Monday, 21 October 2013

A Red Letter Day.

Yesterday, on our walk through the damp fields in the early afternoon, we saw our first fieldfares - always an exciting time for us both as they are our favourite bird.

 There is no mistaking that blue-grey head and rump and that chestnut back, and then to confirm it that swooping flight and that noisy 'chack-chack-chack, as they swoop out of one ash tree and cross the field to another.   The down side is that our hawthorn berries will now rapidly disappear, but that is a small price to pay.

And it is a sign, as though we need it in this weather, that Autumn is really well and truly here, that the Winter visitors have joined us and that it is good-bye to all those Summer ones.

 Incidentally, when writing the title of this post, I decided to look up the origin of red-letter-day in a book of Idioms given to me some time ago by friend G. Although the book says the term has almost died out, it is an expression I use frequently.  (something to do with my age I expect!)

Apparently it originated in the fifteenth century when feast days and saints' days were marked in red on the calendar, and other days were marked in black.  People began to use the expression to mark any day when they were likely to be celebrating or feasting.

Our fields are looking very damp and soggy, crab apples have fallen, making lovely patches of yellow on the grass - and being rapidly eaten by the cattle still in the fields.   Ash leaves in particular are falling fast, particularly on these damp days.   Days like this make me wish sometimes that humans hibernated.

 

13 comments:

ArtPropelled said...

Sounds like a beautiful Autumn day in the Yorkshire Dales. I googled fieldfares to see what they looked like.... and just as you said ....."They strip the hawthorns and rowans of berries in the Autumn."

Reader Wil said...

Oh I should like to spend an autumn day in the Yorkshire Dales! It sounds so beautiful and pleasant when I read your accounts of your surroundings! Thanks for sharing!
Wil

Edwina said...

Not such a beautiful day here in Norfolk, with dark skies and rain all morning. But a good day for a human to 'hibernate' with her knitting and a DVD to watch this afternoon. Who says we can't hibernate? Might not be for the whole winter, but the odd day here and there, of hunkering down with craft, cake and either a book or DVD, does no harm at all!

GillyK said...

Count me in for hibernation!

Heather said...

I know that feeling Pat, but it is still quite mild down here although very wet and windy. Fieldfares are such attractive birds and help to brighten up our drab winter days. Even though we are only semi-rural we have seen them in the garden at times.

John Gray said...

Had to google the bird pat.....odd but I have never heard of them before

Hildred said...

And miss the first fall of snow!!!!! On first thought hibernation is appealing, but then when one thinks of the sun glistening on snow, and the sound of it crunching under your boots, I guess I'll stick around...

Em Parkinson said...

That's so interesting Pat - I saw my first ones in the garden this morning. Absolutely beautiful birds - I love them too.

Penny said...

Here in Oz I am enjoying a few damp spring days and thoroughly enjoying it and not looking forward to a hot summer. The east coast is still having terrible bush fires and no sign of rain to help them, huge losses of houses, over 200 was the last I heard. Australia is such a country of contrasts, I think I envy you going into winter!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I had to look up Fieldfare - as we don't have those here - but it looks like a cross between our Robin and our Varied Thrush - all three are in the same family. We have some robins that overwinter here - and some that migrate - I've never figured that one out. Our summer ones have left and the winter ones are not yet here.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I had to look up Fieldfare - as we don't have those here - but it looks like a cross between our Robin and our Varied Thrush - all three are in the same family. We have some robins that overwinter here - and some that migrate - I've never figured that one out. Our summer ones have left and the winter ones are not yet here.

The Weaver of Grass said...

At least we are all in this together - Autumn I mean - and it has to be better than those poor folk in Australia who have lost their homes to that terrifying bush fire.

Terry and Linda said...

I wish I were a bear and could and did hibernate all though winter...I am so heat loving girl, er woman, er elder!

Linda
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