One of the most magical places to be is amongst the tall, old trees of this world as they do what they’ve done for centuries – turning their leaves red, orange, brown and gold before shedding them. I love nothing more than standing in the middle of a forest on a mild autumn afternoon. The crisp smell of winter warns of things to come, whilst the faint smell of wood smoke hints at warmth and safety nearby. The skies are so blue, without a cloud to threaten rain, and the ground underfoot crunches with twigs and leaves. Yes, there is nothing like it.
Autumn is a nostalgic time for me. I spent a third of my life in Virginia, in the United States, and every autumn was filled with these colours, smells and memories. We lived a short drive from the Appalachian Mountain range, but our own backyard proudly displayed its autumn colours for all to see. For the most part, Adelaide doesn’t do autumn – but if you head into the hills, a mere 20 minutes out of town, this picturesque scene will great you.
So, on my 30th birthday, amid coronavirus season, my husband and I found ourselves in the hills. It was a crisp, yet perfect, autumn day and we hiked a small section of the Hysen Trail, surrounded by the golds and reds described above. Hungry we found ourselves drawn to Aldgate nearby, and grabbed a donut from the local bakery.
The bakery was small and unassuming, no more than two allowed in at a time. We waited patiently as another customer left, us both then crowding in and filling the shop to capacity. Lucky for me one sprinkled donut remained and one chocolate topped for my husband. Finding ourselves outside once more in the early afternoon sun we consumed our treats as we appraised the pretty shop frontages in front of us.