Thursday, 7 October 2010
This afternoon Tess and I did our usual two mile walk to Forty Acre wood - no goblins about today but plenty of Autumn colour. It was a glorious day with a clear blue sky and I took my camera in the hope of finding something to show you all.
The ash trees vary enormously. Some have already lost their leaves and are just festooned with brown 'keys' (seed heads) which look pretty awful. But some of the young sapling trees are bright yellow and look marvellous against the deep blue sky.
At the entrance to the wood there is a young copper beech tree and it has turned the most beautiful bronzy yellow. The seed heads of cow parsley are still standing and look quite dramatic too.
Along the side of Forty Acre the pheasants gather in their hundreds. I have such mixed feelings - the farmer shoots with a syndicate and is quite keen on the sport. But Forty Acre is part of a huge estate where corporate shooting parties pay large sums of money to shoot there over the winter and consequently pheasant are bred in their thousands. At this time of the year they are still fairly tame as they don't yet see man as a threat so I was able to photograph them as they wandered up the fence side. I hope you can just about see them in the photograph.
The elderberrries are ripening on the bushes - what a feast there will be for the fieldfares and redwings when they arrive any day now. I shall tell you when they come - they usually come fairly soon after the last swallow has departed - and they are long gone from here at any rate.
The hawthorn leaves are turned red and yellow and orange. They fall off quite quickly so we need to make the most of the next few days for their colour. In the front garden there is still a lot of colour. Gertrude Jekyll is in her third lot of bloom - she is such a pretty pink rose - and my schyzostyllus is a mass of red flowers - such a bright red that it almost hits you in the face. And the cheerful yellow redbeckia also gives a bright patch of colour at this time of the year.
But my favourite is the little viola - it is just coming into bloom and I hope to see it in flower somewhere throughout the winter.
We returned from our walk and shortly afterwards a friend called with her two dogs, Millie and Gem, so we set off across the fields. Unfortunately the farmer had spent the afternoon spraying slurry onto the fields - you can imagine what the dogs smelled like by the time we got home!