Now that the leaves have fallen and the sun is rising from a more southerly direction, it lights up the surrounding woodland each morning with slim rays streaming across the ground. The beeches are more visible now since they retain most of their orange-tinged leaves. In contrast, the woods behind the house are in a much earlier stage of succession and have few beeches, but the surrounding preserved land, which has remained undisturbed for a much longer time, has less undergrowth - and far more beeches, some approaching middle age. (I still have to deal with that woody tangle of cedars, scrub and vines that will be my garden.)
I hope to imitate the process of succession in my new garden, establishing a community of plants that adapts to conditions here, and develops through its own process of (controlled) succession. Echos of Planting Design: Gardens in Time and Space by Noel Kingsbury and Piet Oudolf, which I've been reading.