Autumn portraits

Autumn has settled in the Font Roja. From the sea of orange trees in my town in the Ribera Alta, I pass without respite to a world with a mosaic of ocher and yellow colors. In its shadiest and most humid corners, this deciduous forest composed of the gall oak or Valencian oak (Quercus faginea), the ash, the maple (Make opalus subsp. Granatense), the mostajo, the yew… is at its maximum splendor.

Next to the paths that pass through these forests, we can find numerous rose hip or wild rose bushes, Rosa canina, which at this time of year have already borne their fruit, and which are used by forest animals to prepare for a long and harsh winter.

In the understory of this oak forest made up of species such as ivy, honeysuckle, blonde or durillo, a few weeks ago I set up a hiding place to photograph some forest species, looking for the magic that emerges in every corner of the forest in this autumn environment.

In autumn the forests become art, and the curious robins are their birds.

I leave this quiet and peaceful place late in the afternoon. It’s cold and the sky is gray. The wind blows, dragging dense clouds that let a fine rain fall in the forest. Winter is just around the corner.

With cryptic plumage, merged with the drawings and color of the bark of the oak tree, the owl, in the shadow of the forest, goes unnoticed by the walker’s gaze.
The ignoble presence of this harmless batrachian, with its flat, pustular appearance, wild eyes, expressionless look and unpleasant presence has long awakened ideas of terror, diabolical spawn and repulsion in the people. On his rugged back he carries the heavy burden of a thousand animist conceptions, and his golden eyes still reveal the mystery of extinct civilizations. In the history of peoples, the toad struggles in a bloody and uneven fight. He manages to survive and thus enjoys a triumph by seeing reason imposed over prejudice and obscurantism. From a persecuted animal, he becomes a friend of man, from being execrated, he finds refuge in the house of someone who always looked at him with disgust and pays excessively for what he considers a debt of gratitude. He offers himself to science by granting the wonder of his body to serve as a relief to his own persecutors. At the same time that he populates his fields and gardens in silent and productive work, he dedicates himself to the defense of his crops, finding his nourishment in everything that is harmful to the seeds. (CHARRO GORGOJO, Manuel Angel).

In the distance, I see the roofs of that small town that brings back fond and nostalgic memories. After an intense and fruitful day in the forest, a good way to end the day is to walk through its silent, lonely streets, now wet with rain, until you reach the square where its church stands majestically with its bell tower full of history. It’s my last stop today, before I get home with my camera card loaded with autumn portraits.

Coal tit. Peripapus ater.

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