It is the season
when things erupt
pushing up from the unseen
in strange forms
It makes us realise
there is much unknown
beneath our feet
waiting to take over
when the time is right
They know what they are doing, being fungi
It has always worked
Can we do they same?
Half way through the month and more than half-way to the Hunter’s Moon
October continues its golden phase
keeping one foot in the closing season
while the Oak
and the Acer
try to change colour without anyone noticing.
Dragonflies still bask
and down through the Woodland Portal
so do hens
try to ignore the lack of feathers in their flock
“Don’t look at my back”
“We will be alright soon”
“Just don’t expect many eggs”
The Australorps we hatched this summer…
…say: “It’s nothing to do with us, we haven’t started laying yet anyway.”
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.”
The low-slanting light brings extra delight
But not everything is at rest. Certainly, beneath the Lake surface
all kinds of unknowables are taking place
It is good to see the Wasps enjoying the Ivy instead of harassing our Bees or lazily drifting into the the kitchen.
Some creatures are not so happy
moulting time is not pleasant for anyone.
The haystack is still simmering
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
and are making preparations
Last time we thought we were on the downward slope. But after three days of dry warmth
we bask in the goldneness
The hedgerows are slowly shifting their palette, but still studded with Rowan
Leaves slowly turning. Red Oak
Red Witch Hazel
Seed heads explode
Bees still busy
and Butterflies browse
Clearing the Meadow for next year’s insect food is going well
But as we currently have no pig mud to absorb, the latest cut grass
is ending up in a steaming pile
We are just working out how to harness the heat it is generating.
but things are changing
Time to make sure our produce
is put to good use
The stock is building up, from our patch
and the hills around
All set for a cosy winter
Showers have been torrential today. When there is a pause,
it is time to look round with the camera
Hence, our pictures don’t often show rain, just tears on the Eucalyptus
and dripping woods
where up above, the Noble Fir cones look dangerous
But there is lots of it. This is Wales after all.
Rain or shine, there is a meadow to be mown – by one man and his dog
Everything else is slowing down, which can be a good thing – this Lake flower has spent weeks evolving
and, until the arrival of the first Autumn storm, seeds hang poised
Mature apple trees are giving up a reasonable crop
and some cheap bare-root stock put in two or three years ago are doing their bit
The field next to us is normally cut for silage but due to a bumper thistle crop has been left to the sheep and the cattle
In the tunnels the Nasturtiums are trying to take over
and the figs, as always, do their best in their less than ideal situation
(although we did actually eat some last year)
Some other drippy moments from today
When the season turns here there is no going back
Time to fill up the stores
And capture the summer sweetness
Our bees will be mainly staying at home too, having given us a small offering
to sweeten the time ahead
Some harvests have crept up on us unawares this year.
(not radishes, obviously)
We were bemoaning our bumper crop of
green tomatoes. Then this late warm spell has done the job.
We don’t remember much fruit blossom but suddenly the plum trees are weighed down
Our job today is to get them before the wasps bore into every one
Looks like we will have to make even more wine
Part of maintaining our meadow is to mow and remove all the grass at this time of year
We are currently without pigs, who used up a lot of the cut grass to soak up their mud.
Now that the ducks have two feet of grass to root around in we need to find somewhere else to put it
We did, kind of accidently in the recent hot spell, make some hay which went to the rabbits. We should try harder next year.
Meanwhile we have decided to make a giant pile
and see who takes advantage of this new habitat
A warm sunny day at Gribin Isaf
that started with mist all around
until the sun seeped through
lighting up the over-night industry
that had left every hedge
with intricate webs
The cumulative amount of spider time, energy and miles travelled that had happened when we were asleep is incalcuable.
There are so many species of spiders to be seen here
It is sometime hard to know if they use
or just ornament
In Monty Don’s piece in the current Gardener’s World Magazine
he talks about how it is unusual these days to grow crop quantities with the objective of supplying all one’s needs. A few speciality items being more usual.
Well, like him, our aim is to grow enough tomatoes to keep us supplied with cooking sauce through the winter. Last year’s crop was terrible – we blame the weather patterns.
This year we have had a lot more fruits on the plants
But the slow process of ripening keeps us on tenterhooks through September… October… November?
Slowly we are getting there, day by day, trug
Some for lunches
but most to be chopped
These are the varieties we grew this year
As novices at this game we have only recently learned that tomato varieties can be categorised by “days” – from flowering to ripening. As ardent followers of Beechgrove,
where they know about such things, we will be using that information to choose what we grow next year.