We have finished the walkway from the pergola to the house ... and are pleased with the result. We have even begun to get some of the angle joints quite neat - hoorah!
This is a rather 'general Post' - so, please excuse a bit of hopping from subject to subject! I cannot help going on about the way the seasons are so definitive here - we are so clearly in Autumn now ... and, as I said in a previous Post, because of the very good Summer, that mixed high temperatures and sunshine with fairly regular, albeit brief, periods of rain, the fruit and hedgerows have been burgeoning with produce. I believe that the wine harvest will be of high quality this year, with lower yields, but fine, flavoursome fruit. But just walking with Oska around the garden and down into the small valleys that surround the house, it is so obvious what a rich Autumn this is:
And I have never seen so many edible chestnuts - the trees are just laden:
Not to be outdone, the fungii this year are really spectacular (I think I may developing a bit of a 'thing' about fungii - not in a culinary sense, but just obsessed with their appearance ... in all senses, they look amazing but also do 'just appear', sometimes within an hour or two - go for lunch and go back into the garden and there they are, beckoning you to try eating them and having liver failure). The area behind the pond is particularly rich territory and I think we'll name it 'fungii walk' - should go down well with guests ....
Enough of this jollity as we enter the vale of shame and our record this summer on spotting and recording images and sounds of the wildlife in the garden. We have actually seen and heard some really interesting creatures:
- after months of hearing the noise like a car alarm bleaping and identifying this as a scops owl (otus scops) we finally saw him - high up on a neighbouring barn, popping out of a pigeonnaire and sitting there, blinking in the daylight .... did we have a camera? - no, we did not - but this is what he looked like .. honest:
And there have been wild boars, sangliers, in the neighbouring fields -
a family of around fourteen have been rampaging around, causing a lot of damage to the crops - and as the hunting season has officially started we're afraid that their days are numbered.
But back to the garden - our cameras have not captured anything new over the summer. We are awash (not sure that's the right term ...) with frogs and toads - but they are not prone to being 'captured' by the motion-capture camera(s)! It has been a terrific summer for butterflies, but again, these are difficult to photograph. On the plus side we have been tracking a lot of bats - impossible to photograph, but using the Magenta bat recording device we have picked up loads of 'bat noise' out by our barns and the neighbouring outbuildings - and, of course, we see them, but in the early evening, as the D H Lawrence poem so wonderfully describes, one is never sure whether it is a bat or a swallow:
Look up, and you see things flying
Between the day and the night;
Swallows with spools of dark thread sewing the shadows together.
A circle swoop, and a quick parabola under the bridge arches
Where light pushes through;
A sudden turning upon itself of a thing in the air.
A dip to the water.
And you think:
"The swallows are flying so late!"
Dark air-life looping
Yet missing the pure loop ...
A twitch, a twitter, an elastic shudder in flight
And serrated wings against the sky,
Like a glove, a black glove thrown up at the light,
And falling back.
The swallows are gone.
So, we need to review how we manage to record what is in and what 'visits' the garden so that we can get some decent photographs for the Blog. We know that in later Autumn and Winter there will be many more creatures around - so, once again, 'watch this space'!.