Ed­i­tor’s com­ment

Hampshire Life - - Front Page -

I’m sure I say this ev­ery year, but Oc­to­ber re­ally is one of my favourite months. This year how­ever, I find my­self with mixed emo­tions. When we moved last year, we in­her­ited a beau­ti­ful big oak tree at the back of our gar­den. It was the end of Oc­to­ber, and the leaves were well on their way to be­com­ing mulch by the time we un­loaded the boxes. Need­less to say, a leaf blower was high on our list of pri­or­i­ties as we re­alised the mag­ni­tude of the is­sue.

Hav­ing been through win­ter, spring and sum­mer; we’ve en­joyed watch­ing the old oak trans­form in to a green gi­ant

– an oa­sis at the bot­tom of our plot un­der which we’ve hung ham­mocks and swing­ing chairs; whiled away sum­mer after­noons and chat­ted un­til the wee hours…truly mak­ing the most of our gnarled old friend’s invit­ing canopy.

Now how­ever, as I start to feel the nip in the air. I re­alise with dis­may that it’s time once again for our dear old chap to bear all. His neigh­bour­ing friends, whose branches over­hang our gar­den, are join­ing in this na­tur­ist tra­di­tion too it seems. It starts with the acorns, the brown husks de­scend first, and then our guy at­tempts to rein­vent him­self across our lawn in a cas­cade of green bul­lets.

The squir­rels are pretty nifty at well…squir­rel­ing away most of them (the tiny shoots in spring are proof of that), but it’s the leaves that cause the most an­guish. Just when you think you’ve vac­u­umed up the last of them, down they rain again.

I’m pray­ing this year that our oak hangs on just a few weeks longer for us to re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the ma­jes­tic gold coat in which he dons for his last hur­rah. I’m not ready to see the branches bare just yet.

Putting thoughts of win­ter be­hind me, I’m go­ing to gaze at these stun­ning pho­to­graphs of our county in its finest red, gold and green. We asked Hamp­shire’s best pho­tog­ra­phers where their favourite spots for au­tumn colour are, and they have de­liv­ered some mag­nif­i­cent shots. So whether you’re blessed with ar­bore­tum style views or not… hope­fully you will be in­spired to head out in to the county and cel­e­brate our won­der­ful trees. I’m off to give mine a hug!

Ed­i­tor, Hamp­shire Life el­iz­a­beth.kirby@archant.co.uk You can fol­low us on Twit­ter@hamp­shire­life

EL­IZ­A­BETH KIRBY,

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