Saturday, 7 August 2010
Feels like Autumn
There is a real nip in the air this morning and it definitely feels like Autumn. The trees across the lane are still hugged by a shawl of mist. In a normal summer, there seems to be a day in August when you are on the cusp between Summer and Autumn. In some strange way time seems to stand still. You would only feel it if you were outside a lot, and in touch with the natural world. This year the change into Autumn seemed to come more abruptly and in late July, when it was raining regularly and there were winds most days (unusual for the time of year). Although the sun is really hot when it comes out, summer is spent. Already at 5 a.m. when I wake most mornings, it is not yet properly light and the evenings are shortening perceptibly too.
On recent walks I have noticed some Fungi - including the Boletus luridus, which turns blue when cut and the flesh exposed to oxygenisation, and beautiful lemon yellow fungus (possible the Chanterelle family) along the bank by the river. Take time to check out the site above, as it is excellent for trying to put a name to an elusive fungus.
The Common Cow Wheat is still flowering, and the Betony nods its purple blooms in the breeze. The purple-pink Agrimony looks down on me from the higher banks, and the later-flowering Umbellifers keep it company. The verges have been trashed by the Council who are so insistent that they should be neat and tidy, like a townscape.
I've picked one or two very early blackberries, though they are very tart and the local ones are still colouring up. The apples on our 6 trees are swelling now, and for a change we even have fruit on the Christmas eater, which has been sulking since the Paul's Himalayan Musk draped itself completely over the tree, hiding its fruiting branches from sight. Now they have burst through the rosy veil and we can look forward to a good crisp eater which will store well.
I cannot imagine living anywhere where I didn't have my own fruit trees, and soft fruit area and having to pay a fortune for fruit in the shops. I grew up with apple, plum, damson and cherry trees in the garden, and a prolific gooseberry bush. Here we have apples, damsons, raspberries, Japanese wineberries, rhubarb, strawberries, gooseberries, a pathetic blueberry!, and a tired loganberry. In the new area in the paddock, I have planted 3 pears, 2 plums and an apple tree beside the pathway and will add more next spring, should we still be here.
As you can see, we have a terrific glut of apples each autumn, but they keep well in a cool stable and usually see us through until the end of January. "If" we get the dream house we've offered on, the garden there has a proper orchard and a very productive fruit cage . . .