Winter’s overture

Tonight the wind has veered round to the south and the late evening temperature is a balmy eight degrees but yesterday we had our lowest frost so far this Autumn:

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/colehouse15/30713822017/in/datetaken-public/

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Due to the frost we cleared the remaining tomatoes from the large polytunnel, Zenith

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leaving it a bit denuded

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This batch are sunning themselves

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the larger ones have been roasted

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and pureed as soup for the freezer.

The starlings have been busy making themselves at home

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and other birds have been active

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Although chilly, the sun has shone through

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and we continue harvesting fuel for next winter

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New lodger

Last year we had up to half a dozen adult hedgehogs visiting the feeders during the evening – which was nice, and then had to look after seven Autumn juveniles all through the winter – which was nice but also hard work.

This year everything has been topsy-turvy. There was a good visible population during the Spring and then the drought altered everything. Hedgehogs’ natural food supplies decreased and due to the lack of normal food supplies a hungry visiting young badger appeared on our patch. For the first time we had to provide summer care for two struggling individuals, one from our plot and one referred by the vets. They gained enough weight to be released but we have had no evidence of activity in the local population for the last few months.

Today we had a call from the vet and took in this new arrival

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who had to be thoroughly de-loused before admission

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Otherwise today we have been anti-shopping…

Some last apples from the top of a tree

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Some firewood from over the hill

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and some pig fodder from down in the meadow

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Other glimpses from around the plot today:

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Daily dependables

Here is today’s tomato harvest:

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Something we have been able to depend upon every day since August. Will still be happening for a few more days yet.

Other bits of our harvest today including our stored apples and pears coming out:

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You can probably depend on seeing daily pictures of the starlings for several months now – they are just so compelling when they swoop in and take over the Ash tree with their cheerful chatter

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They’re back

Two days off the full Hunter’s Moon

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although our neighbours would prefer to know it by its alternative name of Dying Grass Moon

and the raggle-taggle marauders are back

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They make a lot of chatter but don’t let on where they have been for the last few months.

And we are still harvesting

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Toasting the Showman

Tardis like, the Showman’s Wagon perches at the top of the meadow

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Well actually it seems quite big on the outside but the inside must be enormous as it needs two stoves. Well, three if you count the gas one.

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We have been revving them up

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The one in the sitting room is drawing nicely

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and now we have fitted the flue

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for the Nordica

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which seems designed to cook farmhouse dinners while heating the farmhouse at the same time.
So we are now firing on all cylinders

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and very toasty

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Outside we have had a few morning frosts but the calm air and bright sun gives us a lingering languor

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Emphasising the remaining colour

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Neighboring cattle are enjoying their last days of outdoor freedom

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After a scythe mishap

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meadow mowing has resumed

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Jessie prefers the long grass where the voles tunnel

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Winter visitors are moving in
Mistle thrushes

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and fieldfares

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taking advantage of the hedgerow harvest

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