November has been terribly kind to us this year in Ireland. It has, for the most part, been dry and bright, with just enough snap in the air to make it pleasantly invigorating. Perfect, then, for a weekend foray to the National Botanical Gardens, Dublin in search of colour.
After a spell of dry weather, the beech trees in these parts are sporting magnificent russet coats. They are wonderfully complemented by their neighbours in shades of green, zingy yellows, coffees and taupes. Quite a surprise really, as I`ve often billed November as a dull, grey month.
It`s one of the reasons I love my weekend runs. At this latitude, daylight is shrinking into a few brief hours so, like many others, I return home at twilight. Running under the moon and the stars in special in itself. But a quota of full spectrum light is needed too, and for that I turn to the trail and the forest on my precious days off.
It was here my running started three years ago. Drawn by the colour, the views, and the earthy smell of it all, I ventured, camera in hand to run and stop and stare. I`d like to think my photography has improved a little, and my running improved a lot. But I am glad of both because they leave me feeling better in body and spirit and mind.
November is a coy one. Quick to show her dark wicked side, she conceals her other glories well. So when you find a patch of blue in the sky, and a little time on your hands, get out there and enjoy!