I’ve probably said this a few times, but it often strikes me as curious how, in the past few years I’ve been transformed from someone for whom Autumn was her most detested season to genuine enjoyment of this time of year. As a city-dwelling lecturer whose mood disorder had developed seasonal associations, I utterly loathed dark nights and short days and feared October and November just because I knew I’d inevitably end up feeling low. Yet, after moving to a rural location; ensuring that I walk for an hour every single day in the light and air whatever the weather; by working for myself; by pacing my work; and through simply loving my surroundings, I am often utterly astounded by how very beautiful Autumn is. I still get low (that’s how I am) but somehow the pattern of my moods has detached itself from the rhythm of the seasons, and Autumn has (happily) lost its malefic force for me.

Sometimes the light and colours around our house are so extraordinary that I have to rush and find Tom, make him stop whatever he’s doing, and just come outside.

Yesterday was such a morning.

A cold mist hung over the loch through which the sun broke, peach and rose and gold . . .

Our neighbour, the cormorant, who often sits by Carbeth Loch, surveyed the scene. . .

The mist rose through the woods, against the sun, tingeing the treetops . . .

Ben Lomond appeared on the horizon like a great russet beacon . . .

And, as the mist cleared, a skein of honking geese flashed across the cloudless sky, their wings catching the sun.

Will I ever stop finding myself bewildered that I actually love Autumn, and that this is the place I get to call home?

I very much doubt it.


All of these photographs were taken by Tom yesterday morning. He’s popped up some more on his site if you’d like a closer look.

73 thoughts on “season of mists

  1. So true, late autumn in city environment is depressing and grim, but when in nature, it is just calm and soft. When you see the change in natural surroundings, it’s not harsh, but inviting. We probably won’t get permanent snow for another 6-8 weeks here in southern Finland, and the day is quite short. I call it the fifth season now that the leaves have fallen, and there’s no snow yet. It is mainly wet and cold, and the colours are turning darker, and I love it. Now, finally, when walking in the woods, it is possible to really calm down. It is quiet and everything has slowed down.

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing. I think Autumn is my favorite season, and I also think it’s because of spending time outside – it’s a season meant for participation, I think. I love your cormorant, hanging his wings out, as they do!

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  3. Great photos Tom you’ve got a real talent keep up the good work!! You seem to be in good spirits Kate it’s a pleasure to know you both👍👋💕

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  4. Lovely photos but what makes me happiest is the fact that Tom has such artistry and skill and has so deliberately chosen this path for himself. As a refugee from the science side of academia, I am especially sympathetic to the challenges of his previous “life” and am delighted that he didn’t let the decisions of his first few decades control his future.

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  5. I love those mists! I used to live by the Atlantic ocean and I miss those low lying mists, clouds and fog, but I understand the moodiness and depression too. Those dark days are much darker and the long nights are much longer compared to Toronto. I had never been the seasonal depression type except for those 2 years I spent in places with more autumnal autumns.

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  6. Most captivating photo’s, could you please tell me if you know or could find out, what type of tree is that in the photo, Ben Lomond appeared on the horizon like a great russet beacon . . .
    ~Many thanks G.Johns~ Great Smoky Mountains Nc. “)

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  7. Autumn is honestly my favorite season and not for the reasons that most people list (like Halloween and pumpkin spice everything). Though the traditional aspects of this season do appeal to me, I love autumn on a more personal note. It just feels like I’m always where I’m supposed to be; every time I walk out of the house in jeans and boots with a thick jacket on and still feel an immediate chill on my skin, I feel alive and at peace with whatever happens next. That’s the best way I can explain it!

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  8. I love Autumn, and its days are numbered now in the northern US. I spend hours wandering aimless looking for the last gasps. I love Tom’s pictures: they will be the inspiration for some winter color choices, I know!

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  9. Such ethereally beautiful photos. I love all the comments, too, on how the seasons affect us differently. For me, I dread summers: The heat, humidity and light that blinds and obliterates subtlety depress me no end. I have always loved autumn, winter and spring with their indvidual finesse and subtle beauties, the light that filters through the trees, the long shadows and subtle and myriad colors we can see. Oh, and I love to cook in the autumn and winter: Most of my comfort foods are hearty and cool-weather friendly. Nothing like a pot of hot tea, a slice of pie, a sweater on the needles, and a fire crackling away.

    Thank you for another lovely post.

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  10. Beautiful photos! I have similar feelings about fall and winter to those you had in the past. In fact, my husband and I have discussed the possibility of moving to England or Scotland in the future (in our retirement, maybe), but the thought scares me because of the amount of grey and the lack of light in winter. I live in Colorado now where they boast that we get 300 sunny days a year. You might be able to see why the UK would be a bit scary for me.

    However, I love the general area where you live. On a holiday for our 20th anniversary, we spent time in Kilmartin and wanted to stay and never leave! It was beautiful and magical. So really, I can understand both your old and new feelings. :)

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  11. I think we all have our seasons that cause us trouble, mood-wise. Mine is actually spring. I love the quiet of late autumn and winter (even with the lousy weather). November is actually one of my favorite months. It is spare and grey and quiet. Then winter comes and there are no outside people-noises to deal with. SPRING ARRIVES. Honk. Beep. Fire up the lawnmower. Get out the house, kids. Everyone is outside. Bleah. Fortunately, through a lot of hard mental work, I am starting to overcome the malefic (I love that word) feelings I have about spring.

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  12. Kate your blog is always so interesting and Tom’s photos amazing. My favourite season is autumn and yesterday I drove tbrough my first whiteout in the Australian alps with this being mid spring. You are an inspiration to many Kate. With best wishes Caroline.

