Posted by Tania Kindersley.
You may have gathered by now that I am prone to occasional fits of chauvinism about my adopted land of Scotland, especially her hills and glens and lochs. But even I have been tested after the last ten days of rain. Each year I look keenly forward to autumn: the riot of colour, the cerulean skies, the crisp leaves, the hard glittering frosts. But this October, it felt as if the weather gods came and took autumn from me. Even glorious Scotland struggles to look glamorous when she is overwhelmed by relentless rain, and no matter how much I told myself that without precipitation everything on earth would wither and die, on the tenth day, even I began to feel a little disgruntled. (Does anyone ever feel gruntled, by the way? I'm just asking.)
Since I am devoted to giving you the unvarnished truth at all times, I plodded gloomily out and took these pictures, so you could see what it looks like here in the weather. 'Another dirty day,' said my neighbour, morosely. And that was the correct description; everything drenched and sodden, and skies the colour of old washing-up water.
This is what we call here 'dreich'. There is no exact translation. But it pretty much means what it sounds like.
I must admit, though, that I am quite pleased with my artistic puddle shot.
And at least the lichen, one of my most favourite things in all of nature, does seem to be thriving in the wet.
And the tiny little ferns are growing happily on the verdant moss.
And the dogs, being half Labrador, and therefore bred originally for the sea, are not disconcerted by the watery conditions.
And there is still some magnificent leaf action in the beech avenue.
Even if my poor little rowan tree, now stripped of leaves, but clinging onto its berries with its last shred of dignity, has to survive against a sky the colour of slate.
But then - a miracle happened. I woke up this morning and there was….SUNSHINE.
See? There is actual light over them there hills.
And the leaves are dappled with sun.
And there is once more a sense of hope in the dark woods.
So that even an old battered tree trunk can look like a thing of sculptural beauty.
And I remember the glory of the ancient trees.
And the dogs are once again ready for their close-up.
And can even find a nice dry sunny spot in which to have a little lie down.
The sky is black again as I write this, but like an old camel living off its hump, I am still smiling at the memory of my glorious morning of dazzling sun.