In the England of Shakespeare’s time, as in America today, autumn was referred to quite simply as the fall. While September’s shortening days gradually signal that summer is passing, the change in the appearance of the countryside as October ends is brief and dramatic. Trees and water in particular take on a new glamour.
But many other scenes we have passed by without note through the rest of the year suddenly catch the eye and touch us with their poignancy. This bounty can be found everywhere. The view above is of the river Wansbeck between Ashington and Morpeth, but every town and village is surrounded by such sights, as trees mellow and a gentler light suffuses them.
Here the leaves are just turning at Allen Banks, a National Trust treasure south of Haydon Bridge, while at Bolam Lake, a country park in mid-Northumberland cared for by the county council, the still waters reflect shimmering flames of October gold.