This afternoon friend G and I set off on a little outing by car. We didn't have far to go but we were actually for a short time following the trail of J M W Turner.
Turner set off from London on the coach for Leeds on July 12th 1816 having been commissioned by Longmans to paint 120 watercolours to illustrate a seven volume history of the County of York.
In fact Turner filled three sketchbooks with over four hundred drawings and was paid 3000 guineas for the project - the most money he had ever been paid. Ruskin thought they had 'the most heart in them and the most serious finishing of truth' of anything Turner had painted.
He seems to have come up through Wharfedale and into Wensleydale, and one of the first places he sketched (and later painted) was West Burton Falls, saying that he loved the way the water fanned out at the bottom, showing the rocks behind.
Well, here they are - West Burton Falls, only a matter of five or six miles from home, and always a joy to visit.
As we drove into the village there was a sight and a smell which immediately brought to mind Autumn. We had had signs on the way as we saw masses of rooks gathered in the fields and searching for grubs in the grass - yes, the rooks are beginning to get together in a gang again. But this is what we saw that made us both say "Autumn" -