If you do then you will have to get a move on as Tess has caught a whiff of a walk in the offing and is dancing about in front of me and giving little barks. So come along - we are only going down the lane and back across the fields.
How things have changed in just a week. I am able to walk through dead and dying ash leaves which litter the floor. I see that the ash tree in the hedgerow has turned yellow and is casting its leaves. In the distance, the alder trees which line the passage of the beck through our neighbouring farmer's fields, show no vestige of Autumn colour yet. But in the hedgerow the blackthorne still has ripening sloes and the elder bushes are turning a bright red.
The birds are pretty silent apart from the robin. There seems to be one singing in every large tree I pass. I would love to think they are singing their song for the sheer joy of living here, but I know there is a more aggressive reason - they are singing to warn other robins off their territory.
The milking herd next door are in their farthest field. They have worn a path down the side of the lane, walking on the grass verge rather than on the tarmac. Poor cows have such trouble with their feet that by this time of the year, when they are shortly to be taken in for Winter, many of them are becoming a bit lame and the grass must be far more soothing to walk on. The trodden muddy path will soon disappear once they have moved to a different field.
Once on our way back across the fields, I can let Tess of the lead so that she can go searching for rabbits. We walk along the edge of what was the oats and barley field. They have long been harvested. The oats field has been ploughed and sown; the barley field lies as stubble. Three or four cock pheasants stalk between the rows, picking up tit-bits as they go. Tess barks at them but they take no notice and carry on with the search for food.
A yellow hammer comes part of the way with us, flying in front and keeping to the topmost boughs of the hedge - it never makes a sound. The beck is very low. We have had little rain in September and so far this month and the water weeds have grown apace so that now they have completely filled in the beck. The farmer will have to be down here shortly to dig it all out and get the water flowing well again before Winter.
The crab apple trees = which have been bare of fruit this year - are turning a golden-yellow, as are the hazel bushes. Some nuts still hang on the branches but the mice and the grey squirrels will soon finish them off.
The berries on the cotoneaster horizontalis on the wall shine like red beads. They will be left until the cold weather when the blackbirds will descend one day and strip the lot. In the meantime they gleam in the sun.
In the fields the hedges have grown rapidly. We do not cut our hedges in the breeding season for wild birds as so many of them nest there. Each year the farmer pinpoints blackbird nests and yellow hammer nests. But as Winter approaches so do the hedgerows and in many places the briars from the wild blackberries have pushed new growth well out into the field. How long would it be before they took over the whole field if they were not cut back, I wonder.
Coming back into the farmyard we see the farmer who is pruning and apple and cherry trees in the vegetable garden. He stands surrounded by branches - seems he has been a bit fierce with his pruning. "Kill or cure!" he says as we pass. Dark Lady - the rose by the back door - has blossomed with a third crop of deep red blooms. They are a delight, although this time there is little scent.
Back home to put the kettle on. Do stay for a cup of tea before you go - and maybe a biscuit too.
See you again next week. Have a good weekend.