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Nature Diaries - October

MollyBlair
Published on October 25th 2019
28
A dog sitting in the grass

Autumn colour

Although it would be easy to feel down about the days getting shorter and winter drawing in, there are still lots of beautiful things to see.
It would be impossible to write a piece about October without mentioning the fantastic colours that characterise this time of year. Trees are transforming into all shades of red, orange and yellow; and crisp brown leaves flutter about and crunch underfoot. When it isn’t raining, it’s a beautiful time of year. My favourites to look out for this month have been Acer and Liquidambar trees, which put on spectacular displays.

Sweet gum

Liquidambar spp.

Maple

Acer spp.

A large tree

Preserving leaves

This month my creative endeavours have led me outdoors more than ever, to collect beautiful fallen leaves. I have preserved them using a glycerin solution, which means they will keep their colour and their shape for much longer so that I can use them in crafts and table displays.
A group of pink leaves on a table
Looking forward to using the leaves for some autumn crafts
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Newts and caterpillars

This month, I’ve had quite a few lovely wildlife encounters at work. While tidying up in the polytunnels, I came across a couple of newts, one huge one and one tiny one which was quite lively. I also disturbed a caterpillar (by mistake) that seemed to have made a little bed out of a Geranium leaf. Its head popped out, and it looked all around as if it had just woken up.
A newt
A lively newt

Cyclamen and pink skies

With the sun rising later, I often get to see it break over the horizon while I’m eating breakfast. The other day I took a photo of a particularly spectacular one which had turned the skies a vibrant pink.
A view of a city at sunset
And managed to get a picture of it!
Even though it is tough to get out of bed in the mornings when it is still dark, sometimes it is worth it! My walk to work is still peppered with flowers, my favourite of which are clusters of pink and white cyclamen. They brighten up the verges at this time of year.
A water colour painting of some cyclamen
The cyclamen are also great to draw

The Malvern Hills

One of my shorter entries this month was: ‘lovely view of the Malverns.’ I went to Worcester for the weekend, and we were fortunate with the weather. An autumnal dog walk with good friends, and a beautiful view of the Malvern Hills was a great way to relax.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my October nature diaries! Please feel free to share your highlights from this month with me by tagging @thebristolbotanist or using #naturediaries.

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