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THE FIRST SIGNS OF AUTUMN

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The light becomes softer, the sun lower and the shadows longer. I notice the condensation appear in my breath as I exhale into the sharp chill of earliest morning. Extra layers begin to emerge from hiding, rains frequent the skies and the first browning leaves begin to stand out amongst the swathes of green as the clear signs of autumn close in like the nights.

A panic stricken last hoorah of camping trips and activities are organised before the cold dark nights spell an end for all but the most addicted. Unlike the squirrel, we store tales of trips for nights sat in the glow of a roaring fire: of wild swims, idyllic camps, and cold beers under the late summer sun. It is a time to reflect on the good and a time to plan for the coming.

But before that we are treated to one of the finest displays of the year: the sunsets begin to deepen and hues of innumerable burnt tones spread across the landscape like an uncontrollable wildfire, no corner, no leaf remains untouched. It is a spectacle to behold as we all attempt to trap its brief and fleeting beauty in more permanent form. Before the baton is passed, and winter takes its tight cold grip. 

Written for Outdoorism online