Today is a typical November day. One minute it is raining, misty and dark - the next it is sunny and there is a sharp South east wind blowing. I have just been for a walk in the fields with the farmer and the sun on our backs was really warm. Now we are just back in time to miss a sharp shower and a very black sky.
Luckily I managed to catch a few photographs in sunlight.
Hawthorn berries hang like heavy beads on the hawthorn trees. Any day now the fieldfares will arrive and begin to strip them away - in a day they will all be gone.
In the fields the Swaledale sheep graze. There is plenty of grass for them and they will stay there all Winter. A hardy breed, bred for the tops of the hills and only coming down to lower land in the Winter, they do not flourish inside and need to be out in the open to keep healthy.
On the blackthorn bushes the sloes hang heavy. I still have plenty of sloe gin left from years ago so they are going to waste - I expect the birds will eat them eventually if it is a bad Winter, although they are bitter and not enjoyed on the whole.
The milking cows are already in for the Winter, perhaps being let out to the field next to their Winter housing on nice days and always in at night and being fed cattle feed and silage as there is little or no goodness left in the grass and the farmers need to keep up a good diet in order to get maximum milk yield. But the young 'bulling heifers' - young female herd followers who will be out to AI in the early Spring are still out enjoying the last of the sunshine and helping to build up their strength and hardiness.
Leaves are falling rapidly now, particularly on the ash trees. We have many of these in and around our fields and I think of the possibility of losing them all in a few years to ash die-back, which is already attacking the trees in some parts of the country, and I am saddened at the thought that they might all disappear.
Out to a local pub for my birthday Sunday lunch tomorrow - so nothing to cook - that is a nice bonus.