From sea-swimming to the threat of snow – October in the Northern Hemisphere brings dramatic changes
October is a month of contrasts.
In Dorset on the south coast of Britain, shorts and sea-swimming are exchanged for woolly hats and hurrying indoors – and back again – depending on which way the wind blows.
Sometimes the light is bleached or blue. Sometimes slanted sunlight brings out the contours of the land and makes long shadows in afternoon sunshine.
At Seatown, the sky, alive with clouds and grey all day long, explodes into a glorious sunset, illuminating, to the east, the reddest of rainbows.
It is a quality of low October light to enhance the red in the rainbow spectrum. A double rainbow appeared and even a full arc, not quite captured by the panoramic stitching together afforded by a mobile phone.
In October, harvesting continues
The leaves on deciduous trees break down the chlorophyll that has fed them through spring and summer, changing from their darkest green to oranges, yellows and reds. Colours twirling or flying in the wind, to lie dead brown and trodden black.
In the UK, clocks go back at 2am on the last Sunday in October, bringing British Summer Time to an end – but it might not be the end of sunny days.
October can bring us the heat of summer, the chill of autumn and a touch of wintry weather. Contrasts of colour, light and shade – and some spectacular sunsets.
The same sunset, pink and blue, seen from my kitchen window in Bridport, with the promise of sunshine tomorrow.