September – A softer light as autumn starts

It’s magical how certain sights and smells can trigger a distant memory. A lazy wasp clumsily homes in on a pungent Cox’s apple and I’m transported to the last days of my Summer Holidays. Before the looming return to school, I’d spend the last precious mornings of freedom in the orchard, weighed down by baskets of those succulent fruit. By lunchtime they’d be at market and,  by teatime, the very same apples would be filling bellies around the Vale of Evesham.

September heatwaves are not that unusual

It’s now a softer light that bathes the countryside. The lower sun delivers a mellow, less piercing glare, taking longer to warm the dew-laden fields through the morning. But for me, a fine September afternoon beats anything that high summer can serve up. But September heatwaves are not that unusual, southerly breezes occasionally sending temperatures back into the 80s.

The golden glow of September inevitably weakens, though. The ground cools as the sun heads southwards across the equator, and we end the month with longer nights than days. Time to spend those darker autumn evenings making some chutney. Plenty of apples in the shed, after all.

(Written by John for BBC Countryfile Magazine)

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