Provençal Autumn

It’s now officially winter.

The Cork Oak trees have donned their drab brown winter foliage.  They will keep their dead leaves through the winter months, until new shoots push them off in the Spring.  Maybe the old foliage protects the leaf buds from the cold?

The ground is frozen solid in the mornings, thaws out for a couple of hours in the middle of the day and then starts to freeze again around four.

It’s time to look back over our first Provençal Autumn.

We had no idea what to expect.  When we arrived at the start of October, everything was still very green.

Now, there’s a lot more brown in the picture, although the evergreen trees still add quite a lot of green.

We were watching out for signs of Autumn everywhere

and got excited at every hint of red

no matter how small or how distant!

There were yellows popping up in the middle of the greens

like this tree beside an old church.

And that was how it went for ages.  Random hints of Autumn, like these sloes

or a single bright yellow vine at the edge of a vineyard.

or a tree fighting hard to stay green despite the cooling nights.

The cork oaks started to go a bit yellowish-brown

we had a spell of mild, foggy weather

which was ideal for growing mushrooms!

but overall, the forests were slow to change.

Then, within the space of a week, temperatures dropped and there were dramatic changes everywhere.

There was every shade of yellow

 and orange

set against the background of newly sprouted crops.

 As the nights got colder, the colours intensified

 Every road was lined with hues of red, gold, yellow and orange.

We had some spectacular sunsets

and the creeper on our house was presenting it’s own range of russetts.

I walked and rode through a wonderland

and loved every minute of it!

Although it hasn’t had the brash vibrancy of the American Fall, it has certainly been a far cry from the wet brown-ness of the Irish Autumn.

Ok Winter, do your worst!
PS I just realised this is my 100th Post!
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