Showing posts from August, 2016

mellow moments of late summer ...

"Let me enjoy this late-summer day of my heart while the leaves are still green and I won't look so close as to see that first tint of pale yellow slowly creep in. I will cease endless running and then look to the sky ask the sun to embrace me and then hope she won't tell of tomorrows less long than today. Let me spend just this time in the slow-cooling glow of warm afternoon light and I'd think I will still have the strength for just one more last fling of my heart."
- John Bohrn, Late August

I cut boughs from the crab apple to bring indoors.  The pale green blind is pulled down and the shaded sunlight seeps through, throwing a soft light on the fruit.

I love the colours of late summer in the garden; yellows and golds

The fruit is bountiful on the trees, with more to harvest than I could possibly need or use.

The rowan has red clusters of berries hanging low; winter food for blackbird and redwing

But the blackberries are still hard and green

Yesterday the wea…

meeting nature halfway ...

I woke early to a grey, misty dawn.  After a week of glorious warmth and sunshine, rain is forecast.  I dressed and went to the top of the garden to harvest runner beans before the rains came.

 The cows in the back field were starting to rouse themselves from sleep. Light rain was spritzing the air; it will take a lot more than that to refresh the garden, which is in dire need of a downpour.

Whilst I worked I could hear the excited chirruping of a flock of long-tailed tits, flitting about in the branches of the apple tree, keeping me company in the quiet of the morning.

It has been a tiring week of garden drudgery.  Ridding the borders of couch grass and ground elder; an almost impossible task.  Plants (what remained of them) were lifted and the soil dug and sieved to removed the worst of these perennial thugs.
Now, the borders look bare; barren, but tidy.  The urge to fill them with plants again is strong; common sense tells me to wait a while; to enrich the soil with manure; then r…

all creatures great and small ...

Being a country dweller I am familiar with the every day comings and goings of cows, sheep and horses.  I see tractors trundling up and down the fields, or pulling great wagons loaded with hay and straw bales; sometimes huge tanks of liquid manure to spray over the fields.

These things are common place; part of the every day life in the country.  Sometimes though, odd things catch the eye; something you haven't noticed, or been aware of before.  I often go to the top of the garden to watch the cows in the back field.  I find their presence calming; they just get on with the business of being a cow; ripping at the grass or just resting, all angular bony shapes; cudding peacefully.

Most of the cows are black and white Friesians; but there is one brown and white young lady who caught my attention the other day.  She came right up to the fence; lowered her neck under the barbed wire to reach some fresh morsel of grass, when I noticed her markings.  Her hide was covered in dark, snowf…

where the wild things are ...

I went to sleep last night thinking about foxes.  Not surprising really, as I had just been reading about them.  When we first came to live here there were a lot more foxes about than there are now. Often you would see them trotting across the back field; on their way to some destination unknown to us.

Before the advent of 'wheelie bins' our refuse bags would be ripped to shreds by the foxes in their hunt for 'easy pickings'.  My hens got hit quite regularly too.  Not only did we see them about; a quick glimpse of copper-coloured pelt, or their brush disappearing through the hedgerow; but we heard them too.  An eerie hoarse barking in the dead of night, a mating call that echoed around the valley.  I can't remember the last time  I heard that sound.

They are creatures of the night, but if you are lucky you may come across one in the early morning on its way home after a nights hunting.  This happened to me once; we came face to face down the lane; we made eye cont…