2022 Grateful 10: Autumnal colours

I’m all about autumn. The colours. The autumnal colours. And the contrasts. Give me a grey sky and stark colours over a bright sun and pastels any day. This is my time of year. Over in Balatonmáriafürdő recently, I was torn between marvelling at the palette on offer and being concerned about the low water level of the Balaton. I’ve never seen it so low before.

Low water levels show muddy bottom of a lake with a house in the background and lichen covered rocks and reeds in autumnal colours in the foreground

I’d read earlier this year that the water levels were low but not critically so. We had the driest seven consecutive months since 1901. And I read that if things keep going the way they’re going swimming in the Hungarian Sea might not be an option in 15 years.

I’m trying my damnedest not to worry about stuff I can’t control. It’s way too easy for me these days to spiral into a bout of anxiety. There’s nothing I can do to save the Balaton, except offer a prayer to St Medardus, the patron saint of the weather…and vineyards, brewers, captives and prisoners, the mentally ill, peasants and sterility. He has his hands full.

In the meantime, I can enjoy the autumnal colours.

Autumnal colours - broken rocks with bright pink innards sit beside lichen-covered mates in yellows and greens on the bank of a misty river

 Green and yellow grasses growing at the end of body of water with mist-shrouded trees in the background - a collection of autumnal colours

The Balaton is at its best when the tourists have gone home. When the strands are deserted save the occasional dog and their adult(s). When the smell of hot grease is replaced with the fresh scent of autumnal mist. It’s glorious.

autumnal colours - autum foilage - a long tree against a leaf-strewn path

Closer to home, by the Kis-Balaton, the trees are on fire. It’s impossible to capture the breadth of the colour spectrum on display. My quiet was disturbed by a pack of Nordic walkers who sadly weren’t wowed into silence by the majesty of it all. As they ploughed through, I stopped to look at what was going on around me. Their noise a faint echo in the distance, I was left listening to the sound of mushrooms on bark, grateful for all that was on show.

The mid section of a tree with funghi of all shapes and sizes growing one the mossy trunk

Mary Oliver never disappoints:

In the deep fall
don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come – six, a dozen – to sleep
inside their bodies? And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.

Lone tree in autumnal colours. Picnic table and two wooden benches beneath to the right, In the lower right we get a glimpse of water




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