Joy of autumn
In this article we explore how the 5 senses can be enjoyed outside over the autumn period.
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'Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth, find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.'

Rachel Carson

We may mourn the loss of the warmth in the air, wish the rain wouldn’t do its thing quite so often on already sodden ground, and regret the additional layers that are required as the wind chill catches us out, but there is much to celebrate as we venture into autumn.

Autumn always feels like a season for all 5 senses, a chance to fill up and store all the goodness of the season to carry us through the winter.

The colours of our outside spaces are changing daily, offering such a beautiful rainbow to brighten even the dampest days, changing colour of the leaves, the last-ditch blooms of our flowers, or the late-season harvest yet to be enjoyed.

It is often said that the autumn sun casts such golden light across the horizon that it looks magical, painting our world in such warmth that we could almost forget that the days are shortening and the air is cooler.

Autumn light is actually provided by the sun gradually moving lower in the sky and casting an angled glow across the garden, the light casting magic into the air and we can almost breath it in, the fresh cool air with the warmth of this light.

The joy of digging through the earth ready to set your garden up for a sleep through winter, or the gentle touch of a conker, smooth and almost warm to your skin brings such joy to adult and child alike. The foggy autumnal mornings also offer us the delicate touch of damp air on our skin, hopefully to be burnt away to the surprise warmth of a sunny day.

Conker joy of autumn

The fresh cold crisp autumn morning has such a smell it is hard to describe, and the gentle hint of woodsmoke in the later part of the day, or the hum of greenery as you brush past a bush or tree can fill our nostrils with such delight. Perhaps the aroma of homegrown produce cooking reminds you just how great autumn can smell.

Whilst you may not think of tasting the outside (and we don’t suggest eating soil!) letting the fresh air fill your body through a deep breath in will do wonders for your body, mind and soul. Once you’ve had your fill of the outside, the warming hearty food associated with this season will be a treat for the taste buds too, from your squashes and root vegetables to your final berries and apples fresh from the trees. There is still much to enjoy from our gardens during autumn.

Joy of autumn 2

We can make a symphony with the sounds that autumn brings, the crisp crunch of leaves underfoot, the tip taps of acorns and conkers dropping from trees, the birds singing their songs from treetops all combine to make such beautiful music. Why not take just 5 minutes to sit quietly and marvel at all the sounds you hear?

It is often easier to forfeit time outside for a warm indoor activity at this time of year, but getting outside is important. You may need to alter the length of time that you spend outside, but still getting out is really good for you. Even on a rainy autumn day, you can find a good dose of fresh air can really help clear the mind. Grabbing your waterproofs, wellies and splashing in the puddles can lift your mood, and remind us that there is fun to be found in the simplest of activities.

Whilst we don’t expect you to go out and about in all weather, it is a good idea to try and make it a habit that you get out a few times a week,. We are all finding ourselves at home a lot more, and you may get into a routine of not leaving your home for a while - perhaps trying to schedule an activity in the outdoors 2-3 times a week, to begin with, to help you ensure it is included in your routine. A short walk, some time in a local park or outdoor space, or if you have a garden using that to carry out some autumn tasks that will provide hope for Spring and something to look forward to.

You can change lives with gardening

Vyne wed conservation group 21