Monday, 31 October 2011

The Last Act of the big day.

Well - the last birthday act has just been completed: the pumpkin has been carved, put outside and lit and as I write this he is burning merrily with his cheeky grin. Thank you all for your birthday wishes - they were much appreciated. Inevitably when one is near to a big O birthday, one person got it wrong and sent me a big O card a year in advance but I have managed to put that card at the back so that the number is concealed!

The farmer, Tess and I had another day out yesterday in mild, sunny weather. We did a round trip through Nidderdale, across Grassington Moor, into Kilnsey, where we had lunch at the trout farm, then down to Hubberholme church (one of my favourites, where the ashes of JB Priestley are scattered in the churchyard) and along the side of the infant River Wharfe, up over the fells at Oughtershaw and down into Hawes and back through Wensleydale. We had several pleasant walks with Tess too.

As we were riding along I thought what it was that I really liked about Autumn - what makes it such a special season. Here is my list - maybe you can add to it:-

I love our Autumn colours. I know we cannot compare with New England and those wonderful maple trees but really our beech trees put on a magnificent show yesterday.

I love our full, peaty rivers and the bare trees which contribute so much to our scenery.

I love the ploughed fields scattered with white seagulls. We have one at the top of our lane and it is a joy to behold.

I love the slow, steady build-up to Christmas. I always start my Christmas shopping early so I never have that panic at the last minute. But the house gets filled with the smell of baking fruit cakes and puddings, spices, delicious things which I make in advance.

I love the dew and the gossamer webs on the grass when the sun is low and the dew on the cobwebs in the early morning. Later on, if we are really lucky we might even get a hoar frost.

Finally I love those last few struggling flowers which are determined to flower on to the bitter end - the last rose, the rudbeckia, the tiny cyclamen under the bushes. And if you look carefully then you can see the snowdrop spikes already beginning to push out of the ground.

I have just remembered one more - it is wonderful to see the hedgehogs preparing to hibernate for the winter. It is fifteen degrees here today and so they are still out every night, snuffling about under the trees, searching for things to eat, stealing the cat food.

Birthdays are marvellous for reminding ourselves that life is wonderful. I have enjoyed mine tremendously - enjoy yours when it comes around.


Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAT! I wish I could give you a cupcake but hope you have a nice evening without one :) And what type of pumpkin did you carve? I'd love to see a photo!

angryparsnip said...

Sounds like the best Birthday ever !

I have wrote on my blog about why I love fall but never knew why ? All the seasons are wonderful so why did I like Fall better than Spring ?
After my first Summer back in Tucson I remembered !
When I grew up in Tucson, Arizona there was no air conditioners, we had evaporated coolers. Summers were three months of hot hot hot weather, even with the Monsoons t was hot.
When Fall came bringing the temps down to 80/75 and evenings in the 50 it was heaven.

I love your list, the slow build-up to Winter and Christmas. I wish we had Hedgehogs so envious.

Happy Birthday one more time

cheers, parsnip

Gwil W said...

I didn't know that about J B Priestley's ashes. And what wonderful photos, especially liked bottom left. Has that hill a name?

Elizabeth said...

Such wonderful reflections on the time of year.
My favorite, I think.
Yes, the build up to Christmas is always a delight.
Here the snowdrops will not poke through til Feb or March........I'm still remembering the beach and fondly imagining it will warm up enough for me to swim again this year... (it snowed on Sat.!)

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Well, I love this post!
"the slow, steady build-up to Christmas."
Nothing better!

Penny said...

It all sounds lovely. We are having a beautiful Spring, mostly not too hot and its alos been damp,the garden is loving it.
We dont often have a spring like this, usually hot and windy.

Pondside said...

Such a lovely, gentle post. I love fall too. Long after winter has settled on the rest of the country, we in BC enjoy several more weeks of fall - such a treat.

rkbsnana said...

Love the cheeky grinned pumpkin bit.
What a wonderful place you live. Happy Birthday

Reader Wil said...

Happy belated birthday wishes to you, dear Pat! You certainly had a pleasant trip out, while the weather was so fine. I wish you many happy years to come.

Rachel Fox said...

Glad you had a good day. Best wishes!

Arija said...

Ah yes autumn, my special time of the year as well, much like our life, there comes a time to wind down from the hustle and bustle, we like the earth, need our rest. The last blooms in the garden as precious as the first of spring yet telling tales of the glory of summer. A time for remembering and knitting of winter woollies by the fireside.
Such a nice birthday outing for you . . . ploughed field and seagulls, I remember them from Devon.

Gerry Snape said...

A Big Happy Birthday to you Pat. So glad that you had such a good one!

Titus said...

Happy Birthday, and that's a wonderful list.

I love the smell of cold mornings. Currently very fed up with the damp and muggy weather we're having here.

Hildred and Charles said...

A lovely time to have a birthday, Pat. You share the day with out great-grandson Aiden, and a great grand nephew, Hudson, who are both five years old today!!!! Have you thought what that would be like!!!! We wish you many more happy years and dozens more birthday jack-o-lanterns.

Heather said...

Your birthday seems to have been one of the best. I totally agree with your list of autumn 'loves'. I love the subtle colours we get as well as the brighter ones - the bronzey tones and even sludgey olive greens.
The scenery around your home is breathtaking as your beautiful photos show. You obviously live life to the full and enjoy it. That's what keeps you young.

H said...

You took an outing around some absolutely beautiful places! I love your autumn list. You are right about the beech trees. They are glorious here too.

John Gray said...

belated birthday greetings pat...
you are a sweetie

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for the comments and for the birthday wishes. Also - at my age - it is fantastic to be called a sweetie - so thank you for that John!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Type of pumpkin Tanya??? Just one from Tesco sadly - my step-grandson buys me one each year for my birthday.

ArtPropelled said...

A breath of fresh air! I so enjoyed reading about my favourite season. We are going into Summer soon and so far our Spring has been relatively cool with rain. The one thing i regret about living in South Africa is that christmas is stinking hot. How I would love a cold English Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Many late happies, Pat! What a beautiful setting in which to celebrate - or maybe distract yourself from - the important day.

Pomona said...

You are right, the autumn colours have been wonderful this year - and it is still unbelievably warm here, too. I loved reading your good things list!

Pomona x

Golden West said...

I love the build-up to Christmas, as well. We are verge of decorating - a process that is ongoing for the whole month of November - a little here and a little there - happy days!