Gull Loch, late October
The backlit slope glows and buzzes
With late gorse-flower visitors
Fresh yellow on spiky green tips
fading to brittle grey down stem.
The air carries its honeyed scent
in the still, blue, brilliant light.
Silent apart from birdsong and the ever-present
trickle of water somewhere underground.
Bracken crunches underfoot, optimistically dead.
Leaves crisped from a recent storm fall loudly
between branches in the maple copse
Little flocks of songbirds cruise around,
And three red squirrels watch from the larches behind the gate.
The ground here is boggy wet
and full of leaves that have made barricades
under bushes and made raised puddles.
The leaves fall and fall,
dark silhouettes against the sparkling sky and sea.
Dead wood has dropped making jumps up the steep deer track
Moss begins its march over the points touching the ground
Translucent moths dance above the ferns
occasional fronds highlighted yellow catching the light.
Larch needles make a deceptive cover over churned mud
on the top track and almost dead hawthorns
bear a few berries on lichened sticks.
The sea is calm and full today, lapping gently
not sparkling but a dark blue
and shallower grey brown round Rough Island.
Exposed larch roots have been grazed, seeping sap
Bluebell bulbs lie on top of badger scraped soil.
Large oak leaves cover the upward slope,
their autumn glow faded to rich brown
mixed with vivid yellow cherry leaves
And tiny cobwebs catch dew drops
like finely woven leaf skeletons
In the old loch wood, the fallen trees emerge from the swamp
half green moss, half glinting branches,
creeping towards dry land
It is entirely still here and almost silent
The ground underneath greener and leafless like a mirage
A mass of bare limbs,
pale and tangled reach diagonally upward
eventually tipped with golden leaves
that catch the afternoon light
One of the big beeches has fallen by the edge of the loch
Its small rootball exposed to the light
perhaps to regrow from this lengthy position
its now branches to become uprights
As usual nothing visible and obvious here
no bird nor squirrel no sound
Not even falling leaves …
By the water some distant birdsong high and small
Tiny lily pads glint in the mirror-still water,
only disturbed by ripples from insects.
Autumn colour from young bare branches and beech saplings
frame the loch
and turning larches pretty warmth enclose
The occasional scratch and trill and plop in the water
Young silver birch stems shine
in brown soft stems of woodland
The mud releases its stagnant vapours as I step down
Through thousands of tall trunked already bare trees catching
the setting sun,
glinting golden and moss green on one side,
dark grey and dappled the other.