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:
Due to the frost we cleared the remaining tomatoes from the large polytunnel, Zenith
leaving it a bit denuded
This batch are sunning themselves
the larger ones have been roasted
and pureed as soup for the freezer.
The starlings have been busy making themselves at home
and other birds have been active
Although chilly, the sun has shone through
and we continue harvesting fuel for next winter
At this time of year a lot of thought, and time, goes into energy preparation
Other glimpses from today
The wind moves round to the North; time to don the winter wear
time to equip the nest boxes for winter roosting – sheep wool from a neighbour
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
who had to be thoroughly de-loused before admission
Otherwise today we have been anti-shopping…
Some last apples from the top of a tree
Some firewood from over the hill
and some pig fodder from down in the meadow
Other glimpses from around the plot today:
Here is today’s tomato harvest:
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:
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
Today’s goldenness was enhanced by the fact the forecast was mainly cloudy
The starlings fill the clear blue sky
While Jessie keeps an eye on things
Then the whole sky prepares for sunset
As the glow fades in the West a new one appears in the East
as the full moon takes over the night shift
and these are the last tomatoes from the greenhouse – none will go to waste
Two days off the full Hunter’s Moon
although our neighbours would prefer to know it by its alternative name of Dying Grass Moon
and the raggle-taggle marauders are back
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
There is a saying in these parts that is voiced as October dwindles: “That’s it”
We are therefore relishing each moment of this sunlit time:
and we are still harvesting:
Tardis like, the Showman’s Wagon perches at the top of the meadow
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.
We have been revving them up
The one in the sitting room is drawing nicely
and now we have fitted the flue
for the Nordica
which seems designed to cook farmhouse dinners while heating the farmhouse at the same time.
So we are now firing on all cylinders
and very toasty
Outside we have had a few morning frosts but the calm air and bright sun gives us a lingering languor
Emphasising the remaining colour
Neighboring cattle are enjoying their last days of outdoor freedom
After a scythe mishap
meadow mowing has resumed
Jessie prefers the long grass where the voles tunnel
Winter visitors are moving in
taking advantage of the hedgerow harvest
The colours are turning, definitely the smell of Autumn in the air.