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  13. Ethereal and lovely. I used to love fall (as we call it here in Canada) more than any other season, but I find that as I age I have mixed feelings. Yes, it’s beautiful, especially here on the north shore of Lake Ontario, but at the same time I dread the cold, the snow, and the ice. At least it’s an excuse to wear more wool!

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  14. It’s the outdoors that does it. And the beauty. When I’m outdoors, and when I’m actively making beauty, I’m part of it all. Especially when I’m not working. When I don’t have any commitments. When I’m free to follow the rhythm of the day. No clocks. Just light. I also get the blues. Today is the last of a four day weekend. I slept like a bear. Like I was truly exhausted. I think modern life and modern rhythms definitely play a role.

    I glad autumn is now your friend.

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  15. The deepening dark of autumn and winter definitely have their difficulties. The short days have shaped the people and cultures of the extreme latitudes in myriad ways. But there is beauty there as well, not just an adversary. I have always loved autumn because of its light. The angle of it does something wonderful to the world that I don’t see at any other time of year. It is precious and golden and those photos capture that so beautifully. Nothing can beat the complete immersion of actually being there though, soaking it all in. On a clear day I can see the tip top of Ben Lomond in the distance from my kitchen window. I hope this doesn’t sound weird but when I see the hills shrouded in mist I wonder sometimes what you see out your window.

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  16. I love fall actually all the seasons. Your words are wonderful and should open up autumn to anyone . . . I find the peace, quiet, the stillness of the darker days so comforting, woolly, warm, full teacups, long walks, and even muddy dog feet all full of life! Thanks for sharing and Tom’s eye for light is just wonderful!

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  17. I love the changes in season we have in the UK, and have always loved the shoulder seasons in particular. I work outside a lot (as an Ecologist), and the changes to plants and animals, to the former’s growth, colours and visibility, and the latter’s behaviour, provide a day-by-day reminder of time passing, and how insignificant we humans are in the grand scheme of things. Tom’s photographs are stunning.

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  18. Beautiful, we have just returned from Loch Long and it’s beauty at this time of year blew me away. We need to stop and look more, be still for a time rather than being consumed by the constant rush and worry of modern life. Thank you

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  19. We have very little autumn where I live – and winter is definitely not cold by Scottish standards – but one of my loveliest memories of living in London as a student was being invited out into the Kent countryside in autumn and prowling slowly and quietly through the trees near Ightam Common. The colours were magical and it is one of those very special experiences I don’t want to forget.
    Your photographs are even more magical – what an amazing place to live in!

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  20. This are some of the most beautiful photographs I’ve ever seen. I’d love to paint one. They remind me of J. M. W. Turners work!

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  21. Autumn and Spring – the best times of the year – and closely followed by Summer and Winter – each with its beauty. I understand the darkness and the depression it brings (Autumn), but somehow it always disappears! Lovely post.

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  22. Ah, season of mists and mellow fruitfulness indeed, I absolutely love Autumn. It’s always been my favourite season. The clocks go back and with that extra hour a time to hunker down and wallow in slow gin, Christmas cake, Halloween pumpkins and lots of knitting! The pictures make me reach for my stranded colourwork inspirational books and conjure magical knitted presents for those I love most. I relish Autumn but appreciate it’s not for everyone.

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  23. Absolutely, stunningly beautiful! It’s like a work of art 💗We live on such a beautiful planet and Tom captured it beautifully!!!

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  24. These photos – and your descriptions of them – are breath-taking. If I can’t visit your lovely part of the world (at least right now – I have been fortunate enough to be there during the summer in the past), at least you and Tom bring it to me and all of the other lucky readers of your blog. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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  25. Oh those images….some of them look like they could have been painted by Turner!
    I’m not an autumn/winter person either, I find November in particular a grim month, I love it when we reach the winter solstice as I know changes are happening even though I can’t actually see them, just knowing is enough for me.

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  26. Simply Stunning! I live in Dallas,Texas where mist and fog are seen maybe a couple of times a year in small low lying pockets a couple of feet against the ground for about 5 minutes. The pictures are beautiful! Wish I could see it in person. Thanks for sharing such a moment with us.

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  27. Thank you Kate and Tom, not just for the stunning photos but it is so reassuring to hear that others can feel low too as the days shorten. I agree the best thing to do is to make the effort to go for a walk and take the time to look around us – as Tom’s photos so eloquently illustrate, it is a beautiful world out there!

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  28. Ah! The mists of autumn so supremely portrayed photographically! The amazing reality of it is that photos (in my opinion) cannot do nature complete justice. I’m so glad you get out & about daily to walk in your stunning surrounding expanse.
    This morning I made a pilgrimage from Seattle to Carnation, WA, to celebrate the 4th anniversary of Tolt Yarn & Wool. I drove over Lake Washington on the I-90 floating bridge & was treated to stunning plays of thick fog & streaks of radiant light & the faintly-silhouetted old-growth evergreen trees of Seward Park. I literally gasped & wished I was a passenger so I could snap photos. Instead I will keep that lovely, ethereal sight in my memory.
    Wishing you more glorious, misty autumn days! Thank you for sharing with us, as you so often do. On your low days I hope you pause & think about how many people in the big wide world love & appreciate you (&Tom) for all the beauty (in words, yarns, designs, recipes & photography)
    that you share with us so liberally & generously.
    You are überly appreciated!!

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  29. These photos of Tom’s are incredible! I’m glad you have found such a lovely corner of the world to live in, and that it has enabled you to discover the joys of autumn. It’s my very favourite season.

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  30. Just lovely – I do not suffer from seasonal problems (lucky) and love the colors of fall so much. The mountains of Utah have been spectacular this year. Glad you’re enjoying your surroundings so much.

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