September’s Changing Seasons ~ Late Summer Days


September in Shropshire has been pretty perfect until the last few days. Now we have bouts of heavy rain, weighing down the garden flowers, washing out the last of summer colours. But between the downpours there are still bees and butterflies about, though nothing like the clouds of them we had earlier in the month when I’d find the allotment verbena covered in Painted Ladies. Of course it’s pretty much the last chance for all the insects to stoke up on dwindling supplies of nectar; sunflowers, Michaelmas daisies and sedum being the busiest bug take-aways.

At the start of the month the wheat behind our house was finally cut. As I said in an earlier post, the dust cloud was monumental, covering the garden in chaff. But that’s a small price to pay for the freedom to roam across an empty field. Doubtless, it won’t be like that for much longer. The field will be ploughed and sown. Farmers  no longer leave stubble fields to overwinter, so providing forage for wildlife, particularly native bird species, during the hardest months. For now though, the straw bales left behind have been providing some of  Wenlock’s youngsters with new play venues, even if scaling them  has been proving something of a challenge.

As Cyndi says: ‘Girls just wanna have fun’.

And from this morning’s garden on the last day of the month, and between the rain showers:


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copyright 2019 Tish Farrell

The Changing Seasons: September 2019

61 thoughts on “September’s Changing Seasons ~ Late Summer Days

  1. What a wonderful post. Your photos are smashing.
    The hay baling reminds me of when I was a kid -150 years ago – when we lived in Ramsay. Behind our house were stables and I remember one summer when one area of the the paddock was stacked with hay bales and us kids hopped over the back fence and had a ball, much like the children in your photos.

    1. Many thanks, Meg. Was thinking of you. I have obviously transferred my penchant for windmill pix to actual stacks – not quite as picturesque as Monet’s, but as you say, they have some drama.

  2. It gives me such joy to see the bees and butterflies Tish. Rain and wind here too so our lawn is a carpet of fallen yellow kowhai flowers and I’m feeling sad for all the birds who were enjoying them so much.

  3. A lovely post, Tish. Like Ark, your hay-baling pics took me back to my childhood. There was a wheat field just at the back of our house. Loved your photos of the bees, flowers and butterflies. They made me long for England.

  4. Glorious photos Tish! You’ve still got so much colour left, & I love the butterflies! I don’t remember seeing the big stacks of hay last year, only the rolled bales, but I’ve seen a lot this year, in various fields. Hope you’re able to enjoy some colour for a while longer, & fingers crossed the flowers don’t get flattened by the rain, too soon!

    1. Hello, Debbie. Yes big bales. I think the farmers must have new attachments on their tractors. We noticed them across the land from Pembrokeshire, through Powys to Shropshire on our recent Wales trip. The garden is struggling with more rain today though. All is turning squidgy. Bet it’s wet in your neck of the woods too.

  5. Well done capturing such beautiful butterfly photos, they stay still for such a short time, I can imagine you stalking them camera in hand….
    The hay bale photos take me back to the 1950’s when I worked on a Yorkshire farm and we loaded the hay bales by hand tossing them up on to the trailer to be stacked. No mechanical help back then. I seem to remember the sun always shining too.

    1. I remember when hay was tossed onto trailers with those scary pronged hay forks. Now the big farm machines seem to make extra big bales. And yes, I did have some most obliging butterflies this year.

  6. Stunning images Tish, the light in these photos is excellent. Love your range of butterflies and all the colourful flowers and the haystacks with the girls are such fun! And some impressive lines there too 😀

  7. The bees look so happy and furry. Great flowers. Are you having real autumn? We are sort of having a bit of autumn. Some red on a few trees. A lot of yellow. But not the kind of Autumn New England is famous for.

    1. These days we usually have a slow slide into autumn during October, so don’t get the dramatic changes in leaf colour. In fact the best colours are often the oaks in December. But we’re definitely heading into autumn temperature-wise this week, and it’s now very very wet, which doesn’t usually happen till November.

  8. I can see how the light is softening since some of your earlier posts, Tish. However, there is still such a wonderful vibrancy in your patch. The straw bales are very sculptural. Beautiful photos.

    It is a shame that the farmer doesn’t leave the stubble. Disturbing the soil profile releases a lot of carbon into the atmosphere.

    1. Yes, a change in the light, though not much of that today. More rain. And re your point about the stubble, it is a very sad soil between the stalks. And desperate for a rest.

      1. Not really. Wheat alternates with with oil seed rape; once we had field beans, and once oats. Otherwise, the field has been continuously under crop since we moved here in 2006.

  9. Beautiful….sad though your local farmers don’t allow fields to overwinter any more. Modern farming seems to have disconnected from the natural cycles.

  10. It’s so lovely to see photos of beautiful flowers, butterflies and children playing – a tonic from all the bad news everywhere.

  11. It’s so lovely to see photos of beautiful flowers, butterflies and children playing – a tonic from all the bad news everywhere.

  12. You’ve captured not just one but three bees on the bloom! Fabulous!

    Thank you for the lovely glimpses into your allotment and fields. The girls trying to climb the hay bales are a riot! And a scaled indicator of just how large they are!

  13. This really captures the last days of summer. Hoping that there will be more changes in farming practice as NFU are now promoting zero carbon for 2040 and working for more biodiversity.

    1. Yes, I think British farmers are indeed doing their bit. The National Trust have been reviving some old farming practices – feudal strip farming for instance which seems to be good for biodiversity.

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