Whilst the media resound with doom and gloom, the countryside here glows with the glory and peace of Autumn, and taking a walk in the stillness and quiet of the woods is a positive balm on the soul - let alone a good medicine to reconnect with one's real values and priorities.
We've had some two to three weeks of this now: bright days with no wind. The leaves are staying on the trees long enough to come to full colour, so the contrasts of greens, reds and yellows, and the textures and scents among the deep shadows and blinding shafts of light as you walk, hearing nothing but your own footsteps through the fallen leaves and the odd cry of magpie or jay, bring on an almost dreamlike state - a true indulgence for the senses.
But even driving on the country roads here is a sheer pleasure. Most of the roads are lined with trees so every turn brings a new combination of colours and light. I couldn't resist taking a few pictures at random to share with you - but there is nothing like the real thing. One of the things I value most about this country are its real seasons, each very true to its nature and delivering more or less on time even now when the global weather patterns are changing. So as one season ends, one can look forward to the next. And so the colours of Autumn more than make up for the loss of Summer fun, and no dread of Winter here either - now, though still wearing short sleeves in the sunshine, I can slowly start to look forward to the cosy blanket and the blinding brightness of the snow that should arrive in a month's time or so.