The it’s-still-Tuesday-in-Samoa tree
(This is nothing to do with the palm fronds of Samoa, I’m afraid. It’s just that yesterday was so busy that I didn’t have the chance to post a Tuesday tree, so I’m getting in quick on Wednesday morning before Tuesday disappears from the last shores of the globe. <sheepish grin>)
Up on the high ground of the estate the other day, I noticed how the green of summer is fading from the landscape, and especially from the silver birches, those quintessentially highland trees.
Although the pastures are still green, the vegetation on the hills beyond is dying off now.
The bracken is dying back into a mix of warm shades,
and the heather, which has bloomed for longer than usual this year, has finished flowering almost everywhere now and is turning the burnt purplish-brown of autumn. (The chestnut colour in the middle ground of the photo below is bracken, which has been cut back. There is heather in the foreground and background.)
Meanwhile the scrubby birches have an almost November-ish look about them,
especially when you compare them with the bright green of an ash sapling alongside.
One birch which I spotted even looked as if it were in fancy dress for Hallowe’en: it is absolutely covered in white fungi (below right).
I have read that our early autumn – the colours began turning in August – is caused by our exceptionally warm and sunny April, which jump-started the growing season. Perhaps these hardy trees are just not designed for such a warm start to the year, and have had enough.
Funnily enough, today we are enjoying a little burst of summer temperatures. It is already warm and is forecast to be 21 degrees C (70 Fahrenheit) this afternoon. That’s about as warm as it’s been all summer in Scotland! I’m not sure if the birches will enjoy it; but the rest of us certainly will.
See also: It can’t be autumn, I’m not ready yet (for the changing colours) and, for a look at this upland landscape in its summer colours, Blue hills and orange sheep: the Highlands in full colour.
(P.S. Goodnight, Samoa.)