Dreamy autumnal maple

With stormy weather raging outside I have been enjoying an image from yesterday - a Japanese maple in the Wellington Botanic garden which is usually covered with crimson leaves at this time of year.  Maybe it is the warmer temperatures we have had, maybe the effect of the drought - but only some of the leaves have changed.  With the wind here we never have a "perfect" autumn display anyway - the leaves are usually quite tatty and weathered, ready to fall, which they no doubt will be doing now.

I love the pretty contrast of soft greens and rich crimson, with dappled backlighting angling through the branches - a dreamy look emphasised by a soft focus effect. 

Today is so very different, any softness in the light being due to the dense rain and/or sea spray, depending on proximity to the coast.  In the north there has been torrential rain, in the south there was snow, and here in the middle we have had dense rainstorms, thunder and lightning, gale force southerlies, flooding in the city - generally miserable.  And stormy seas never look as impressive as you might expect in still images, and when I tried to capture an image or two my lens was spattered with salty spray in seconds.  So I turned to the calming beauty of yesterday, anticipating the settling of the storm as its energy dissipates.