From early April the leaves on the European trees here started turning yellow, brown and deep red. The Derwent Valley was a blaze of colour from the palest gold to the deepest russet.
Now at the beginning of June and the official start of winter, some trees are almost “naked” but the piles of leaves at their base or blown along the paths and gutters give the city a different feel.
Up in Launceston, it’s the same story.
Throughout autumn, the hedgerows were heaving with the red berries of hawthorn and rosehip – now shrivelling and dying – and the hills of the Coal Valley are the colour of bleached straw before the rains come. I love this time of year – the transition between summer lushness
and winter starkness – kicking through the dry fallen leaves, pulling on beanies and gloves and putting more blankets on the bed. The sky is often clear and the air crisp. A time for celebration of the harvest. The grapes are picked and the vines are withering. The apples have been collected and now we hunker down for the long, dark winter.