Pampas plumes waving goodbye to summer, golden against a bruised sky. A squirrel’s stealth raid on fallen hazelnuts. Finches swooping onto scarlet berries, impervious to the thorns. A maple’s crinkling, crunching, crimson leaves already acquiescing to winter. Following my map, I leave behind the curated gardens, climbing the hill to savour my solitude and view the patchwork of fields shorn of their corn, rich earth the colour of coffee grounds, mantles of green grass, buzzards catching currents of air. A distant glint of grey sea and nearby wild ponies, ignoring me as they graze their moorland. A copse of ancient apple trees offering their bounty, and a sneaky self-seeded quince: down-covered fruit, its soapy scent inviting to be picked. The setting sun hugs me with its hue, I look forward to a roast and log fire, and I know there is nowhere better in autumn than Somerset, England.

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