Where is Autumn?

It has been a bright and very sunny day in the southern part of England and Wales and I know because I travelled from Glamorgan to London. It is the second of November but the temperature has been about 16°C, which is 61°F, and there are still many insects like wasps and bumble bees around. When I was standing outside in the warm sunshine a friendly wasp buzzed around, probably looking for something to eat. Fifty years ago, three days before bonfire night, the weather was always cold and the trees were always bare. In Britain we had bonfires in early November not just to celebrate the thwarting of the gunpowder plot, but also to burn away lots of old rubbish that had died as winter set in. When I stood by bonfires when I was very young in my coats vests hat and gloves it was so cold that my fingers cracked. Today winter seems a long way away. Today, virtually all the trees that I saw across 150 miles of motorway (except the very young saplings) had nearly all their leaves. Green was still the predominant colour but there were a few signs that autumn was on its way, with browns, golds, and tinges of yellows at the edges. Autumn was coming but it seemed to have a long distance to travel to get here. Fifty years ago today’s weather would have suited the second of October, not the second of November. It has been warm for several weeks; I still haven’t found it necessary to wear a coat, and the insects have not found it necessary to hibernate.  The climate is changing, not just in ways that we can measure but in ways that we can see and experience.