Saturday, 4 September 2021

My least favourite signs of Autumn

 There are many things about Autumn which I love.   The abundance of our beautiful English fruit - the apples, the plums, the blackberries.   When we were children every blackberry was picked - no freezers, so there was blackberry and apple pie, blackberry jam, and with the very best of the fruit blackberry jelly.   Now much of it stays on the bushes for the wildlife - I am sure they are pleased.   My friend and neighbour brought me some Victoria plums yesterday - I ate the last one a minute ago - it was divine just eaten off the tree.   No messing about with stewing or making jam or plum pie.   Victorias as too good for that.

The last of the garden flowers and seeing them go to seed and leaving the seeds on for the birds in the lean months to come (hoping they will miss one or two so that I get a few self-sown plants).   And also seeing the last few welcoming the pollinators,   On my walks with Priscilla I see lots of lavender - now that really does need trimming back to neat clumps before winter, but don't do it yet.   There are still some stems which are attracting butterflies and I see a lovely selection of them as I walk round.

Then there are the leaves - a huge variety of colours and just beginning to flutter to earth; and their last gift is to leave us with that lovely, earthy smell as we walk over them.   And suddenly we can see neighbours in their windows and have a quick wave.   (several babies round here that I haven't seen since April and are now much more alert and giving toothy smiles!

Then there is my little mouse who has set up home in the wall just outside my computer room window.  I never see him/her in the Summer but I saw him yesterday - I shouted hello but he didn't acknowledge me.

So let's get to the minus things - for me at any rate.   Spiders - large, fat ones which lurk and then suddenly during the evening emerge and race across the floor.   Ugh!   Hate them.   I try the card and glass method but as I am sure you know, it's not easy.   I can't kill them so I have to tolerate them.   We used to say 'If you want to live and thrive, let all spiders run alive!'   My father always used to say the large ones were female and had eaten their mates when they had no further use for them.

Finally - and the thing that prompted this post this morning - there must be a purpose for Crane Flies (Daddy long legs) but can anyone tell me what it is please?   Four outside on my sitting room window this morning and I'll guarantee they will be there for several days.  And should your face accidentally make contact with one the feeling of those spindly legs brushing across your cheek is not pleasant.

But Autumn arrives whether we like it or not - so let's enjoy its beauty and its 'mellow  fruitfulness.

27 comments:

Derek Faulkner said...

Crane fly larva known as leatherjackets, that live in the soil and in particular grassland, serve as a popular food supply for birds. That's why you will see Starlings probing the soil on lawns.
We have a mini heatwave to look forward to in this coming week - long overdue, looking forward to it.

Rachel Phillips said...

Autumn is a wonderful time of the year. I cannot find any fault with it.

elf said...

Here in the south (TN) we love crane flies because they eat mosquitoes. We also call them “mosquito hawks.” Wonder if yours are the same ones.

Heather said...

The larvae of daddy-long-legs can ruin a nice lawn. My husband used to hate them.
I usually mourn the passing of summer but after July's heat and humidity I think I shall welcome autumn with pleasure. As you say, there are so many beautiful things about it, as there are in every season if you think about it.

JayCee said...

I love spring and autumn. They do what it says on the tin, unlike our summer which is usually a disappointment.
When making the bed this morning I noticed a black lump visible beneath my white undersheet. Pulling back the sheet revealed a large spider which promptly scuttled off to hide somewhere behind the mattress. Not sure if I shall sleep well tonight.

Chris said...

I am afraid I find autumn depressing you loose all the flowers then the leaves drop and you know it will be March before you see any again with bad weather and dark dank days to come. I wish I could hibernate. Crane flies are loved by my ducks they must be like sweets as they run all over the garden to catch them. I am sure they use more energy catching them than they get back in calories. Roll on spring.

Debby said...

There is such a grace about autumn. The earth prepares itself for what comes next and so must we. I am not a fan of winter although I do like being tucked up cozy with a good book.

CharlotteP said...

