Kew Gardens in September are all deep greens, juicy reds, and crunchy browns.

The spice of wilting roses drifts over the formal bits of the garden. Chestnuts and acorns are almost-not-quite beginning to fall, but the squirrels waste no time starting their annual stores. 

The waterfowl’s offspring are almost independent adolescents, and young gulls and crows chase each other high over the temperate house’s glint. It’s a busy time after the lull of summer and autumn’s advance is certain, even as the final shreds of heat overstay their welcome.

I’m getting busy, too. Much of this year was recalibration and molting in a way that’s felt quite literal at times; now that a bit of chill is finally in the air, and I’ve had my fill of romping around Dartmoor (which may deserve a post of its own), I’m relieved to greet my favourite season and my muses – they do love to keep me waiting. 

Hard to top a quiet nature stroll at the right moment, in this case a pause between the daze of summer, quarantine, the liminal slowpocalypse, and whatever is next.