Autumn days when the grass is jewelled

While we’ve been treated to a glorious Indian summer, there really is no escaping the approach of autumn. But why would we want to? Blogger Abi Day shares her tips for an autumn adventure…

Many people seem to feel a kind of displeasure when summer gives way for autumn. Certainly my  friends see long nights, rainy days and umbrellas in the months ahead. But I’m actually quite excited to see it making an appearance. Only the other day I found myself squealing with delight when I opened my curtains to see the rain. Not that I especially enjoy getting soaked, but because I have a lovely new raincoat (eagle eyed Boden fans might just recognise it). So I was more than happy to grab a pair of wellies and go for a wander down the lane with my children.

Whatever the weather there is so much to admire about autumn. There are the fabulous shades of red and gold that adorn the trees and bushes. It’s also the perfect time to go exploring and foraging, whether you live in the countryside or city. You just need a little green patch or park and you’ve got a wonderful family day out.

Raincoats and wellies at the ready, my children and I set out for a nature walk in the Derbyshire countryside. We were on a very simple mission, my children were searching for any signs that confirmed autumn was on the way. With a bucket in each hand and free rein to leap in puddles or collect fallen leaves, they had a wonderful time.

I adore these festive Hawthorn Berries, which were liberally scattered along our route. There was also the easily missed but just as beautiful raindrops clinging to a blade of grass . It’s so small and simple, but this patch of humble grass was my daughter’s favourite find. She thought they looked like miniature glass beads and insisted on touching them to check they were water.

Welalso uncovered an abundance of Elderberries. They poked through hedgerows, twisted through branches and generally made their presence felt. My husband makes wonderful Elderflower Champagne but the berries are always reserved for baking.  As long as they are ripe and de-stemed, cooking thoroughly renders them safe and delicious to eat. They are particularly good mixed with some Bramley apples in a crumble.

Our walk was not confined to wild plants and trees. We also met several cows, a horse and this little cat. Perched on an old wall and watching something moving on the ground intently, she looked as if she’d jumped straight out of a Beatrix Potter book. I don’t think she even noticed her photo being taken!

When we finally arrived home I had a new stash of Elderberries and the children had lots of acorns, leaves and Blackberries (we avoided Toadstools).

Autumn Craft Project

For a quick Autumn Craft Project ask your children to collect fallen leaves in a variety of colours. The flatter the leaf the better! Then pull or cut off the stalks and arrange inside a laminator sheet. Once laminated they look fabulous hung on a window. The sun streams through and almost ignites the jewels shades.

You can also carefully cut out each laminated leaf and make a mobile or garland, the only limit is your imagination. If you don’t have a laminator at home most good stationary stores can laminate in a variety of sizes for a small fee.

So while it’s sad to turn our backs on the summer, autumn has an awful lot of pleasure to offer. At the very least it’s a wonderful excuse to break out your Autumn wardrobe…

 

A variation on the laminating project from one of our facebook users: Try wax paper instead…

“Wax paper can be bought in supermarkets. Simply inset your fave leaves between two sheets with the shiny sides touching the leaf, cover with an old tea towel and iron on a cool setting. Peel off your leaf and hey presto! Preserved autumn leaves that can go in the compost heap when they are past their best! Tie them up with a thread of raffia and dangle from your window.”