Winter Warmers

As temperatures drop improvisation is needed

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to keep things at a cosy 21 degrees

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beneath the table

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From here today we moved the last batch of Autumn fruits to the shed we call Wards

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These were harvested back in October

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A bumper crop

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A good washing

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and a bit of scratting

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Turned this

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into this

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So we added 30 bottles of Crab Apple wine

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to 30 of Blackcurrant

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30 of Plum

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and 30 of Rowan

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Oh, and another 30 of Rowan

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Provisions ready in case we are snowed in.

Phoenix Time

Tonight the Mourning Moon rises up

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as the leaves slowly filter down

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The wood is thinning out

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Hazel crumples and crispens

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and Beech emits a final glow

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The Starlings have moved in to observe

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couples sit and compile tourist memories

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Some flowers choose to persevere, the Japanese Ash

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and co-patriot Honeysuckle

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the Late Lupin

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the Everlasting Rose

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But under cover of these activities preparations are already being made for new life

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Tree Season

Each year our greenhouse has been getting less and less light as sycamores filled more any more of the sky around it

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So the time had come to let the light shine in

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Fewer sycamores

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more light… more kindling

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and more firewood

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for adding to the stack for use in twelve months time

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Lots of trees to be planted this season too and getting ready a bit of goodness

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which has come from here

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which has come from under here

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and been maturing for a couple of years since it was part of the compost toilet

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Subterranean Swelling

The Moon is waning

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The leaves are falling

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But elsewhere things are rising

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We are still clearing the year’s growth from the Meadow

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but a large part of it

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has been razed

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and we can see evidence of underground activity

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Those sophisticated organisms have been there all year but now is the time

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for them to stick up their heads

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The fields around us, which are reseeded with mono culture grass every few years, show very few fungi in contrast to our diversity

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We know that now it is the turn, beneath this surface

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of annual seeds and perennial roots to have a rest ready to erupt in the new year. Meanwhile, these are in charge:

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Rise Up

It is the season

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when things erupt

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pushing up from the unseen

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in strange forms

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and guises

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It makes us realise

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there is much unknown

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beneath our feet

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waiting to take over

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when the time is right

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They know what they are doing, being fungi

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or…

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It has always worked

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Can we do they same?

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October Slow Down

Half way through the month and more than half-way to the Hunter’s Moon

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October continues its golden phase

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keeping one foot in the closing season

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while the Oak

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and the Acer

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try to change colour without anyone noticing.

Dragonflies still bask

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and down through the Woodland Portal

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so do hens

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as Gilbert

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and George

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try to ignore the lack of feathers in their flock

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“Don’t look at my back”

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“What, us?”

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“We will be alright soon”

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“Just don’t expect many eggs”

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The Australorps we hatched this summer…

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…say: “It’s nothing to do with us, we haven’t started laying yet anyway.”

Haf Indiaidd

Purists insist that a true Indian Summer can only occur after the first frost. In recent years that has occurred here in mid to late November so a warm spell after that time seems rather unlikely (for the time being).

However, what John Bradbury wrote in 1817 seems to fit our experience today: “The air is perfectly quiescent and all is stillness, as if Nature, after her exertions during the Summer, were now at rest.”

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The low-slanting light brings extra delight

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But not everything is at rest. Certainly, beneath the Lake surface

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all kinds of unknowables are taking place

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It is good to see the Wasps enjoying the Ivy instead of harassing our Bees or lazily drifting into the the kitchen.

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Some creatures are not so happy

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moulting time is not pleasant for anyone.

The haystack is still simmering

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We have had a suggestion of using this for a hot bed. We have made these from horse manure in the Spring, has got us thinking.

While we are enjoying the goldenness, we can read the runes

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and are making preparations

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Remission

Last time we thought we were on the downward slope. But after three days of dry warmth

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we bask in the goldneness

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The hedgerows are slowly shifting their palette, but still studded with Rowan

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Leaves slowly turning. Red Oak

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Red Witch Hazel

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Acer

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Seed heads explode

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Bees still busy

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and Butterflies browse

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Clearing the Meadow for next year’s insect food is going well

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But as we currently have no pig mud to absorb, the latest cut grass

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is ending up in a steaming pile

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We are just working out how to harness the heat it is generating.

Transition

Still harvesting

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but things are changing

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from sunlight

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to shadow

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Time to make sure our produce

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is put to good use

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The stock is building up, from our patch

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and the hills around

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All set for a cosy winter

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