Monday 31 October 2022

October Colours

Oak, aspen, & birch

October is the most colourful month. At least for colour on a landscape scale. Spring and summer flowers are bright and beautiful but they are small in the Highlands. Trees are big. And in autumn they can be startlingly brilliant, with colours that can seem unreal. 

Goat willow

Every October the colours are so strong that I always think they are the richest ever. From looking back through my photos I think that this year that may be true. 


After the hot summer autumn began slowly with little colour appearing in late September. Often there are strong colours then. The autumn has been very mild too with few frosts so far. There has been much rain and most days have been cloudy. All these factors must contribute to how the autumn colours develop. It's a complicated process.

Rowan, birch, & goat willow

Not all trees have been bright this autumn. For the second year running rowans, which can turn a beautiful red, have gone from green to a brief orange and then a dull brown. Conversely aspens have been an even more intense yellow than most years.


I've posted pictures of the autumn colours in Glen Feshie and Rothiemurchus Forest in my accounts of camping trips in those areas. All the photos in this post were taken on short walks from my home in Strathspey.

Aspen & beech

Birch & cherry

Cherry & aspen

Birch & aspen

Birch, aspen & beech

Birch & aspen

There'll be another week of colour, maybe two, but the leaves are falling now in autumn gales. 

Aspen & birch

Farewell to October. It's been a glorious month.

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