The bright solstice sun enlivened Hampstead Heath this weekend, as autumn starts to grip.
The blackberry bushes are spent - the leaves are beginning to fall - the sun bathers by the men's pond look both forlorn and foolhardy.
This path leads from the model boating pond - where I've seen grebes recently - towards Kenwood. The best blackberrying is just up here and on the right.
But it was the light, the shadows, and the play of the branches that caught my attention on Saturday.
I was surprised how few strollers were out and about - the Heath was a long way from empty, and indeed the cafe at Kenwood was jiving, but it wasn't the sort of crush I would have expected to mark this Indian summer. It may be a while before we see the Heath bathed in bright sunlight again.
I have discovered a fondness for caramel ice cream, satisfied this weekend at the ice cream kiosk at Kenwood. The ice cream season too is almost gone - the rhythms of the seasons give some shape to life, even urban life in a technology-led era, still it's sad to see the summer depart.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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