Signs of Autumn are arriving early here in the Dales - even earlier than usual, as we have had no Summer to speak of. In fact I worry that it has been impossible to get in the hay and even second crop silage is far behind. The farmer does not seem to worry; he has seen it all before and never failed to get everything 'safely gathered in' finally.
Today he brought in the first of the wild field mushrooms - just five of them, new and in pristine condition. After his walking group he came back to bacon, tomato, fried potatoes, mushrooms and egg for his tea. I can't remember ever finding mushrooms this early before.
On the wires the swallows are beginning to gather in long lines, although almost every nest still has second brood babies in it. This year's first brood are practising flying around like mad to strengthen their wings for the long journey back to Africa. (via Malta where they are terribly persecuted).
In the hedgerows the rowan berries are beginning to turn orange and the hawthorn berries have a faint tinge of red. And the predominant colour of the roadside verges in the purple of the various thistles.
Today five of us went out for lunch and I think we all of us overate.
My favourite course was the starter, which for me was a salmon-stuffed pancake served with a lemony Hollandaisse sauce. Delicious.