There is a definite smell of autumn in the air. Several mornings of late there has been a heavy mist first thing breaking into glorious sunshine later with bright clear views of the mountains. I have gathered mushrooms and blackberries and on the hill the rowan and hawthorn are thick with fruit. Above the buzzards are endlessly circling calling plaintively as they float overhead. (I really don’t know why they are so vocal at this time of year) and in the garden the pesky squirrels are rifling through the hazel nut trees in a frenzy of nut gathering. On the ground beneath the hazels there is a carpet of broken, under ripe shells and little holes dug here and there in the lawn. We rarely get to pick any nuts the squirrels have had them all first! In Celtic mythology the hazel is associated with wisdom and learning and of course dowsing rods are often made from hazel twigs. “Puffballs” are starting to form in the grass around the farm yard; we always seem to get a proliferation of them here. If they are not knocked we have them get up to the size of a large grapefruit. I quite like them sliced and baked in the oven with herbs, but himself is not keen. Actually there is nothing like the flavour of freshly picked field mushrooms, cooked in butter and covering a piece of wholemeal toast! I am going to a friends tonight to pick Victoria plums. Plum crumble will be on the menu for our American visitors who are arriving this weekend. ( I am endeavouring to provide then with some traditional British cuisine) These people are our returnees after GOS’ trip to the US earlier in the year. There is a full programme arranged for their entertainment so we just need a bit of half decent weather for them to see this corner of the country at it’s best.
Every weekend throughout the summer months each little area has its “show”, a scaled down version of the county show I wrote about recently. It was our local community show this weekend and we had perfect weather and a good crowd. It really brings the community together; young and old enjoying the activities and vying against each other in the handicraft and cookery competitions. The day culminates in a speed shearing competition in the marquee and then, I believe, finishes off in the pub across from the show field but Gos and I have long before crawled home for a munched needed cup of tea and our beds! I got a 2nd for my gladioli and did very well in the paintings competitions with a first for the picture below. Very chuffed. It did takes ages to do!. It depicts my rambling rose from by the front of the house and “gatekeeper” butterflies which are at their most active in June when this rose is in bloom.
Due to skype Switzerland in a moment will post again soon . . . .