I'm sure there are many of you out there who feel a sense of sadness now that the clocks have gone back and evenings are getting darker, especially with the changes that will come into place at the end of the week. But here in the Aire Valley we want to share the joys of Autumn with you, both for those who can't get out onto our sites just yet, and to remind us that it's not all doom and gloom. And what better way to do that than by showcasing all the beautiful colours we can see at our sites at this time of year.
I've always remembered the colours of the rainbow by reciting the mnemonic 'Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain', so let's start things off with the first colour- red!
Autumn is perfect for highlighting the beautiful reds to be found out there in the natural world and in the Aire Valley especially, and we couldn't not mention one very important red- berries!
Common hawthorn berries- Nicole Walton.
These little jewels are important sources of food for wildlife as the days get colder, with many bird species such as waxwing (pictured below) turning up in unexpected places such as supermarket carparks due to their abundance of berry trees!
Waxwing- Ben Andrew.
Another similar red shade you can see at St Aidan's come just metres from the car park in the form of our younger trees, this one a cherry with gorgeous red leaves (pictured below right)
Leaves at this time of year will be trading in their normal green for the warm, earthy tones that are associated with autumn.
Red leaves in particular are interesting because this means that plants with red leaves are storing up as much goodness from their leaves and the soil around them as possible, but this red coloration comes from a red pigment called 'anthocyanin', not the chlorophyll we normally associate with the changing of leaf colour.
Of course we have all this plant life to talk about, but you can't forget the fungi at this time of year, especially when we're looking at all things red.
From the scarlet elf cup to the better-known fly agaric (pictured below) which best found along the riverside walk at Fairburn Ings, Autumn is the time to look out for all kinds of weird and wonderful fungi.
Fly agaric- Rosie Dutton.
The fly agaric may look fantastic but be warned, it is poisonous! So we definitely don't advise munching on one of these beauties- they can cause all sorts side effects from nausea to hallucinations. Perhaps one to just admire from afar.
But if you do see any while out and about, be sure to check for any signs of nibbling- mice and other animals are able to eat this fungi!
If you think of any other autumnal reds that we've missed off let us know!
We hope you continue to enjoy autumn in the Aire Valley,
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