Yesterday's gale has died down. The wind has changed direction and there is now a sharp breeze from the North so it is much colder. We had intended a long walk with Tess this afternoon but shortly after we got into the first pasture, sharp pellets of rain began to fall - so it was a short walk after all. The farmer was pleased as it meant he could watch the Grand Prix from Japan.
There is some gale damage - along the lane various branches litter the verges, sycamore and ash mainly. And it is the same in our fields - nature's pruning, we call it. Heavy branches lie in the grass waiting for the farmer to saw them up for our new wood-burning stove. Holly and hawthorn - our favourite woods for burning - seem to have survived intact but there is some crab apple down and that smells lovely as it burns.
The vegetable garden has not been so lucky. The garden is totally enclosed - from the South by a high barn wall, from the East by a stone wall and on the other two sides dense hedges in all but one short space. We always have wind problems - we think due to the barn wall, where the wind can swirl down from the roof. It seems to form a vortex in the garden. One gale took all the glass out of the greenhouse. This time it has snapped off my buddleia (the one with orange pom-pom flowers) at ground level and thrown it to the other side of the garden. We shall leave the stump in the ground and see whether it throws up shoots next year.
The front garden is walled and suffers less, particularly as the house shelters the North side. There is still a lot of colour left unscathed. Rudbeckia and pelargoniums are still flowering, tiny pale cyclamen coum is pushing up through the pine needles and hydrangea and pelargoniums sit happily side by side in full bloom. In the bottom bed, where we fought long and hard to eradicate the michaelmas daisies, which are so invasive, one spike has survived and flowered - you can't help admiring its tenacity.
Out in the fields the honeysuckle berries are almost over-ripe. They advertise their presence by shining bright scarlet in the sunshine - they are the favourite food of bullfinches but they will have to hurry - the berries will be over the top within a day or two. The ivy is in bloom and as the blooms die so the berries begin to form.
The birds have noted the change in the weather. Our sunflower seed container, filled at 9am this morning, is totally empty by 2pm.
On the home front I make a note to wash scarves, woolly hats and gloves tomorrow so that they are all ready when they are needed.