It’s been another week of autumn glory on Southampton Common, leaves to crunch through, leaves to look up to and leaves fluttering onto me. The trees change every day at this time of year: one morning adorned in golden glory, the next protected by a barrier of fallen foliage. On some corners of the Common autumn is nearly over, and the trees are wintry and naked, but elsewhere it’s just beginning, with the leaves just beginning to turn.
The Old Cemetery is a great place to go leaf walking
Not to be outdone, the swans on the Boating Lake have been busy this week, taking longer flights with the two remaining cygnets, encouraging their independence, most likely in the hope that they will soon find territories of their own to fly to.
I can’t ignore the fungi at this time of year: tiny mushrooms popping up everywhere, but especially in the woodland areas of the Common.
Summer has to be my favourite season, because it’s often warm, but every year autumn tries very hard to outdo it!
Today’s visit to Southampton Common begins in the Old Cemetery, to pause and pay respect. I was lucky enough to bump into one of the Friends of the Old Cemetery during my wanderings this week, who kindly showed me a beautifully restored World War One grave, near the Cemetery Road entrance.
This week the Common has been stunning, with autumn colours everywhere. It’s been difficult to know which way to look as I stroll along, crunching through the leaves and exclaiming aloud, to anyone whom I meet or just to myself, about how beautiful this time of year is.
When the rain rolls in, as it has from time to time, there is all that beautiful woodland to hide in, where I commune with the latest tiny fungi.
So, this has been a fantastic week to aimlessly meander around, breathing in the golden glory of autumn on Southampton Common. If the wind and rain have left a few leaves, next week might be even better. But whatever the weather, Southampton Common is a wonderful place to be, and we are very lucky to have so much natural beauty in the city.
This is a bumper report on my wanderings on Southampton Common: I was engaged a different kind of wandering most of last week as it was half term.
It’s been two weeks of what autumn does best: a bit of every kind of weather, and lots of beautiful things to see. Beautiful, crisp sunny days, interspersed with cloudy or misty starts.
There have been frosty mornings, when I could see my breath (and the swans’ breath too!), and the fallen leaves crunched beneath my feet.
In the woodlands, there are plenty of tiny fungi, which either provide me with the perfect excuse to dodge the rain or draw me in to admire them as they dance in the sunshine.
The autumn is just beginning to achieve its full glory on the Common, and my meandering strolls are taking longer and longer as I pause more and more frequently to admire the golden colours.
At the Boating Lake, the cygnets are busy perfecting their flying skills under their parents’ tutelage, and it wont be long before they have all found new homes I guess. (I am reliably informed that cygnet number three, who has been missing for a week or so, is safely ensconced in a new residence.)
The tufted ducks are back in force, looking disapprovingly at me, and there are still some little grebes on the Boating Lake, blending in with the autumn colours.
So, it’s mostly the gloves on time of year now, but the Common is as beautiful as ever and I have a feeling it might get even more stunning over the next couple of weeks.
It’s been another beautiful week on Southampton Common. There have been some amazing starts to the day, when I have seen friends emerging to greet me through rays of golden light (and people who are less delighted to see me moving urgently in the opposite direction!)
On other mornings those who were trying to avoid me won, with the mist concealing anything beyond the very immediate vicinity, clinging around the trees, making them simultaneously eerie and beautiful.
The morning mist is one of Autumn’s great treats, draping everything in mystery and highlighting amazing spiders’ webs.
When it has been a bit damp out in the open I have retreated into the undergrowth to inspect the fungi. This has made me glad, as ever, of the extensive tree cover provided for those who wander in all weathers. And of the luxury of a warm home to return to with my soggy boots.
All in all, it’s been another wonderfully varied week on the Common, and I have been very happy to start many of my days here.
It’s been a week of all the weathers, and although there have been some gloriously sunny interludes, I have been mighty glad of the sheltering presence of the tress on Southampton Common. You are never far from leafy cover on the Common, and I am constantly amazed by my ability to discover new pathways or woodlands.
The Cemetery Lake has a rather welcoming tree near the water’s edge, and is slightly more sheltered from the wind than the Boating Lake. As a result, I have spent some quality time with the swans and gulls over on that side of the Common this week, and rather neglected the other two ponds (although I did se a rather pleasing cloud arrival over the Boating Lake one morning).
One major advantage of being driven into the woodlands by the damp weather is that the season of fungus is upon us. This is the time year when I set off from home looking like a semi–responsible citizen, and return with branches in my hair and mud encrusted debris on my clothes, having spend a happy half hour or two kneeling in the squelchy undergrowth photographing the tiny but transient delights of fungi. Every little mushroom is different, and I am prone to exclaiming with joy when I find something particularly pleasing. People like me, who wander wild haired, chatting to themselves with beaming animation, are one of the reasons why some individuals are fearful of being alone in woodland.
Although there have been plenty of times when the clouds have rolled in this week, there have also been sunny hours, when the speckled woods and dragonflies have danced in the rays. During these moments I have been reminded that although I love the colours and tiny life of autumn, I am kind of sad that the insect stalking months are drawing to a close.