Autumnal suspense

We have been out walking in the golden sunshine, now much lower in the afternoon sky and enjoying the space and time outdoors connecting with the woodlands and trees. On one walk we were lucky to see nuthatchers and tree creepers and were told where they like to feed in the coming winter months.

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The music of the far-away summer flutters around the Autumn seeking its former nest. ~Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds  

   It feels like the cusp of change the days soon becoming filled with foraging and preserving.

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Chestnuts are good in pies and risotto. They make a good preserve with rum for making chocolate truffles as gifts

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Eating apples and crab apples for jelly

I enjoy taking the time to notice little changes as they arrive and prepare myself for the coming winter months. I enjoy making the most of what nature is literally bestowing on us with gifts of apples, pears, medlars, berries, nuts and collecting the last of summer herbs before they too fade.

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 Self-seeded borage (and a tiny chamomile) from summer plants. Some of the herbs and flowers still going, roses flowered all winter last year! Life is always pushing forwards and making the most of it.

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medlar and lettuce setting seed in the garden

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Autumn reds doing well

The trees beginning to rush a display of beautiful colours which will be bursting with flaming red and oranges until they eventually become bare and bereft, storing enery and quietly waiting for spring.

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We have been foraging elderberries to make syrups and tinctures for the winter months ahead and we have started foraging mushrooms. This is a new skill I am learning so I am tentatively -and wisely, sticking to the ones I have learned with confidnce and that cannnot be mistaken for anything unpleasant, you can not identify a mushroom without first consulting a couple of books you well trust and examining a specimen closely. It is a perfect Autumn passtime, bringing me close to the earth, to the sustinence nature provides whilst also reminding to me to watch and study with great care and respect.

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edible stump puffball mushrooms

Death is literally hanging in the air along with this abundance

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Orb spider and a honey bee. Usually only the females build webs.

Yet as a flower fades, turns to seed and finally dies back, it may look death and total destruction but we know that come spring a tiny seedling will form and life carries on, in the way we expect and take too much for granted.

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If you stand still outside you can hear it… Winter’s footsteps, the sound of falling leaves. ~Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo video game) written by Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka, and Toshihiro Kawabata

Perhaps it is the most poetic of seasons. Surely as winter comes spring will follow.

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It is the most extraordinary dance filled with energy and stillness. Perfect and miraculous balance.

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