Saturday 4 November 2023

November Mist


November always seems to be a foggy month. My childhood memories are of swirling mists, sodden leaves, the smell of wet vegetation, a sense of encroaching darkness, the colour leaching out of nature. 

This November has begun like that. Leaves litter the ground, bright and colourful in places but already a dark slippery, slimy mush in others. Many trees are bare. The remaining leaves on others turning brown and listless. The beeches are hanging on to colour longest, along with a few others.

Woodland paths felt mysterious in the mist, twisting amongst the dark trees to fade away into greyness. The flashes of bright yellow and gold of beeches and birches quite startling amongst the sombre pines. 

Bracken too has mostly turned to faded brown as it starts to collapse into nothingness. Its profligacy always amazes me. Tiny green curls burgeoning in just a few weeks into dense foliage and then returning to a few brown stalks and decaying fronds not long afterwards. An incredible surge of life and growth for such a short time.

As I approached the Old Spey Bridge the mist thickened. Even the still colourful leaves of the beeches hanging over the water were hazy. The bridge itself faded into the woods, the houses and cars usually visible gone in the mist. Like the woods the bridge suddenly felt mysterious, leading to who knows where but surely somewhere magical. 

Back along the river the new bridge was also in the mist, with the sounds of the traffic muted. Its concrete curve felt less strange but I still wasn't certain it was part of the real world. Mist does that, creating a secretive, insubstantial landscape. In the mountains it can confuse perception. Huge cliffs and giant hills rear up in front of you only to dwindle to small rocks and gentle bumps as you approach. Down here it created a sense of secrecy and unreality.

The river Spey itself was full and racing along, the riverside path only just passable in places, with care needed not to slip into the dark water. 

I love this river and these woods. No walk here is ever disappointing.

1 comment:

  1. Just caught up with your blog again Chris, lovely photos of an often gloomy month, all the best from M&H xx