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Autumn equinox in the New Forest.

Embracing the Autumn equinox, I stepped out for a walk this morning to turn around and pick up a jumper. The morning 'nip' in the air and the dew laden foliage could not be mistaken for anything other than our dear Mabon.

The autumn bounty weighs heavy on the trees as I dodge the dropping acorns to hear them cracking under my feet. Suddenly over night as autumn officially arrives the forest becomes atmospheric. Deer are on their toes as hormones start to rage, ponies graze the woodland rides but always looking alert, just in case of the thundering hooves of the drift and pigs hoover the autumnal carpet with their gorgeous communication of contented grunts and squeals.

Colours are changing, berries are ripening, fungi are fruiting and the light is fading, but when the sun bears down on your face (as it did on my walk) at this time of year there is something very special about it.

The forest is preparing to let go of what has served it well though the past seasons to replenish and renew in the warmth of next spring. In the meantime, get out in the October air, enjoy the season, colours, sights and sounds and please drive even more carefully than usual not just because of the ponies, cows and donkeys but deer have no common sense over the coming weeks and Doris and friends are out there with their piglets.

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