The early frost was most welcome, as was the hour of sun immediately following sunrise at 7:17. The low sunlight shone warmly under the shield of cloud which advanced steadily from the west until 8:15 when the cloud won. The first two photographs below show just how quickly cloud colours change before sunrise. The first shows the magenta-pink which within less than six minutes had warmed into orange and yellow (the second) immediately before the sun rose.
I’ve just been reminded of something I read 3 or 4 years ago in Mark Forsyth’s “Etymologicon” – indicating the likely etymology of Bredon. Celtic for hill is ‘bre’, Old English for hill is ‘don’ (or down) and hill is Modern English … so Bredon Hill is really Hill-hill Hill. So good the named it thrice.
Throughout my long morning hike Bredon Hill was “head in the clouds” with a constant but very light misty drizzle (mizzle?). Contrary to what many believe – that you can only do photography in the sun – these conditions are perfect for finding a refreshing perspective on the familiar.
I think that (without checking back) today is the first on which I’ve posted a Bredon Hill photograph with people in it – except for the bonfire on 21st April (Day 21) when there were over 100!
The magnificent autumn colours are at their best at present, but I find it interesting that Bredon Hill is much less of a spectacle than the surrounding villages and countryside. It’s probably because the trees planted in gardens and villages are selected at least in part for their autumn colour. Our native trees are mostly less demonstrative, and these are what predominate on the hill. But the beeches do stand out.
The skies over Bredon Hill were a pleasure to behold throughout the afternoon. The early autumn conditions were perfect for walking – as the many people out enjoying the afternoon seemed to agree. I saw far more people walking on Bredon Hill than I’ve seen before – except for the bonfire celebration on the Queen’s 90th birthday. But that may be because I’m more often out with my camera around dawn or dusk.
Four of my Bredon Hill tree photographs have just been published in issue 124 of “On Landscape”. They can be seen online – click here.
Last time I was on Bredon Hill the first autumn foliage had started to appear, but just over three weeks later I’m surprised to find little further progress. This morning’s walk around Ashton Woods didn’t offer any panoramas or vistas so these few images are from nearer to my camera.
… I’m now back – from an excellent holiday break in Lisbon and Madeira. Lisbon is very hilly, and Madeira is a steep-sided extinct volcano – so hiking on Bredon Hill has been good preparation for our holiday hikes.