Early Autumn Wanderings

A linden or large leaved lime whose leaves are starting to yellow in early autumn

“Life is a balance between holding on and letting go” ~ Rumi

Today’s post is inspired by a podcast I listened to a few days ago, where a former professional photographer had picked up his camera again, having stopped because the joy had gone from working to deadlines and for specific goals.  But this time he aimed to make images of only what pleased him, without any direction whatsoever and, what he considered to be, of no particular artistic merit because that didn’t matter to him – he was just sharing the images to have fun.  How liberating!

Encouraged by predictions that, thanks to the wet summer we had here in the UK, this autumn is going to be a spectacular one, a few days ago I took a photowalk in one of my favourite ancient Sussex woodlands, where we ambled in 25C degree heat – that’s 77F in old money…in early October!  

One of the earliest trees to turn yellow are lindens (limes) and whenever I see one, I look for an oak nearby, thinking of Ovid’s tale of Baucis and Philemon, who were changed into an intertwining pair of these trees. The yellowing had begun in the lindens and birches, the oaks were starting to take on an amber tinge to some leaves, dropping an abundance of acorns that indicate this will probably be a mast year. Yet the richest palette came from the glut of the seasons’ berries and fruits – hawthorn berries and rose hips are a deeper, more vibrant, ruby red this year. The sloes, at the peak of their ripening process, seem fuller and darker, just right for those gin aficionados, and the blackberries are just giving and giving.

In amongst the dog roses at the edge of the woodland there were numerous Robins pincushion wasp galls.  I love these creations, so aptly named with their nest like balls of fibrous, green and robin-red growth housing the larvae of the gall wasp until they emerge the following spring.  The birds were enjoying this mild weather too with numerous great tits, coal tits, robins and wrens chattering away in the trees and hedgerow and a couple of jays swooping down to gather acorns, all going about their harvesting business for the winter.

Although the colours are only just starting their journey to fullness, my wanderings didn’t feel wasted, as I found many trees, some old friends and others new to me, to make ‘sketchbook’ images of.  I considered holding back on sharing these until I had a set of ‘best’ images from the full season, but that would mean so many scenes and favourite trees that caught my eye, yet aren’t my ‘best’ depictions, would be left on my computer, unseen.

So here is a selection of images made on the photowalks I’ve taken over the first six weeks of this unseasonably warm, dry autumn.  They were made without the pressure of any particular project in mind, just images that caught my attention, pleased me and fed my creative soul. Who knows, maybe some of them will come together as part of a future photographic project, but for now I’m sharing just for fun and, as the photographer on the podcast pointed out, that does indeed feel very freeing! 

I hope you enjoy my musings and early autumn wanderings – I’d love to hear, in the comments below, about how autumn is unfolding wherever you live in the world, and how you maintain joy, balancing out the serious and fun sides of your creative life…I’ll be taking notes!


    • Thank you for your lovely feedback Aladin – with a wet summer that wonderful forest near you will be ablaze with colour in late October and early November I’m sure…bringing you lots of rich food for the soul!

    • Thank you, Susan, for your wonderful feedback – it’s so true that nature is like chicken soup for the soul! I hope you’re enjoying your European tour and autumn as it unfolds over here. It’s strange to think that when you return home you’ll be fast approaching the greening of Beltane!

  1. You weave photography, mythology and moodling so well together. Thank you Lin. These are beautiful woodland images, I especially enjoyed the one you’ve named ‘Baucis’. In a couple of weeks this Linden tree will have turned bright yellow. I imagine many photographers and other creatives also struggle finding balance between the serious and fun side of their creativity. It’s a topic well worth considering.

    • Thank you, Sarah, for your kind words…I think I’m a little biased and more drawn towards Lindens as that is my full first name and so they fascinate me, especially the stories around them and all other trees. You’re right, I think many people are caught up in the conflict between sharing just their best work, or work they think others want to see, and things they just do for fun – maybe sometimes we take ourselves too seriously in this life and need to learn to play!

  2. A whole new possibility for moodling came up after this reading. I’ll say more when I have the words to explain it. Thank you for writing of the importance of a sense of place. There’s love under the oaks.

    • Ooh now this sounds intriguing Elaine – I’ll look forward to that, I think I moodle more now than ever! A sense of place…four of the images are from one of my favourite and, fortunately, local woods. The more I spend time there the more I connect to it, so hopefully that sense or spirit of place comes across.

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