Tuesday 4 September 2012

September walks.

"Robins sing among the fallen apples, and the cooing of wood pigeons is attuned to the soft light and the colours of the bowers. The yellow apples gleam. It is the gleam of melting frost. Under all the dulcet warmth on the face of things lurks the bitter spirit of the cold. This is the bitterness that makes the September morning so mournful in its beauty."

Oh yes, we undoubtedly know it is September and Summer is past. But as we have had little Summer to savour, this week is such a bonus. The sky is blue streaked with stringy white clouds, there is a pleasant breeze and the hazy sun shines from rising to setting.

And, at last, the farmer is confident enough to cut the grass for second-crop silage. The forecasters have said that it will be find all week, so the risk is much reduced - it is a risk worth taking and the grass lies in neat rows across the fields.

Tess and I are at last able to walk down Cow House field, so called because the farmer's father used to walk down to the cowhouse when he was a boy every morning to milk the cows in there in Winter before he went to school. The cow house is long gone, its stone used to repair other walls and buildings. All that remains is a bit of stone wall among the hedge.

We walk down the line between two rows of cut grass. Rabbits scatter as we walk down and Tess spends much of the walk on her back legs, scouting for rabbits. I dare not let her off the lead because the farmer is going up and down the field with his haybob, tossing the grass to dry it.

The horses rest in the shade of a tree and the milking herd lay quietly in the field, chewing the cud. In the hedgerow the blackberries begin to ripen and the thistle are gone to seed.

We stop by the old lichen-covered gatepost in the hedge to listen to the rooks calling in the trees along the hedgerow and high above us the swallows swoop after insects. High swallows - a sign of fine weather according to the farmer.

In the front garden the climbing rose has a sudden burst of new flowers, the last burst of Summer I suppose, but none the less welcome for all that.

In the air is the smell of cut grass, the clack-clack of the haybob, the cawing of the rooks, the shrieking of the swallows. No it is certainly not quiet here today, but nevertheless the sounds are all welcome ones. I push up my sleeves to get the sun on my arms and get a dose of Vitamin D to build me up for Winter. Tess on the other hand has only one thing on her mind - rabbit.

The opening paragraph is, of course, the work of Edward Thomas - the poet of the countryside who died so tragically in the Great War at Arras. The last entry in his diary:

"The light of the new moon and every star
and no more singing for the bird."

Such a tragic end for such a sensitive man. But what a legacy he left behind.

This Summer's legacy is one of water - the fields are still wet and our memory of Summer is of rain. But let's rejoice in this glorious Autumn weather while it lasts.


Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Oh yes, Pat, we are thinking the same thoughts today. You are so fortunate to see September in from a country setting. I was walking along right beside you! Isn't it a wonderful time of year!!

Titus said...

What a beautiful post Weaver, I walked every step with you. Beautiful day here too today, but breezy, and goodness it's September alright tonight - the nip is in the air.

Reader Wil said...

Thank you again for the wonderful walk in the fields. I could hear the sounds of the birds and see the grass drying in the sunshine! Have a nice sunny day tomorrow!

Heather said...

A beautiful post Pat and your garden looks beautiful too - I love those roses. So pleased that farmers will be able to get another crop of silage cut.
Slugs and snails have eaten most of the plants I grew from seed inspite of precautions being taken. The cosmos are taller than I am with only a few flowers but the foliage is pretty. I think I shall just grow weeds and call them native herbs!

Bovey Belle said...

What a lovely post Pat, and thank you for opening it with a piece of Edward Thomas's prose. The annotated book of his collected poems is on the floor by my seat, as ever.

John Going Gently said...

I have just been out with the dogs..... it feels like autumn

Dartford Warbler said...

I was there in the fields with you and Tess. A beautiful and evocative piece of writing Pat. These warm days of our Indian Summer seems so precious after a year of bad weather.

Edward Thomas and Thomas Hardy are two whose words often come into my head as I walk in the countryside, looking and listening.

Anonymous said...

How we treasure those single days that remind us of Britain beautiful in summer! A lovely post, Pat.

Share my Garden said...

I went to an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum some years ago on the First World War poets. The exhibition included dried flowers and grasses that Edward Thomas had posted home to his wife and small daughter. It was very moving.
Here's hoping for an 'Indian summer' to make up for all the poor weather we have had to endure this year!

angryparsnip said...

This is one of your most beautiful post Pat. I was walking the fields with you and Tess. Thank You so much for the photos.
It feel like Autumn here even though it is still hitting 100 and the monsoon is lingering. Maybe it is the lower temps at night 75, and the breezes have a hint of coolness and smell of sage and rosemary. But it feels like September. Lovely.

cheers, parsnip

Cloudia said...

loved the high clouds and intimations of Autumn

Aloha, Friend
from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

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Gwil W said...

Lots of meadow saffron about on the hill where I went walking yesterday. Farmers tell me they are poisonous and cows that's why cows won't eat them. But then I think people use parts of them in cooking to make a sauce? And butterflies seem to like them. Do you have them on the farm?

Crafty Green Poet said...

beautiful start to September here too! Your photos are lovely. I'm glad Tess didn't catch any bunnies!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Glad you all enjoyed our walk. It is a little cooler today but still dry which is all that matters. Thanks for coming - come again.

Hildred said...

Lovely post, Pat. You make the countryside come alive in your reader's imagination.

Golden West said...

Your garden is looking beautiful - I love how the bushes are spilling onto the lawn.