Autumn seems to hang on through October, but one day everything will go and the winter will begin, with its bare trees, its wind and rain, and its grey skies.
So it is really important to get out there while the year is still alive and beautifully kicking.
I thought I was going to miss it this year. I am determined to get back the use of my back and leg, but in the meantime I was stuck in the house, effectively and emotionally imprisoned.
I was under house arrest.
But . . . and it is a big but . . . I now have my little blue scooter, and it gives me liberation. My mood has lifted, because I can now go out and explore the world.
The woods are still inaccessible, but the Nature Reserve at Tunnel End is a wonderful new substitute. Here, I am aware of the space and the sky, the longer view than that to which I had become accustomed in the wood.
The colours and birds are new. Pipits and chats dart from cover and weave the sky to the land. Ruby finds new smells, new small animals she can chase, yipping her high-pitched excited call, as she bounds through the thickets and bogs. By the end of a walk she is black, and when we get home I have to corner her in the shower, which she hates.
The trees are still holding their leaves, but the undergrowth has gone black and has gone to seed. Seeds drape the collapsing growth like cobweb shrouds. The colours are so rich. They are the ochres and red-browns of death and conception.
The white fluff is like a death shroud of semen. It is the seeding of the long night, the profligacy of the old.
It is remarkable how wasteful this seeding business is. But it is the same everywhere. Millions of sperm, millions of eggs, released in the sea or on the earth.
And I feel so honoured to witness it. In the greyness of these cold days it gives me proof that things can improve. Spring seems a long way away, but it will come.