Country diary: a bonfire of colour burns brightly

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Buxton, Derbyshire: Beeches, limes and sycamores are producing an astonishing array of shades. This is nature’s fireworks display

If there has been a more spectacular show of autumn trees in Britain this century I cannot recall it. And from my own travels from Inverness to Cornwall, it appears to be universal across the country. Here in Buxton, the beeches, limes and sycamores that line many streets have presented an astonishing bonfire of colour. We have taken to doing the rounds most afternoons to catch it one more time, before the blaze dies away.

The joy of the phenomenon is the all-pervading and cumulative impact of the beauty, rather than it being dependent on any single scene. In fact, trying to capture it with a camera is self-defeating. A firework of colour rises up just beyond every framed shot and it all changes endlessly with the passing cloud or the re-emergence of late sunshine.

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