The Beauty in the Bleak.

Driving home after a few days in the New Forest, the image on my Sat-nav tells that I am surrounded by field after field of the cheeriest of bright yellow. Fully blooming Oil Seed rape. At the time, these satellite images were probably taken with the bluest of sky above. The perfect combination. But that is far from the reality in front of me. The truth is that the landscape surrounding me on the A1 is at best, beige and bland. At worst, depressing. There is certainly no swathe of yellow flowers to be seen. A long way from those Halcyon Days of early summer. The constant drizzle only adds to this dreary picture of reality, and so turning my back to it the best way I know how, I begin to daydream away the miles…

It’d be a lie to say there is no beauty in these dank days though. There’s plenty. That sentiment more than anything is what I took away from my trip to the New Forest. 

The place is a gift where beauty is concerned: Wild Horses roam whilst Deer and Stag do their best to be not seen. The sheer size of some of them conifers. In fact even just the thickness of their trunks. The sound of their name alone can send shivers through you (‘ Sequoiadendron giganteum ‘) 

What about the colour of the tree scape at this time of year? Far from drab. Breathtaking.

Those are the more obvious things; it can often be more nuanced: The cosiness of those days where wearing Hat and Gloves are a necessity ( add a brolly to that list on days like this.), The fall of leaves from giant trees after just a gentle gust of wind, reminiscent of the first drops of snow in winter. The bird song louder than ever despite the fact a good number are leaving us behind for the winter. 

The hoot of an owl as the evening draws in.

The toad stool beneath you.

There is beauty.  

And now, more than at any other time of year, it stands out like a sore thumb. 

Just look…

Back on the road, I spot a Kestrel soaring above me. Gliding through the air. Racing. And beyond the bare fields there are hills that disappear into the clouds. 

A mist floats like a ghost above the pasture land.

This landscape isn’t depressing. It’s magical.

We should all make the most of this wonderful season. Take it in, drag it out. Look at everything. Winter’s a long time and fast approaching, and with it of course, it’s own version of beauty.

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