Autumn Colours

The autumn colours in Perthshire are particularly good this year and, thinking that the Scottish Borders would be putting on a similarly spectacular show, I took the delightful assistants down there for a gawp at the weekend.

We were most surprised to find that, despite being further south, it felt like winter rather than autumn in the Borders. Many of the trees were completely bare and most of the leaves that were left on the trees were well past their flame-grilled best.

However, I’m happy to say that at our destination of Dawyck Botanic Gardens, nature’s loveliness was abounding:

A couple of beech trees had curious wrappings round their trunks:

There was a poem, entitled The Bandaged Trees, attached to one of the trunks, but I found it a tad depressing so I won’t burden you with it.

Looking up into the trees was beautiful with the sunlight on the leaves:

Dawyck (more or less pronounced Daw-ik) is a beautiful place to walk around, and even though there were a lot of cars in the car park, we met very few people as we strolled through the gardens.

Here are a couple of tiny assistants perched atop a lovely bridge:

The air smelled very fresh and I took lots of deep breaths. The amount of lichen on the trees was perhaps a good indicator of just how pollution-free the atmosphere was. Some of the birches looked as if they were dressed in furs and feather boas:

Bits of the garden were in the shade and quite frosty, an ideal hiding place for ice nymphs and frost elves. Apparently, if you run backwards making chirpy little whistling noises they sometimes pop out. I tried this, but I didn’t see any. Mind you, I find that trying to stay upright while running backwards takes up most of my concentration.

My camera battery died just past this bench,

which was a pity as I had been hoping to take photos of the lunch we had after our walk.

However, I wouldn’t like to sign off without a small morsel to share with you, so here’s a Christmas pudding scone* I made yesterday instead:

*so called because it was inspired by Christmas pudding, and contains sultanas, mixed peel, slivered almonds, cherries, dates, mixed spice, cinnamon, nutmeg and treacle, as well as the standard scone ingredients


54 thoughts on “Autumn Colours

  1. What beautiful photos – I love the one looking upwards into the trees. The colours are just fantastic, and I agree that they look ‘flame-grilled’! I wonder why the trees further south have lost their leaves earlier? I find the batteries in my camera fail quite regularly too, it is really annoying. That scone looks wonderful, by the way!

    • Thank you Jo, the leaves are magnificent with the sun on them, aren’t they? They do just seem to glow. The camera battery is a bit of a nuisance, but it was my own fault on this occasion for not checking it before I left as it needed a bit of a boost.

  2. Dawyck is such as lovely place, we spent a lovely summer holiday in the area one year. I too always think of dressed up trees when I see lichen on Birch – I wrote a Haiku earlier this year to that effect…..

    Shimmering crystals,
    Lichen cloak, silk and dew drops;
    Winter Queen’s attire.

    great blog and yummy scone idea!

    • What a wonderfully descriptive Haiku, thank you Anne! Great minds obviously think alike. πŸ™‚ In fact, your little poem inspired me to write my own poem after I read it. I agree with you about the Dawyck area, the Borders is a part of the country that I feel very at home in, having had lots of excursions there in my youth. One day I should really have a proper holiday there instead of just day trips.

  3. Ooh, Christmas pudding scones sound nice. They might be good for my Mum. She’s diabetic and has trouble with the full pudding deal. Maybe as something extra, anyway. And that photo looking up into all those beautiful golden leaves is gorgeous!

    • Thank you Trish, that sounds like an excellent idea, to substitute a scone for the heavier and considerably richer Christmas pudding. I haven’t actually tried this, but it occurred to me that a splodge of marmalade on the scone might be a nice addition, and perhaps if you added a blob of cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon you could produce a sort of cream tea dessert. I could lose myself in the view of those leaves…if only the ground wasn’t such a cold surface to lie on.

  4. i had a good laugh at thinking about you running backwards making chirpy noises, trying to bring out the elves and forestfolk. sorry it didn’t work out for you. πŸ˜‰ wonderful pictures and my favorite has to be the one with the bench.

    • Thank you Alison, I’ve been practising running backwards for a while now. I got the idea from Ranulph Fiennes, who suggested it as a useful addition to general exercise. I think I read in a book of his that running 100 steps backwards every day was good for the fibres or something. I’m glad you mentioned the bench because I wasn’t going to put that picture in. It didn’t come out as well as I’d hoped it would, but I’m glad I included it now. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you Meg, the camera was a bit of a disappointment but, on the other hand, sometimes it’s quite nice not to be able to take photos and just tuck into meals without snapping them first.

  5. Beautiful autumnal moments and all the better to see these lovely photos from the other side of the world. It’s one of the most humbling experiences to stand and behold what Mother Nature has created. I believe nature is at it’s finest in autumn and spring too!

    Btw love a Christmas pudding scone, I can just imagine these piled up generously with butter and a cuppa too. Shock horror, there’s a lack of flour & butter here in the Giaff home, baked out all my supplies! 😦

    • Whaaaat?! You’ve run out of flour and butter? That is a disaster in your household, I can well imagine! I hope you’ve managed to do something about it by now.

      Thank you for the comments, Alice, I agree with you that nature is awe-inspiring and the countryside does look particularly fantastic in autumn and spring. I hadn’t thought of piling up Christmas pudding scones on a big plate but that sounds like a first class idea to me. πŸ™‚

  6. What a delightful place. I love your photos. I am sure there were ice nymphs and frost elves about but I can’t run backwards without falling over myself!

    • Thank you Darlene, it is a very beautiful place and always lifts the spirits, at any time of year. I strongly suspected the presence of nymphs and elves, but the trouble with running backwards is you don’t see them. That’s why they like it of course, they have the upper hand because you’re distracted. Or, perhaps they just enjoy seeing humans looking ridiculous, I wouldn’t put it past them.

  7. Autumn has always been my favorite time of the year, but now that i have spent Autumn in Canada and saw the beautiful colors, I completely fell in love with this season!!

  8. What a lovely post, thank you! Amazing that you actually captured two of the elves on camera (the ones on the bridge).

  9. I love the colour on display – Sutherland was also very powerful too but I struggled to appreciate it through the rain. – in my view we have enough stress and depression to deal with – I want to be uplifted whilst blogging – the bandaged trees were disturbing in themselves – and I appreciate you saving us the depressed poem πŸ™‚

    • Thanks Scott, I can imagine Sutherland looking glorious right now, even in the rain! I’m beginning to think I should have left those trees out of things, they are a bit disturbing, as you say.

  10. Another glorious walk with nature. At least your battery didn’t conk out before you got some of those fabulous shots. I suspect that if you brought along some of your Christmas pudding scones, the elves and nymphs would’ve run backwards and chirped just for a taste of them!

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