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Autumn, the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

It is the beginning of November and, after one of our hottest and driest summers ever, our garden in Devon is now filled with roses in bloom and there are the first shoots of the spring bulbs emerging. The sea is holding on to its summer warmth. We have yet to turn on our heating.

As the summer slides into Autumn, I am taking some time out in the Netherlands to wallow in the process of creating images, in the guidance of Charlotte Bellamy.

And as I made the journey here I thought about Autumn and what it has come to mean to me. This is my 65th Autumn. I was born in August, so Autumn was the first full season of my life. And now I am in the Autumn of my life. Or, in neopaganism, the Crone, the time of wisdom, freedom and personal power. But within me still are the Maiden I was and the Mother that I still am. Is it a time to live in a final blaze of glory before fading into those Winter years........

I digress. Autumn, what does it signify. Autumn is a time of change, impermanence, and yet it is a constant feature each year. The leaves will change colour and fall in the swirling winds. The apples will ripen ready for the crumble topping. The migrating birds will gather and leave for warmer climes. There will be the fire and smoke of bonfires. And we will pull out the gloves and scarves ready for that first nip of autumn chill.

Sat in a woodland today, back against a steadying beech tree trunk, gazing up at the fragile leaves high above me against the grey sky, I thought about the pleasures of Autumn. I could hear the wind in the leaves, some were fluttering down. The ones on the ground were already crisping and crunchy to touch. Some russet brown beech nuts were scattered on the leaves having burst from their spiky husks, ready to become 'tree'. 'Tree', such a short word for the plant that had my back. And my gaze. That was grounding me and lifting me up. Making me feel strong and yet tiny in its shadow. This tree was the host of a myriad of creatures, friend to its neighbours standing tall in line along the leafy path. And I realised how central trees are as a symbol of Autumn.

I set out to capture a sense of autumn in this Dutch woodland, which was both unbeknown to me and also strangely familiar, as I have seen it through Charlotte's photographic eyes many times. (Be inspired @

I wandered slowly, looking for emerging, transient splashes of autumn colour alongside the permanence of the tree trunks. And marvelled at the beauty that emerged. 385 images was time for lunch!

Our task in the afternoon was to choose 5, giving thought to how they might fit together as a set. Consistent in crop and/or colour palette for example. I also wanted to convey the sense of peace that I felt in that space as well as the fragility and transience of the autumn colours.

I was doing well, all landscape, but then this one kept demanding to be allowed in too!

Tomorrow, another day, another woodland.......more autumn reflections.

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Nov 11, 2022

Really enjoyed reading your words to accompany the experience you and probably all of us felt on this exciting workshop. It was lovely to meet you Valerie and I now must look at some of you other adventures for inspiration.

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