Wednesday 30 October 2013

Autumn Colours, Anagach Woods

Into the woods

The stormy weather of recent weeks has not made the hills very attractive. They've been cloud-capped, windswept and wet. Struggling over them on compass bearings in thick mist and driving rain has not been very appealing and it's a few weeks since I ventured onto the tops.

In Anagach Woods

However at this time of year the woods offer a bright and colourful alternative to the greyness of the hills. Autumn colours are peaking now and this year the display is really glorious. I spent a day wandering round Anagach Woods on the edge of Grantown-on-Spey marvelling at the intense colours. The gentle rain that fell - gentle in the shelter of the trees that is, in open areas it was harder and wind-driven - only served to amplify the brilliance of the leaves.

The leaves are falling
In Anagach Woods

Anagach Woods are not ancient, being planted in the 1760s, but they are natural with much regeneration. This is not a plantation. Scots pine and birch are the dominant trees but there are many others including sessile oak, beech, elm, hazel, aspen, rowan and willow. The land is undulating with many glacial ridges and hollows, making for interesting terrain.

Hollow & Ridge

There are waymarked paths through the woods, including the Speyside Way, but I don't usually follow any one route, preferring to wander freely, following up anything that catches my eye, which on this walk usually meant flashes of colour. The woods are close to the River Spey and I ended up on its banks. After all the rain the river was high and fast. Goosanders and mallards swept past, allowing the river to drive them downstream. A coot skittered across the water, half running,. half flying. On the banks a fringe of trees glowed bronze and gold.

The River Spey

Today strong winds are ripping the leaves from exposed trees. The temperature has fallen. Snow is forecast for the summits. Winter is coming. The glories of autumn will soon be gone.

Anagach Woods

1 comment:

  1. That's some amazing scenery! I'm highly envious---we don't get those colors in Texas.