Wednesday, 8 October 2008

A Fine Autumn Rain.

The rain is not enough to disturb the surface of the water, but enough to refresh the grass. The grass is criss-crossed with a million fine cobwebs. The electricity wires are joined together with a cats' cradle of cobwebs, sparkling in the moist air.
In the hawthorn hedge swags of berries, now bright scarlet, gleam with moisture. Here and there, where the hawthorn grows through a holly bush, the scarlet berries mix with the still pale orange berries of the holly.
From a crabapple tree, leafless but laden with sour, yellow fruit, a flock of fieldfares and redwings take wing, their swooping flight and their tak-tak call identifies them through the fine mist of rain. They swoop across the meadow and settle in the leafless ash tree, clothing the bare branches as though with a fresh burst of foliage.
More tinselled cobwebs join together the rails of the wooden fencing and festoon the holly branches. On the topmost branch of the tallest holly a robin sings his crystal-clear song, advertising to the world that this is his patch and he will brook no incursion into it.
Swags of long-dead Old Man's Beard decorate the hedges and the long thorny stems of the dog rose, now a mass of orange hips. Further along a hazel tree advertises its presence by scattering its hazelnuts on the ground. A grey squirrel, startled by a sudden sound, sits up amongst the nuts, looks round, acknowledges my presence and then seeing nothing amiss, resumes its breakfast.
Overhead the sky is full of rooks making their way from Forty Acre Wood to their feeding grounds up the Dale. I cannot see them, they are too high up, but their voices are clearer than usual in the still, moist air.
The wetness clings like a blanket. There is no sound but that of the birds. Through the grass a brown hare makes his leisurely way across to the far side of the field. A deer grazes in a corner of the meadow, lifts her head, senses no danger, and lowers her head to continue feeding.
The damp has laid heavy on the last of the beech leaves and they have fallen to make a golden carpet under the tree. There will be warm days again before Winter sets in but the stage is set.
A thin wisp of smoke drifts across and the smell of a smouldering bonfire reaches me. Autumn has come overnight. The swallows have gone. The Winter visitors are here. Now we are waiting for the first North winds of Winter.


Annie Bright said...

How lovely. The ending made me shiver at the thought of the winter coming. :-)

acornmoon said...

Beautifully written, I love the way the moisture clings to those very fine cobwebs. the way they sparkle in the sun, magic!

Teresa said...

I so enjoyed reading that. Very evocative. Was glad I was inside, warm and dry, as I read of the cool dampness!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Wrap up warm annie and enjoy the crisp air (easy to say on a mild day like today). We have big log fires to keep us warm.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks acornmoon. We do seem to get a lot of those misty moisty mornings here in the Dales.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes, I agree Teresa - the damp does seem to penetrate ones bones. I can recommend a dog as a good way of keeping warm. If I don't take Tess for a walk after lunch (regardless of weather) she pesters until I do. Once I am out, well - that's a different story - I love it.

Arija said...

Oh please don't wait for the north winds, they will come of their own accord. Enjoy the fullness of autumn while it lasts. It's so wonderful to be accepted by the animals on your walk. Hares we also have in abundane but deer and squirrels I sorely miss.
Lovely evocative description of your walk.
One of my back posts is exclusively on cobwebs.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

So very much like our day here yesterday! Beautiful description and lovely to read. We share the cobwebs of autumn.

Janice Thomson said...

What a lovely descriptive piece Weaver. I felt I was there seeing what you were seeing. Autumn is very similar here too. We had a heavy frost last night and went down to 1 degree Celsius. Winter's fingers are definitely sneaking around the corner :)