The big journey

Crunchy nuts

Spring forward, fall back. In the early hours of Sunday morning the clock went back, gaining us an additional hour that day as we exited British Summer Time and head into autumn and winter.

Cones, with no ice cream

Cones abound.

This time of year makes me sad. It’s the end — of warm, cotton skirts and sandals days; evenings that around midsummer stretch towards midnight like polished silver; of sun spangling the sea with sequins and catching the sails of prancing yachts; of picnics (impromptu — perched on a wall or step with baguette and bottle of water from a local shop, and organised — garishly coloured plastic plates and cutlery nestled on our laps, heaped with whatever salad stuff was in the fridge); of sitting in the garden reading with the sun playing across bare arms and legs; of leisurely strolls, flip-flops crunching on beaches or padding by harbours, along the banks of rivers, or through designed landscapes, camera invariably in constant motion between clutched in hand and raised to shoot.

Pine cones with a difference

Wonderfully coloured cones.

By autumn the acid greens of new leaves in spring are merely a memory, and while a few hardy flowers persist bravely in the garden borders, their heads dancing frantically in rain and gusty breeze, most have flowered their hearts out in all the shades of the rainbow then faded into the background.

The leaves turn, sometimes displaying a last vibrant and defiant burst of colour before being swept away across fields and roads by blustering winds to lie battered and bruised where they come to rest. And then we are left with a landscape of greys and browns to mourn their loss. The branches of bare trees etched starkly against the platinum sky, a reminder of what once was.

Seed heads

Summer flowers are gone.

We are all leaves, each and every one of us, and too many leaves on the trees around me have fluttered to the ground this year, to make autumn even more poignant.

Seed heads and sky

Seed heads drawn against the autumn sky.

Sometimes autumns smile on us, bestowing sapphire blue skies, crisp sunshine that throws long, stick figure shadows, while bright red berries on holly trees, cotoneasters, and in hedgerows cast a hopeful glow, allowing us to cherish a few more snatched days of late summer before it disappears below the horizon.

Hip, hip, hooray.

Rose hip — with pincers!

Rose and gold

A study in rose and gold — rowan with golden berries.

‘In my end is my beginning’, wrote Mary Queen of Scots before her execution. Mary was referring to her better life in another world as held out by her faith, but the phrase seems appropriate also for many plants and trees. Spring rains and summer warmth encourages them to grow, flourish, blossom, then before they die or hibernate they set seed to ensure the continuance of the species.

Spokes and seeds

Seed whirlie.

Powder puff seedheads

Clematis with seed heads more spectacular than the flowers.

Circulating like planets

Universe of seed heads.

Look at me, guys.

Seedheads in red.

Seedheads are some of the things I like about autumn, the demise of the flower carrying within it hope for the future. The array of shapes and styles of the seedheads ensures wide dispersal of their treasure, some suited to falling around the mother plant like children around an adult, others to being blown freely by the wind, and others to being spread far and wide by birds and animals so that come the new beginning of spring the tiny seeds are ready to embark on the big journey of life.

Seedhead like fur.

As soft as…

On blow and…

Tick tock dandelion clock


About jingsandthings

I am me. What do I like? Colour Shapes Textures Paintings, photographs, sculptures, woven tapestries, wonderful materials. The love of materials probably comes from my father who was a textile buyer, and I grew up hearing the names of mills and manufacturers which sounded magical and enticing. Glass in all its soft and vibrant colours and flowing shapes, even sixties glass which makes its own proud statement. A book I can immerse myself in. Meals with family or friends with lots of chat and laughter (and probably a bottle or two of wine). The occasional trip abroad to experience the sights, sounds, food, conversation, quality of light and warmth of other countries. To revel in differences and be amazed by similarities. I like to create and to experience, to try and to achieve. And then there are words – read, heard, written at my keyboard, or scrawled on sticky notes, or along the edges of dog-eared supermarket receipts excavated from the unexplored nooks of my handbag. What do I dislike? Cold Snow Bad design Fast food Condescension
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6 Responses to The big journey

  1. mybrightlife says:

    Beautiful imagery and images. I find time flies by so rapidly these days that I fight with myself to not wish time on but winter doesn’t do anything for me except make me grumpy! I hope you find much joy in the seasonal changes ahead.

    • Like you, I find winter frustrating. Today is dull and wet – very depressing. However I cheered myself up yesterday by adding some more to the Christmas presents already bought and stashed in the bedroom. Starting very early this year as we’re off to the sun for a break before Christmas, so need everything arranged before we leave. The advantage is more choice, no crowds, and the opportunity to buy what I want rather than grab something, anything because time is running out for posting it.

      • mybrightlife says:

        Ahh. Christmas shopping! Each year I fight with myself to keep it simple. At the Crossings Market there is a book stall run by a lovely couple of retired folk who now ‘book store’ as a hobby. Each and every book is interesting! Not your standard rows of dusty boxed books one often has to troll through at a market stall. So this year I am determined to do all my shopping at their stall. Should simplify things a bit. Hope your plan went well and that you get the sun you are hoping for. Will wait to read all about it!

  2. Pingback: Improving the front of the house » Well Blogger Me

  3. bebs1 says:

    Dorothy, you are truly a gifted writer. I could not have come out with those words to describe Autumn. Like you it is not my favorite time of year but it has its beauty, well compared to Winter.

  4. Thank you Bebs. Sometimes the ideas and words come, sometimes they don’t. It’s as if I need a prod by seeing something of interest. If we go away for the afternoon it becomes easier, if I’m sitting at the computer working my mind is ofter too focussed on other things to think. Like everything else, the more you do it the better you become – one of the reasons why blogging is go great, and you get ideas from what others write, as well as finding out more about other countries and other peoples’ lives.

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