The beauty of decay

This time of year as the days become quickly shorter and the temperatures fall there is a different beauty. A beauty of change and decay. The lack of warm, sunny days has shocked George the cat who can no longer lounge for long periods in the field, hunting butterflies.

Leaves that a few months ago were green have now turned into deep reds and magentas, oranges and ochres and with rain they contrast with the the brilliant emerald greens of moss and grass. The shapes of the leaves, often the small ones are worth examining closely as their detail is exposed.

The weather has been very mixed here on the lane. We have had warm days with balmy breezes, warm enough to sit out in – in November! Heavy rain which has sent the peat brown water chuntering and growling down the mill stream, almost to overflowing followed by stillness. Short, sharp frosts which leave the fields with an ethereal lightness, as everything is caught in the moment and leaves, browning and decaying are shown in their beauty – the veins and shapes, subtle colours. There is a beauty in this decaying world.

The hedges on the field sides have recently been cut back and now the brambles and the ivy have been cleared away leaving the skeleton hedging looking rather self conscious with just a lace work of ivy holding the hedging together. If there is snow it will easily blow through the trees and hedging onto the lane. There are no bramble and ivy branches to hold it back and confuse it.

George the cat thought that he had ‘sorted out’ the neighbouring fields – tracked the birds and small creatures. Now he is annoyed as the spread of undergrowth has been chopped away. The fields have changed and he has to command order again. It may take him some time…