurchus, Cairngorms National Park

Deciding where to head for felt like quite a choice to make, deciding where the best light would lay.  When its like this, any choice is the perfect one (there’s a metaphor for life…)

Mark Twain is widely known for his aphorisms, but I love his descriptive writing.  We’re not quite at this stage of the year yet, but the language he uses here about trees ‘bewildering, intoxicating, intolerable magnificence’ is so wonderful:

“If we hadn’t our bewitching autumn foliage, we should still have to credit the weather with one feature which compensates for all its bullying vagaries – the ice storm: when a leafless tree is clothed with ice from the bottom to the top – ice that is as bright and clear as crystal; when every bough and twig is strung with ice-beads, frozen dew-drops, and the whole tree sparkles cold and white, like the Shah of Persia’s diamond plume. Then the wind waves the branches and the sun comes out and turns all those myriads of beads and drops to prisms that glow and burn and flash with all manner of colored fires, which change and change again with inconceivable rapidity from blue to red, from red to green, and green to gold-the tree becomes a spraying fountain, a very explosion of dazzling jewels; and it stands there the acme, the climax, the supremest possibility in art or nature, of bewildering, intoxicating, intolerable magnificence. One cannot make the words too strong.

– Mark Twain

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