It’s not the trees that lend autumnal hues to the Mizen, as they do elsewhere. It’s the whole landscape – that combination of rock, heather, bracken, moor grass, brambles, filtered through the light and shade of our notoriously changeable climate – that creates the special colour palette we associate with autumn. It’s my favourite time of year.
Today, early, we drove up Mount Gabriel and looked over the whole of the Mizen, back to Mount Corrin and Mount Kidd, and across to the Sheep’s Head, the Beara, and away to the mountains of Kerry.
Upper: looking down to Dunmanus Bay from Mount Gabriel; Lower: looking across to Mount Corrin
But every day brings changes. What trees we have are not yet bare. The thorns, blackthorn and whitethorn are loaded with berries. The heather is hanging on here and there, providing a wonderful contrast to the yellow gorse.
Haws, Sloes, Heather and Gorse
The bog asphodel is fading now, but earlier in the month it had reached its peak orange state and looked spectacular consorting with the other bog and mountain flowers that were still blooming.
Upper: Bog Asphodel, Gorse, Scabious; Lower: Cappaghglass Bog
When you get a clear day, like today, there is nothing on earth like a walk on the West Cork hills, drinking in the colours and trying to store them in the memory. Or perhaps, in a blog!