Friday, 4 November 2011


It is definitely Autumn now. Today it is as warm as a pleasant Spring day yet even if I was blindfold I would know it was Autumn. There would be the crisp rustle of leaves underfoot and there would be the smell of rotting vegetation - not an unpleasant smell but one that is everywhere at this time of the year.

Fungi in their hundreds have sprung up overnight under our Scots pine trees - some in 'fairy rings' some haphazardly scattered about the grass. The combination of damp and warmth seems to have sparked them into life.

The journey down to our feed merchants this afternoon meant running the gauntlet of the guns as our local landowner's shooting day happened to be down the bottom of our lane. A lot of the pheasant had come up on to our land - they are welcome to stay there until the danger is past. Most of them were only hatched in Spring and they are still quite small. Eventually the older, wiser ones learn to run along the hedgerow rather than to fly up in the air. It is not done to shoot anything on the ground, so they are much safer there.

On the way down to Masham the fields seemed to be full of pheasants. Many of the fields are stubble from wheat or barley or maize. The farmer tells me that they are likely to stay as stubble until the Spring now - they will be 'well-mucked' and then left over the winter.

The river is low. Although there are heavy downpours in the form of showers, this comes gradually so that no extra water builds up. We passed several bonfires stacked up and ready for Bonfire Night, which is tomorrow night. It does seem macabre to say the least that we should celebrate someone being hung, drawn and quartered by having a celebration bonfire once a year and that we should then supplement it with fireworks to symbolise the gunpowder plot. I am not a lover of fireworks myself - and neither is Tess. Pets are very vulnerable tomorrow night and need a lot of TLC - but I know I am preaching to the converted.


Heather said...

Your new header photo is a lovely sight Pat - all the glories of autumn. We were hoping to go to our local arboretum yesterday but it was too wet - another day hopefully.
I am looking after Poppy tomorrow evening while her owners go out. Lots of cuddles on the sofa while Poppy trembles with every bang and whoosh.

Elizabeth said...

Below a little memory of Bonfire Night from a child's point of view!

I suppose poor Guido was the uber-terrorist of his era. I wonder if we get any more civilized? See death of Ghaddafi.

Guy Fawkes was a Roman Catholic
who tried to blow up parliament
they caught him in the cellar
and broke his fingers first
made him sign a confession (wobbly handed)
then burnt him

he burns each year on top of piles of leaves and rubbish
(he was a Catholic after all)
jumping jacks which jump in your boot and burn you too

Catherine Wheels (which fail to spin) on posts
and rockets falling red and gold

bangers to eat and not-very-baked baked potatoes in their jackets
days afterwards we sniff dead fireworks
picked up from damp grass

H said...

There are a lot of pheasants here too. I don't like to think of them being shot, but I do recognise how much their rearing contributes to the countryside.

rkbsnana said...

Such a beautiful photo. I am in awe of how your world is just as lovely as mine and yet so far away

Nora said...

That does seem like a very macabre custom to an outsider.

Tom Stephenson said...

You should try cricket, Nora.

Cloudia said...

Thank you for the gift
of inviting me to a specific

A delightful read!

I much appreciate your poetic title, but should you choose to rename it something prosaic like "Guy Fawkes Day" it might well come up in searches to the delight and edification of those who wish to know more than a bare definition.

Fond Aloha from Honolulu

Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >


< ° ) } } > <

angryparsnip said...

Late today to comment... Glad to know that the Pheasants can find safe harbor at your home.
I love the way Fall smells plus how soft the air is in Tucson after the hot stinging heat of summer.

cheers, parsnip

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I'm afraid I share your disaffection with fireworks. I always hate to see all the "lost dog" signs pop up everywhere the day after they fill the sky. Too loud, too strange. Bonfires I like, though! And autumn, I love!

Crafty Green Poet said...

It's definitely autumn here too, yesterday was very mild but there was definitely that indefinable scent of autumn

I really dislike fireworks too

ArtPropelled said...

Your Autumn header is a sight to behold! We also "celebrate" Guy Fawkes here but I wish they would ban it. Our animals become so terrified and the newspapers always have too many horror stories the next day about animals running wild.

Rare Lesser Spotted said...

Great banner picture. On my way home from Essex to East Yorkshire today, the number of birds in the fields was noticeable for their great numbers and I was delighted to see a huge flock of Lapwing in South Lincolnshire.

Tanya @ Lovely Greens said...

Fortunately there were only a couple of rather distant fireworks set off near us. The kittens slept right through it!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thank you for the comments on the new header.
RE FIREWORKS - down our lane we heard absolutely no fireworks at all, so there was nothing to worry about.
Thanks you for your comments.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I love Elizabeth's poem from a child's point of view - thank you Elizabeth for letting us share it.