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.