Dark autumn colours


It was a dark afternoon. I had gone to Wallington Hall (a National Trust property) so that I could have a walk with a view, and then a cup of tea.

There was hardly anyone visiting the site that day. The light did not improve.

I felt as though I had company, that there were eyes watching me. Every now and then, trees near me would make noise as a nut or leaf fell down.  I would walk into a quiet area, stand quite still as I tried to take photographs in the low light, and then find the noises starting again. Sometimes, I could see plump wood pigeons balancing precariously on the finest twigs at the top of the canopy, knocking leaves off as they lurched around and flapped wings to try to keep their balance. They were not watching me but the bird of prey that was gliding above.

Eventually, it felt a little too lonely, and the darker spaces seem to have potential for hiding scarcely imaginable monsters. As a child, I had been both scared and fascinated by the stories of the Brothers Grimm, as told in an old book with elaborate pop-up illustrations which seemed to set the tales in northern woodland or forest. The northern European legends and myths make the most of the seasonal variations, especially the cold and dark. Our weather and seasons are such essential elements of cultures.


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