Put a crumb of chocolate on the window cill for your mouse...it will soon be waving to you!
I am hoping to find some damsons. Damson jam is one of my most favourite things.
I am having mouse trouble, too. Unfortunately, the computer variety. If you don't hear from me for a while...that will be why. Oh, for a tame computer expert!

Tasker Dunham said...

Cats catch daddy longlegs and eat them. I've seen ours with one in it mouth, legs sticking out still wiggling.

thelma said...

As I walked by the canal this morning, I saw the last wild rugosa roses mixed amongst the hips, Summer and Autumn together. Also just a few stems of yellow toadflax, plants never quite given in to the coming winter.

Ellen D. said...

I love autumn - the cooler temps and low humidity are such a relief for me! I am not a fan of spiders either.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Seems like you all find + and - some more than others.

the veg artist said...

It's the colours, the crunch and the smell, all combined. With my early morning coffee, sitting up in bed, I can see a small wood, and watch the changes daily. Beautiful.

Tom Stephenson said...

Regarding the purpose of Crane Flies, don't ask me, ask God. I have enough trouble finding out what my purpose is.

Heather said...

My Father in law is 87. He grew up in Somerset. When he was at school, the children and others would pick blackberries and sell them for pennies to the local shop. They were then sent to a local factory to be made into jam. My Mum used to make blackberry and apple jam, we had a bramley apple tree in our garden.
I love Autumn, changing colours, cooler weather then crunchy leaves to walk through.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

I've just eaten some blackberry and apple crumble using blackberries picked on a recent walk - and very tasty they were. I think I can make room in my life for a few spiders and craneflies.

Joan (Devon) said...

I love your nature notes, you should write a book.

My favourite seasons are Spring and Autumn, not too hot and not too cold, in other words Perfect.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Tom - as usual you made me smile.

Anne Brew said...

Daddy Long legs do eat garden pests like aphids.
I've never minded spiders of any size but I can understand that some people do.

Sue in Suffolk said...

My only problem with Autumn is that it takes me closer to winter!

Hope the mouse stays outside and doesn't come in for a warm up

Bovey Belle said...

Your mention of the Crane Flies took me back to a September day in 1966 when my friends and I were going across the fields to feed their ponies. The grass in one field was long and lush and as daft-as-a-brush teenagers, we laid down and rolled in it, giggling. A minute later we leapt to our feet, screaming, as a cloud of Crane Flies dashed hither and thither so clumsily around us!

I'm with Sue on autumn heralding winter . . .

Bonnie said...

I really love this time of year too. I just bought some peaches which should be just about perfect now. Our leaves are not falling yet but will start in another month. This will be our final month to enjoy the hummingbirds. They are fluttering around the feeder like crazy right now getting prepared for their long flight south soon. I always enjoy your beautifully descriptive blog posts Pat!

angryparsnip said...

I have always loved Autumn and wondered why ? Then when I moved back to Tucson I figured it out. We didn't have AC when I was growing up but Swamp Coolers. Not as good. Living with Tucson's super hot summers when Fall did come it was amazing. Cooler evenings and then the days. Just Perfect.

Susan said...

It does seem the insect world is quite active in the Autumn. Spiders, beetles, ants and crickets can be seen everywhere outside.. The chipmunks and squirrels are scurrying about as well. It seems they are all having their last fling before the cold sets in.

Cro Magnon said...

I desperately need a Victoria Plum here, the French equivalent is really for making into 'Prunes', and is a very poor substitute.

Librarian said...

It is a beautiful time of year, with the days still warming up like summer but the nights cool enough to allow for good sleep. Then there is, like you said, the abundance of colour and fruit; my sister and I were out walking yesterday and came past an orchard that was obviously not looked after, and so we allowed ourselves each a few plums directly off one of the trees closest to the path. Delicious!
Spiders come in a lot during this time of year, but I get only very few eight-legged visitors; maybe it is because I am one floor up from the ground and they rather visit the ground floor flat than mine. With your mobility issues, I can imagine the card-and-glass method is difficult. Better just leave the spider to its own devices than risk a fall.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I have disscovered that spiders eat Crane Flies

Thanks for all your comments.