November 6th- thrushes at twilight

I have always loved being out at twilight and I love to paint this time of day throughout the year. The end of late autumn afternoons can be very atmospheric with tree colours singing out of the gloom until dark. Late autumn sees most of the leaves down, but many beech, oak and larches are at or near their most intense colour here in Gilling East. Look into a wood as dark approaches and notice the bright cadmium yellow hazel leaves clinging on to the last.

As the gloaming nears owls begin to tune up for the night. Little owls call first here, soon followed by tawny owls. As the local blackbirds “chink chink” their way to roost, others can be seen climbing high into the sky to migrate south and west. Redwings call as they fly over at the start of their night flight. It never fails to move me to watch them heading off to fly beneath the stars. Where I wonder will they be at first light?

Ampleforth lower lake- November afternoon
Blackbird, before ascending to migrate overnight.

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