I think Autumn has got to be my favourite season. The harvest season on our islands is one of bounty, and the lurid leaves and russet tones of this time of year bestow on us a visual warmth. We begin to welcome the crimsons and scarlets indoors as the nights close in, the temperatures plummet, and we gear up for the festive season.
On land it is of course Spring that is the season of renewal, of new life and new energy. However, for me it is the late Summer and early Autumn which fill me with hope for the months and years ahead. Why? Well, it’s at this time that our seagrass meadows are full of the fish that we collectively call the ‘young of the year’, or ‘0-group’; those fish in their first year of life. I guess for us seeing a baby cod in a seagrass meadow in the Autumn, is the marine biologist equivalent of seeing a lamb in the field in Spring!
Autumn is a challenging time to be out working in our seas. Up in Scotland we’ve been patiently working in ‘weather windows’; surveying, monitoring and mapping Scottish seagrass meadows as part of a genetic connectivity study we are collaborating on with NatureScot and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. From Shetland to the Solway Firth we’ve been collecting information that we hope will inform some community led seagrass restoration activities next summer.