Monday, 23 September 2013

Finding homes for Winter.

It has been the most beautiful of days here today.   One of those days in early Autumn when the beauty and warmth are almost painful because you know they are coming to an end for another year.  The sun has been out from dawn to dusk and as most of our windows face South, the house is still full of its warmth.

Friend S has let me have a jar of her honey and we are treating ourselves to a spoonful each on our morning porridge.  The label on the jar says 'summer honey' and it sure has the taste of Summer in it.

Creatures are beginning to plan for Winter.   As far as I can see the House Martins and the Swallows have all gone South.   We haven't seen a hedgehog for a night or two, so we assume they are bedding down in our hay barn to sleep away the winter.

The farmer has bought a new field.  It sits amongst his existing fields so it made sense to buy it and add it to the farm.   He is altering the fencing patterns and last week he took down a stretch of wooden paling fencing and piled it up in a neat pile.   This afternoon he gathered the pile up on his tractor to bring it back to the farmyard and as he lifted it, a stoat jumped out and the pile fell apart.   There was evidence inside that the stoat had decided that this was a jolly good place to make a winter home.  Sadly he will now have to find somewhere else near to the rabbits.   There are plenty of stone walls near at hand and that is where they usually live.

I suppose you could say that we are all beginning to batten down the hatches in the same way really.   Wood piles are being stacked up, oil tanks filled, sacks of potatoes bought, crops in our gardens are being harvested before the frost.   Our runner beans showed the first sign of frost on the leaves this morning.   They will stand absolutely no frost whatsoever, so the first real frost kills them off.
Leeks on the other hand really seem to like frost, so as soon as there has been a real sharp frost we shall begin eating them.  Folk pickle and jam and bottle and store up for Winter even though our supermarkets make such things unnecessary.  I think it is an instinct in all of us (dare I say particularly women) to store and make ready.



Totalfeckineejit said...

Despite this Indian sunshine
the swallows and the swifts head south, they know
winter is on the march,that
there is no stopping it.
Have we saved enough, lived enough,
to see us through?
Will the wing tipped harbingers return,from Africa,from Asia,
and will they bring
the sunshine upon their wings?
How many summers have they made, how many are yet to come?

John Going Gently said...

A warm lovely evening here but a dull day
The rabbits seem to be more active..... Stuffing their fat faces with the last of the summer grass

Gerry Snape said...

I am loving that the birds are singing again...they have such a careless song at this time of year as if all the hard work of rearing is over and all you need to do is sing!! love the post Pat.

angryparsnip said...

Today I think was the beginning of our Fall. The morning was 69 the day about 90, perfect Fall weather so very happy.

cheers, parsnip

Heather said...

We have had a muggy overcast day today but are promised something better for tomorrow. Perhaps it is a primeval instinct to prepare for winter even though, for so many of us, everything is available all year round.

Helsie said...

Here in Oz (sunny Queensland to be exact )Spring has dived into Summer and the temperature is expected to soar to 35 over the next couple of days - very hot for this early! Everywhere is parched and dry after the warmest Winter ever and the driest August and September(not a single drop of rain has fallen). Love the sound of your change of seasons- the word "mellow" comes to mind.

Robin Mac said...

Your new header is lovely. I am sure we all continue making jam and pickles etc because the homemade produce tastes ever so much better than the supermarket stuff. Cheers

Cloudia said...

I grew up that way and still feel it in my bones with some regret and nostalgia, but with each passing year I feel gladder and gladder that no icy winds will chap my face, no ice will slip me up. . . .

ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral
=^..^= <3

Crafty Green Poet said...

It was dull but warm here yesterday. I hope your stoat finds a new hiding place.

We've already started eating leeks from Crafty Green Boyfriend's parents garden, delicious

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I had no idea what a stoat was, so had to look it up. The internet is like having a huge encyclopedia right at hand.

We are having rain rain rain - but it is expected and that keeps Washington so green.

Our gathering and putting up is done for the season.

Em Parkinson said...

Very misty here for days now and certainly no frost so the runner beans are safe.

How lovely to see a Stoat so close up - I only ever catch a glimpse as they streak across the road from field to field.

Willow said...

Gearing up for cooler weather setting out the sweater, picking the apples sitting next to the fire to crochet a scarf ... cozy the beginnings.

Gwil W said...

There's a special grape grows here in Austria and they don't pick it until there's a hard frost. They use it to make a wine called ice wine which is quite an expensive luxury as you might imagine.

The Weaver of Grass said...

The wonderful, little-known Irish poet is back in Blogland - and he is very welcome. Welcome back TFE!

Autumn seems to be here according to all of you on this side of the world. Spring seems to be just as active on the other side.

Thanks for stopping by.