It’s early September now and during the day the thermometer may still reach more than 25°C. But since about three weeks I smell the typical autumnal scent in the mornings. You certainly know what I am talking about: When you open the door in the morning of a late summer‘s day and a breeze enters the room still carrying the cool and slightly damp air of the preceding night, an earthy wooden smell fills the room, which is so typical and always the first sign that summer’s over. What I didn’t think about that morning I smelled it the first time was that early in the day the landscape may also start covering itself in mist – you only have to leave your cosy bed in time outsmarting the sun to catch it.
On a normal day, I would have grabbed one of my cameras and headed towards our local woodland, a rather unimpressive assemblage of trees which partly was planted only after the wall came down and which is overpopulated with dog walkers, mountain bikers, runners and what have you. The trees planted around the former border patrol paths are still young and their arrangement is more like a plantation rather than a natural forest. The older parts of the forest, which 32 years ago were still behind the iron curtain, are mainly ivy-infested oak trees and silver birches many of which suffering heavily from the droughts of the past two summers. Interspersed are quite a few introduced species like bird cherry, robinia and ash-leaf maple. Nearly all birch trees are dead and many have fallen into the understory giving the impression as if a massive dinosaur has recently broke its way through the woods. The woodpeckers love it, but they may be the only ones. With some autumnal mist though there are quite a few compositions to be found, but without it it’s a boring piece of forest, which doesn’t even try to hide its man-made origin.
BUT…it was not a normal day. Both our boys started at their new schools and we had to leave the house very early to guide them on their first way to what will be their learning places for the next 6-8 years. When closing the door of the house I looked towards the woodland and saw the mist creeping through the trees! No chance whatsoever to capture it, since we had to go and with clear skies above us the sun would certainly have burned it once I was back from my school tour. So, I saw the first mist of the year, but I missed to capture it on film. Nothing to worry about though…there will be more misty mornings over the coming months. I just have to be prepared for it.