Saturday, 23 October 2010

Autumn colours locally

Another day of outstanding natural beauty to revel in! Hardly a wisp of cloud from dawn to dusk, a daytime high of +12C, southeasterly wind.

Left: A full moon setting over ul. Trombity met my gaze as I opened the bedroom curtains this morning. It's just gone seven.

Once the household chores are completed, I take two short walks around the immediate vicinity of the house, to catch the autumnal atmospheres of Jeziorki.

Above: ul. Nawłocka, looking across to houses backing off ul. Trombity. The potato fields have been ploughed, a fallow field of mugwort immediately behind.

Above: Looking towards the northernmost end of ul. Trombity from the footpath to the tracks. Bushes with rosehips on either side of the path, which local people gather at this time of year.

Above and below: Despite three weeks with hardly any rain and much sunshine, water levels in the wetlands between ul. Trombity, Kórnicka and Dumki is still high, and still impossible to traverse Dumki without wellingtons (which I notice have become all the rage in town). Notice the solitude and tranquility that Jeziorki affords. Just nine miles from the centre of Warsaw.

A smell that's an integral part of this season - smoke from bonfires wafts across ul. Kórnicka. Owners of summerhouses (działki) are spending the last weekends before the frosts set in sweeping leaves and burning them.

Walking along, I become aware that each autumn does have its own character, formed by the particular weather patterns of the year. When the leaves turn gold, and how intensively they do so, and when they start falling, is determined by rainfall, watertable, sunlight and winds. Last October was characterised by an early snowfall on the 14th.

And 2008 was characterised by warmth as well as sunlight, temperatures on the last Saturday of October hit +19.8C. If I can use the word in the context of a mere four years' observation, October 2007 was more like the average October I have come to expect in Warsaw.

Strolling homeward past another stand of birches looking splendid against a deep blue sky in the strong sunlight. I feel profound gratitude for being able to sense the wonder of the turning seasons. Consciousness is our greatest gift.

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