The Changing Seasons ~ August And The Turn Of The Year

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There’s been a sense of autumn happening all month. The wheat harvest began extra early, some weeks ago in fact, then stalled during heavy rain, then started up again, the combines’ drone resounding from the hills around the town. But over the hedge behind the house the crop remains uncut, though it received its chemical drench last week, the mega-tractor leaving great tracks of smashed crop as it sprayed – a herbicide no doubt. It’s not my wheat of course, but somehow I find this a disturbing sight, though quickly suppose there must be a ready reckoner knack for weighing up the benefit of bad weed removal over good crop loss. Now it is raining again and by yesterday the ears that were pale ochre had acquired a coppery glow. At this rate the grains will take a lot of drying out, and we’ll be hearing the grain driers’ drone instead. When activated, they go all night. Or that’s my impression.

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But as to the autumnal feelings, the lime trees have a lot to answer for. After magnificent flushes of tiny green blossoms that filled the byways with delicious scent, the flowers’ seed wings have fallen everywhere in drifts, filling the gutters, strewing the Linden Walk like so much sea litter,  and thereby also doing a very good impression of autumn leaves before we’re ready for them.

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We’ve had high summer intervals too, days when the garden has been filled with blossoms, bees and butterflies, and especially Painted Ladies which have appeared in huge numbers this year, apparently on a reproductive a high in a ten-year cycle. There have been lots of Gatekeeper butterflies too, and Peacocks and Tortoiseshells and Commas. Also Cabbage Whites, which I’m not at all keen on, since no vegetable defence system seems secure against the breeding imperative. The guerrilla garden over the fence has been spectacular, and the garden within very pleasing, if unruly.

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At the allotment all the gardeners are heavily into ‘harvest home’ mode – baskets of runner beans, courgettes, tomatoes and potatoes being gathered, armfuls of dahlias, asters and gladioli borne home to share with friends and neighbours. The place is alive with pollinators of every kind, flocks of Gatekeepers and Painted Ladies on the abandoned plots where teasels, verbena and oregano are running rampant among the weeds; lots of bees in my butter bean blossoms and courgette flowers too.

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So all in all, things in Wenlock have been pretty good this August, and we are very lucky to be here. The weather may be weird, our democratic system such as it is coming apart at the seams, no one really knowing what Brexit will mean, but Rip Van Winkle Land is alive and well, and just to prove it, here’s a somnolent evening view of the town from the allotment.

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copyright 2019 Tish Farrell

The Changing Seasons: August 2019

48 thoughts on “The Changing Seasons ~ August And The Turn Of The Year

  1. While I expect the shorter days in August and the cooler mornings, it seems to me that the feel of autumn is too soon this year. However your photos show that it is such a pretty time of year.

  2. No good worrying your head about things you can’t change Tish. If I were Tinkerbell I’d give all the plants here a darn good watering but I seem to have misplaced the magic wand 😕💕

  3. So that’s where all the butterflies are this year! I haven’t seen very many at all although the OH says there have been lots of Painted Ladies up on the hill. Not so in my garden until this week. Everything on your allotment is looking good too. You are such a clever green-fingered woman, at least you’ll be able to feed yourself when we can’t import our fruit and veg any more…

    1. I’m enjoying your faith in my gardening capacity, Jude. We certainly have lots to eat now. Come Halloween, not so sure. Tho as that’s my birthday I might get out my broomstick and cast a big sleep on Boris and co.

      1. It is what it is and whatever happens I am sure we will all get through it. I don’t think there is a single political party that I actually like at the moment.

  4. Love the shape of trees in your (our) neck of the woods. The leaves here, the shapes are so different. I can faint when I see a hazelnut tree in France… 🙂
    Bon week-end Tish.
    (Will the Queen fire Bojo?)

    1. We’ve never had so many butterflies. Perhaps they all left Europe because of the heat plus the mild winter here and a mass hatching. I think I saw the first ones back in Feb.

  5. Beautiful, bountiful days with a touch of somnolence; what could be better? No Boris, No Brexit? :D:D Ah, well, at least, there is some sweet serenity in your corner of the world and I am sure that will continue with or without Brexit. Pity about the noisy harvesting.

    1. We do feel like a quiet small corner in all the madness, though we have our versions in Shropshire. The Council are hell bent on building a 1,000 houses on the defunct power station site a few miles up the road from us, and on the edge of the Severn Gorge World Heritage Site. There will be ructions!

  6. I love this post – all the names, and the sense of Keatsian fruitfulness. You know your bit of turf so well, and share it so wonderfully, both verbally and pictorially.

    About ten more days in Warsaw, so I should see the beginning of golden Polish autumn. The heatwave looks like ending this week. The twins start big school on Monday; the purchased apartment is taking shape around them; and we’re still coming to terms with the death of Marcin’s father, as we will be for a long time.

    A happy autumn to you.

    1. I’d been thinking about you, Meg, that I must have been missing your posts – along with many other things. Your stay in Warsaw has whizzed by. And the twins at big school! Gosh, more flying time. Thank you for your kind words, and a happy autumn to you too, and happy voyaging home again.

    1. Much appreciate your encouragement, Tracy, and no, we didn’t get any drift. There’s a narrow swathe of uncultivated ground between us and the main field which gives some protection. The farmer does try to spray when it’s not too breezy.

  7. I miss the changing seasons and so enjoyed these first hints of Fall that are a welcome distraction from the nonsense of politicians. Linden Walk was especially glorious as were the butteries and bees. Ahoy from Medellin,

  8. What a beautiful, buzzing hive of action your allotment & surroundings are, Tish! All those gorgeous goodies to take home, too! The butterflies have been wonderful to see this year. I spotted one I’d not seen before, this week: a Silver-washed Fritillary. There is a noticeable autumnal feel now. A fall of leaves cascaded around me, in a gust of wind, as I passed some trees a couple of days ago. It inspired a poem, but I’ve not published it yet. Hope you get lots more lovely, outdoor days to enjoy for a while longer.

    1. We did have a seasonal switch-over yesterday, didn’t we. We were over in Bishops Castle – lots of squally weather over your way. How marvellous to see a silver-washed fritillary. Just the name is magical. Keep writing, Debbie.

      1. Yes, there’s definitely an air of change, Tish. We didn’t have much rain, yesterday, but it tried a few times and did reward us with a stormy-looking rainbow in the evening. I meant to say how marvellous your photos are too, Tish, full of colour & interest! Thank you for your kind encouragement 😊

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