Everything on the forest floor is turning to rot and the scent of decaying undergrowth is present. The earth is squishy beneath your feet. Every step you take there is a squish and, when you take another, a squash. Mud takes over. The grass is drowned in the autumnal showers. Plants, flowers, leaves and trees wither, their branches droop, the buds and petals fall to the ground, and start to disappear, desperate to avoid the long winter months.
They say spring and summer are the most colourful, and that might be true, but Autumn is gorgeous, even with the vast amount of decomposition. The oranges and yellows, browns and greens, reds and purples. And, yes, it rains more than a widow cries, but when the sun shines through, it illuminates nature, setting fire to it and capturing the spark of the season.
And the skeletal leaves are amazing. Have you ever seen one? A rotting, ageing leaf? The flesh dropping away exposing only the veins. They litter the ground, shadows of their former selves, and are macabre and beautiful. It truly is breathtakingly gorgeous.
The sights of summer rotting and falling away are one thing, but the smells are another. In a vlog I posted about a month ago, I commented on how I could smell fall. It was only a hint, but I picked up on it, and in less than a week the leaves and air had shifted. Summer was moving to the side and Autumn was storming in, unpacking its bags and making itself cosy for the next couple months. It's the shift in season that I smelled, but as it grows stronger, it's rotting. Not of flesh. As we all know, that is a stench one can't get rid of. Or maybe we all don't know that.
No, the scent is of rotting leaves, fungi, branches, bark, and everything else that falls away.
This is a depressing time for people. To see everything shift and change. The warmth drifts away. Cold storms in. Colours shift from vibrant colours to browns and blacks. Our tans fade. And we start worrying about Christmas. But it doesn't depress me. Not the rain. Or the death of the foliage around me. It's actually invigorating.
And just think about how lovely the spring will be when it arrives and the buds of life start peaking out from beneath the layer of cobweb leaves.
Just for the record, it was really hard not to talk about flesh bits dropping off bone, but I decided to save that for the letter 'Z'. I know you're all waiting for that with your breath held in anticipation.