Autumn, as regular followers will remember is usually my least favourite season of the year. But at the end of the first full month of autumn 2015 my characteristic inflexibility might just be beginning to crumble.
Up here, in the draughty north, following a summer where rain hammered from the sky in biblical proportions, we have barely seen a hint of evaporation since mid August. Indeed yesterday, I gratefully accepted the kind offer of a pneumatic pump from the neighbourhood builders to relieve the misery of my parched pot plants. Perfect weather indeed for the seismic sunflower luxuriating in the sunshine along the terrace.
What’s more, the temperature at the time, 3pm on the penultimate afternoon in September, reached the giddy heights of 25 degrees centigrade; easily the hottest I have enjoyed since sometime in July 2014 in Staffordshire. Today, it took till nearly 11am for the mist to dissipate, but by mid afternoon, in full sun, the thermometer again climbed easily into the mid 20s.
But it’s not just the unusual heat of a true Indian summer that has made September 2015 one to linger in the memory. While the rapid fall in night time temperatures has been a sharp reminder that it is actually almost October, the resulting mist enveloping the river at dawn has been truly magical. Each morning as the pink watercolour sky in the east reddens and deepens it has gradually burned off the haze to reveal another sumptuously still September day.
And nature’s sky show hasn’t finished with the ever-earlier end of daylight. The last few days have provided the amazing spectacle of the most monstrous moons. From ruby red to copper through to LED bright white, each night a lunar light has fired the dark sky with an eerie, mystical beauty.
I doubt I will ever really love the autumn in the same way I long for the vivid freshness of early spring, but this amazing September has at least made me appreciate that there can be beauty among the dying embers of summer.