It is now the beginning of September, it is pissing with rain outside, so has autumn reached us yet? I think I have mentioned elsewhere that I prefer to get my seasonal queues from the world around me. The leaves are largely still green (with a notable exception – see below), the weather relatively warm and still a hint of humidity. The day before yesterday it was incredibly hot here in London and the humidity was rivalling the hot a humid spell of a few weeks ago until a thunderstorm cleared the air and restored the freshness to the air.
I have seen plenty of conkers on the trees surrounding Clapham Common with some already being dropped, something that was happening around this time last year anyway. Something to note is that many of the horse Chestnut trees in London and some surrounding areas have had all their leaves turn brown. This looks like the normal autumnal turning but is actually the action of what is seemingly a plague of leaf miner moths. If you look closer you can see the smaller individual burrows inside the leaves where this parasite has destroyed the leaf tissues. The scale of the infestation on single trees and the population as a whole is incredible.
A quick search of the internet shows this is a recognised invasive pest problem. I suppose all that can be done is see how winter does at killing off the pest.