The tall trees in this area are mostly maple and oak. They put on a lovely show, glowing in shades of orange and red. But the understory trees are mostly birch, beech and poplar, all golden yellow, as are the tall maples in the back. It takes a long time for them all to turn, and I'm always holding my breath, hoping that one set of trees doesn't lose its leaves while half of them are still green. But, most years, they all hang on, and eventually there comes a day when they are one giant stand of gold. Then I cross my fingers and hope - not just for no rain so the leaves don't get knocked from the branches - but for a cloudless morning.
As the sun slants across the wood, it lights up from the inside. There are just no words to describe it, and I'm afraid photographs don't do it justice either (though I sent Mr. L out this morning with his camera to try . . . here's the best of his attempts below the cut).
When this happens, I put on my sweater and my hiking boots and go meander along the creek, just soaking it in, and fancying the elves are watching me blunder through their realm, until sun lifts high enough that the light begins to come from above the leaves rather than through their sides. It never fails to lift me, and this year the joy was great, indeed.
Samhain is coming soon, and there will be ceilidhs, with much music, singing and dancing to celebrate. There will be bonfires, and roasted nuts; baked apples and acorn squash and pumpkin tarts to mark the season's passage, and the craic will be amazing as always. But Lothlorien will disappear tomorrow - the forecast is calling for rain. It never lasts but a few days at most. But while it is here, I will be celebrating my new year a wee bit early. And should you be by a wood which glows gold and hear a song floating on the air, come and join me.