8th October 2016
The weather, time of year, and time of day has such a drastic change on the landscape around us, giving it the possibility to appear like a completely different place simply by the conditions in which you see it. The last time I made the walk over to Chrome and Parkhouse Hill from Earl Sterndale was on a crisp January morning, with the sun rising in the South East, basking the whole area in golden-yellow light. Returning on an overcast day in the transition from Summer to Autumn meant an almost complete reversal of appearance. As plants of different species began shedding their summer skin a great diversity in colour and tone begins to appear; greens fade to yellows, which fade to red, which fade to brown.
Sometimes it pays to stop and think. To analyse your surroundings and really consider what you are looking at. Be inquisitive, and ask why certain things are the way they are. Now it helps a lot having a couple of Geologists as walking buddies, who are able to give stipulations and theories about the creation of the world around you, but it isn’t always necessary to have a specialist to notice things of intrigue in nature. Whilst sitting atop the first peak, Parkhouse Hill, I noticed the northern banks of Chrome Hill were highlighted with the yellow accents of autumn; what first drew me to this was the way it accentuated the contours of the hill, helping to outline the distinct dragon’s back. I realised the cause is the ever so slight change in exposure to sunlight has caused the northern grasses to begin their winter make-over before their southern counterparts.
It’s a strong reminder of how delicately the world is in balance. In the dimensions of space, the distance between the poles and the equator is minuscule, and yet there is a full spectrum of life; from the cold barely inhabitable ice caps, through the luscious tropics, to the desolate deserts of the equator. All of this is only possible at the exact distance from the Sun that we found ourselves at, and the Earth tilting just 20º is enough to cause the seasons, the thousand miles migration of birds and whales, hibernation of bears and squirrels, or even the change of the grasses on Chrome hill from green to orange