Overnight Frosts?

The weather forecaster was talking about overnight frosts. Not a problem. I have been busy today double digging ground, incorporating compost in the plot that we plan to put the potatoes in next year. Warm work in warm, low November sun. High, blue skies, the soil turning well, but pretty saturated. So frost will be a double bonus. First, freezing the water content throughout the exposed soil and second (and, come to think of it third) freezing the life out of weed roots and seeds (and slugs!).

“Hope springs,” someone wiser than me once said, “ eternal.”

Picking very late raspberries: very tasty too.

Clearing away the suddenly-limp and obviously dead rhubarb leaves. Soggy, decaying elephant-ear sized remnants. There’s an image for you!

Home-made pumpkin soup dinner and a walk to stretch out the digging muscles.

There is a marvellous quality of light when conditions are like this. Sun going down earlier each day, but skies, on days like toady pale blue and forgiving. Little warmth from the sun, but rewarding to be out, breathing damp autumn air. The hedgerow field maples are a riot of translucent honey colour, guelder rose berries, dog-rose hips and haws decorate the walls of the sunken footway in the centre of a double hedge: a long-time traditional pathway for generations leading to a brook and fishing lakes.DSC01933

DSC01937 DSC01934

There’s a wonderful atmosphere in the tunnel like pathway, the floor strewn with autumn’s great foliage giveaway. like Tolkienesque goblin-promised treasure the leaves of sweet chestnut, silver birch, hawthorn and ash carpet the floor, turned into flashing gems where the sun slants through gaps in

the tall hedge walls and sparkles of drops of moisture. The soil is water-logged too.

A big well marked grey heron flaps overhead, twists aerobatically and lands next to the deep ruts left by a tractor in the stubble field. I am not sure but I am guessing the heron is looking for earthworms. He (or she) has the characteristic flight that reminds me two parts of pterodactyl-type ancients and one part Heath-Robinson flying machine.

By the lake there is a second heron, balanced on a near submerged tree: the reason the first one chose to land in the field? Sorry, flown away before I got the camera out of the bag that was in my waxed jacket pocket.


Mallard, tufted ducks and coot swarm away from my approach on the surface of the lake. No sign of the mute swans that raised five cygnets here.

My boots try to trip me up in the mud on the way back; it’s uphill walking and I notice for the first time that the sole is coming away from the top of the boot at the toe-end of both boots. The last work boots lasted longer and were worn by the bonfire Guy a couple of weeks ago.
Something for the Christmas wish-list maybe?


One response to this post.

  1. This is a fantastic time of year with frosty mornings and the low sun setting off the autumn colours.


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