A magical appreciation, in words and pictures, of autumn in Ireland and the ancient festival that recognised our links with the spirit world.


As we plunge towards winter, I take some compensation from the light of these autumn days.  The window of daylight is short at this latitude, so my workday runs are done in the glare of streetlights. Only my weekend runs can give me my fix of daylight and the great outdoors.

Last Sunday was one of those crisp, dry autumn days. My route-a familiar one-took me past ploughed fields and hedgerows, down to the canal and on by the river. After a week of rain, the going was too muddy for my liking but I kept an eye out for some autumn colour. Shades of russet, scarlet and yellow always gladden my heart.

The week`s heavy rain, however, had stopped the colour play of the leaves. From deepest green, it seems as though they`re set to run straight to brown. Drier days are needed for them to sport their full palette of autumn colours.

That said, the…

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