Today the 1st of September marks the ‘first day of Autumn’ (according to the meteorological calendar. September is a month of new beginnings, the start of the new school year, back to work after summer break, the evenings are getting shorter, subtle changes in the landscape. I took a walk this morning after dropping my daughter off to school, noticing a crispness in the air and the sound of the beginning of the leaves rustling in the trees. The hardy spires of the purple toadflax line the laneways, interspersed by fiery flashes of wild montbretia and dock which has now gone to seed. The violet-blue heads of devil’s bit scabious stand tall and forward as the meadowsweet and willow herb fade back. The Bramble is bearing fruit and the hazelnuts are ripe for the picking.
Today, I’m noticing the vibrant pink and purple borders of rosebay willowherb and vetch, the honeysuckle is fresh and holding steadfast, these plants are providing vital late nectar for the bees and insect pollinators. The birds are singing and the red admiral, cabbage and peacock butterflies are more plentiful than they were in mid-summer. Noticing these subtle changes and connecting with nature, slow walks and small steps always help me to transition from summer break to the new beginnings this time of year brings and reminds us to go gently on ourselves.
“In every walk in nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” JOHN MUIR