It looks as though summer might finally have sloped off somewhere for a well-earned rest. We can't complain it didn't deliver this year, but even so, the arrival of autumn heralded by the wet, slapping tail of hurricane Gonzalo has been a bit of a shock. I've failed in my annual resolution not to put the heating on until November.
But it's not all bad - I love this time of year, and the rewards for wrapping up and heading out even on the wildest days are too many to count. There is nothing like experiencing the incremental changes of the passing seasons first hand on a daily basis to make them whizz by (or am I just getting old?). Even the supposed 'longest winter' of 2012-13 ticked briskly by when I was out every day. The not-quite winter of 13-14 was gone before it even arrived.
If you need a reason however, how about a spot of leisurely leaf-watching? A lot of our oak, ash and hazel is still almost fully green, so there's plenty of time to hone your ID skills and marvel at the gradual undressing of our deciduous trees. I've written a short but sweet guide to autumn leaves for the November edition of BBC Wildlife magazine (see link below). How many can you tick off this month?