The weather is still gorgeous outside but there is a definite hint of changing seasons in the air. Much as I’m loathe to admit it, the mornings are colder and the evenings are definitely getting dark earlier. Despite the waning days, we love autumn here and already there has been so much to enjoy.
We have been on countless blackberry walks already, making crumbles, bramble jelly and upside down puddings. Roo has helped me pick all the apples from the trees (definitely earlier than normal) and I’ve even had a first stab at elderberry cordial! Apparently it’s good for keeping colds and flu symptoms at bay. Roo seems to have a permanently black face and hands – I’ve given up trying to keep her clean! The berries around here are literally dripping off the hedgerows and if their number is anything to go by, the birds ought to have a bit of a helping hand to start off winter this year. We’ve also been collecting leaves, feathers and other bits for some nature inspired seasonal crafts – watch this space!
Closer to home, we made the most of the last few warm nights by camping in the garden. Disturbed by a night-time rustling, we headed off to investigate the wood pile behind our oak tree. To our great excitement (Roo’s most of all) we discovered our very own garden hedgehog! I suppose our wood pile, which we had jokingly referred to as our wildlife haven as justification for our laziness in not moving our old tree clipping to the garden recycling bin, really is a wildlife magnet! Makes you realise why people say to check log piles carefully before making Bonfire Night bonfires. I wonder who else is setting up for autumn and winter in there with our prickly friend?
Out in the rest of the garden, there has been a definite increase in birds on the feeders. Now is a good time of the year to get bird feeders and tables cleaned and filled, ready for the colder months ahead. We’ve also had Red Kites swooping down in the garden a few times, pretty close to our back door too – not sure if they are short on food in the fields for this year’s new arrivals, although with the bird feeder tucked under shelter of trees, there is little to interest them in our garden. I’ve enjoyed some up close views of these magnificent birds all the same – they really are huge close up!
So the leaves may not quite yet be falling in full but we are definitely making the most of early autumn already here. Have you been out enjoying early autumn where you are? Whether it’s a new blackberry recipe (yes please – I need loads!) or an animal sighting or just a lovely autumn wander, do leave a comment and tell me about it.