Thursday, 3 September 2009

Field of autumn

Yesterday we had our first proper rain in months.The wind was blowing hard last night and I surfaced from sleep more than once, hoping that the hops were not being too battered and blown about - or even blown over. And then I awoke in the early morning to this view from my bedroom window. When I leaned out to look the wind was cold, so cold - the cold of autumn, not summer. And if you look closely at the trees on the left you can see them blowing frenziedly in that wind.

And the light had changed - today it seems that the sun has suddenly become perceptibly lower, and when I ventured out into the garden the early morning sunshine was soft, and cast long shadows.

Everywhere the signs of autumn were visible. I was almost blown along the gravel path towards the gate, and the last of the raspberries gleamed rosily in the cold and the sunlight.

The crab apples trees in the orchard are festooned with fruit that is ripening with a promise of jewel-like jellies to come.

Clouds were scudding across the sky as the tassels of sweetcorn were blown hither and thither. This is the most successful sweetcorn crop that we have grown for several years, and we have already started eating the sweet and succulent cobs - don't put the pan on to boil until you leave the house to harvest the cobs, eat them immediately they are cooked, and then the taste will be like nothing you can buy. The sugars start turning to starch as soon as they are picked, so we have been sending the Ploughboy out into the dusk to cut the cobs for supper, whilst we sit at the table in the warm kitchen, watching the water boil.

Now the pumpkins are ripening gold and orange, and their foliage is dying back - these are the largest we have ever grown: I think they have enjoyed the land prepared for them by the pigs, and topped up with mushroom compost.

Jack Be Little are the tiniest little gems, which have crept over the rabbit fencing.

Kep looked mournfully at our willow windbreak, planted in the spring. The rabbits devour the plants as soon as they venture above the tree guards, and all our new planting has suffered from the lack of water. The yellowed marsh grass behind is tangible evidence of the dry summer.

But there are other blessings: there are rosehips in quantities, food for overwintering birds, and I leave the browning skeletons of thistles standing until the birds have eaten their fill of the seed.

Most of the Bramley apples have been picked but there are small ones left for us to scavenge in the weeks to come, when they have sized up in the absence of competition.

And the Head Chef has a log pile as long as this winter, and the one beyond, and maybe even the winter beyond that. So we can light the fires and be warm, and I won't think about the thick grey-white dust which coats every horizontal surface all winter long, however much I try to dust it away.

The shadows are lengthening, the light is becoming soft and grey, and my mind turns to the knitting of socks and handwarmers, the wearing of wellies, and the glow of firelight. The summer is over and gone, but the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness brings its own special joys.


Elise said...

Hello, you have the most fabulously wonderful site here and I had to leave this comment for you ! Your posts are beautifully written, creative and original too, and you have interesting pictures.

It's all perfect !

Thank you for sharing your site and best wishes.... 'Happy September'....

diana said...

Hoeiii, you even make me longing for Autumn although I said to myself yesterday I'm not ready at all..Would love some of that crab apple yelly, and fresh baguette with rosehip spread!

Floss said...

This is such a beautifully written post, Pomona. I have been spotting the same signs of Auntumn here, even though we are so much further south that I thought our summer would just carry on... In many ways I'm loving the changes.

Thanks for your very thoughtful comments on my giveaway - very thought-provoking, too!

heidi said...

hi pomona,
what a lovely view you have from your window,what a pleasure to wake up to! you are making my mouth water talking about the corn on the cob,you cant beat it dripping in butter,yummy yummy!!
thankyou for stopping by at my blog.
hugs heidi.x

Poppy Cottage said...

Words so well written. I love this time of year, Autumn, wonderful.

Colette x

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Another lovely post and photos, especially the first beautiful view.

Sunshine and showers with a stiff breeze is what's forecast for our part of the world tomorrow - could have done with a bit more summer before the onset of autumn, I must admit! Best wishes. Lesley

noelle said...

hi pomona, i was thinking the same as heidi, my mouth was watering as i read about your corn on the cob i just love it !! wonderful post xxx said...

Hello Pomona! Hey, your pumpkins look a lot nicer than my one! I have corn on the cob growing too, but its not ready yet. The wind is atrocious here, everything is getting battered, and not enough sun. Lovely post! Suzie. xxx

Duchess of Tea said...

Darling you should have been a writter and a photographer. I hate autumn but after reading this post, I welcome it. Thank you luv for your sweeeeet comments, much appreciated.

Love & Hugs
♥ Duchess ♥

Frances said...

Yes, the light has definitely changed. How that changes how we see colors and how it changes all the plants around us.

Your post is beautiful!

Tonight, as I left the shop I looked up to see a moon that will be totally full tomorrow night. Everyone around me suddenly looked up as well, spellbound by a light that's had that same power for eons.

Autumn light can be from the sun or from the moon.

Looking forward to visiting you often. Cheers!

alice c said...

Lovely post.
Thank you.

Chrissie said...

what a mellow post to lead us gently into Autumn,thank you

Pipany said...

Such a beautiful post Pomona and one in complete harmony with how I feel about things. I so love the autumn and all it brings. Weak though pretty, rosy sunlight here this morning. Off for blackberrying to fill the freezer for a dash of richness in the colder months. x

Yvonne said...

Thanks for the beautiful way you have made me remember all the things that are lovely about Autumn... can't wait for the stunning colours, crisp mornings and autumn sunshine.

A fabulous post

Suzy's Vintage Attic said...

What a lovely post! You have really captured the spirit of Autumn.
Isabelle x

pigeon pease said...

So well written, here in deep Essex, Autumn has certainly come, I think after reading this post I need to order my logs.

summerfete said...

Hello there!

I love this time of year as theres loads to do outside gardenwise.

Lovely pumpkins!


jennyflower said...

You could toast a fair amount of cheese over that would pile...maybe dropped all warm and runny onto some pumpkin bread. Perhaps with a cider, followed by Dorset apple cake, when shall I come?!

silverpebble said...

Oh what a gorgeous autumnal post Pomona. I love the name of that little squash - Jack be Little - perfect!

sarah-jane down the lane said...

Lovely lovely post, aaaahhhhhh

Beautiful writing and you are so right about the change in the light. I love it when the winds begin swirling and gusting it reminds me to don a red cape a la "chocolat" :D
Sarah x

Michela said...

A virtual award for your fantastic post Pomona!

Menopausal musing said...

I have never been a lover of autumn.... spring is my season, but having read your post, I could be persuaded...... x

Duchess of Tea said...

My darling thank you so much for the sweeeet, kind and lovely comments you leave at my cottage. I want you to know I save them all in my special folder. They are too precious not to. Darling have yourself a fabulous weekend!!

Love & Hugs
Duchess ♥♥♥

andamento said...

Lovely view from your bedroom window. I like your raspberries too, we're going to plant some for next year.

Personally, I'm still hoping for a little bit of summer here before I admit Autumn really has arrived.

Diane said...

I think Autumn has arrived very early this year. I'm hoping for an Indian Summer later in the month. xxx

JuliaB said...

A beautiful post Pomona... For the first time ever I think, i'm not ready for autumn, which is strange because usually it's my absolute favourite season and I can't wait for the dark chilly nights and warm cozy fireside. I am clinging onto summer even though the darkeness creeps a little closer every day ... Not like me atall.. xx


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