Au­tumn in the woods

As the leaves start to turn and the days draw in, our wood­lands be­come even more al­lur­ing

The Simple Things - - FRESH | OCTOBER THINGS -

Af­ter cap­tur­ing the sum­mer sun­shine as green chloro­phyll, trees be­gin to break it down to ab­sorb the sug­ars and starch, leav­ing other pig­ments be­hind – the yel­lows and or­anges of carotene and xan­tho­phyll, the reds of an­tho­cyanin. The Na­tional Trust, Forestry Com­mis­sion and Wood­land Trust all list places where these colours are par­tic­u­larly splen­did, so pull on a coat, down­load the Wood­land Trust’s Tree ID app and see how the dif­fer­ent trees change in their own unique way.

l The seed­heads also give clues to their iden­tity, and you can col­lect cones and sculp­tural look­ing dead­heads to bring some of the au­tumn in­doors. There are ap­ples and chest­nuts to be for­aged, too, and mush­rooms grow­ing through the damp mulch of fallen leaves soaked by late rains.

l Take a cam­era along to cap­ture the colour in the golden hour, just af­ter sun­rise or just be­fore sun­set, where the softer light makes the for­est even more mag­i­cal. na­tion­al­trust.org.uk; forestry.gov.uk; wood­landtrust.org.uk.

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