Autumnal Images

The rowan in our garden has no leaves left at all and yet I find that I haven’t posted any autumn leaf pictures. The following pictures then are gleaned from two walks in Eaves Wood earlier in the week. The first quite a long one with A, B and my friend Uncle Fester…

B is grasping the Pepperpot geocache in his mitt and is about to initiate Uncle Fester into the joys of caching. Uncle Fester was on the first of two flying visits to see bands – Nine Below Zero and Show of Hands again. This was the second time that we’ve seen Nine Below Zero at the Kendal Brewery Arts Centre and it confirmed our suspicion that Nine Below Zero fans – at least in the Kendal area – are very tall. How odd.

 

Different leaves decay in quite different ways, for instance the black spots peculiar to sycamore. Oak on the other hand turn brown around the margins, and yellow within that brown border, leaving a green area within the yellow. Once they’re completely browned and fallen they seem to have a waterproof property – on a wet day when other leaves are glossy with damp and are sticking together in great papery lumps, oak leaves still retain their individual status, their shape and the seemingly unique property of collecting water droplets…

Sometimes it’s the colour of a single leaf which stands out…

Or it’s shape, size or situation.

Sometimes it’s the general colour all around..

Of course, there’s more than leaves to look at. There’s been a lot of fungi in the wood this autumn – mostly I haven’t photographed it or remarked upon it here, but here’s one odd looking one which I did take a picture of…

This one has to go in (despite the poor focus) because it comes as close as I’ve managed to come in my search for heart-shapes in nature.

And there, for now, I shall leave it, except to append this quote from G.K.Chesterton, encountered, like E.V.Lucas, in the pages of ‘Modern Prose’, from an essay ‘A Defence of Nonsense’ which begins by favourably comparing Edward Lear with Lewis Carroll, but then, as so often (or always?) with Chesterton, moves on to matters spiritual.

Religion has for centuries been trying to make men exult in the “wonders” of creation, but it has forgotten that a thing cannot be completely wonderful so long as it remains sensible. So long as we regard a tree as an obvious thing, naturally and reasonably created for a giraffe to eat, we cannot properly wonder at it. It is when we consider it as a prodigious wave of the living soil sprawling up to the skies for no reason in particular that we take off our hats, to the astonishment of the park-keeper.

It was the idea of a tree ‘as a prodigious wave of the living soil sprawling up to the skies’ which first stuck in my memory, but on reflection there’s lots here to admire – the choice of the not at all reasonable giraffe as an example, and the image of pompous, mustachioed Edwardian gents doffing their hats to city park trees. The sentiment’s an interesting one too, whether you agree or not.

This simple sense of wonder at the shapes of things, and at their exuberant independence of our intellectual standards and our trivial definitions, is the basis of spirituality…

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Autumnal Images

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