Thursday, 3 November 2011

Halloween and Rain

My mother was born on halloween so I always like to make a special day of it - it is in any case a magical time! The year is dying, and those who have gone before are said to be nearer to us at this time - Hi Mum, I miss you.
Missed buying the pumpkin this year as well though, so I had to make do with a butternut squash - then I stuffed and roasted it the next night. He looked more entrancing glowing in the dark, but was mighty tasty with bacon and mushrooms oozing out of his eyes, nose and wibbly mouth.
The village children looked fab in their costumes, and are probably too well-behaved to do some of the awful tricks I have heard about, but I handed out sweets anyway. The treat is they taste nice, the trick is they rot your teeth - enjoy!
Two days later we have high winds and torrential rain forecast, so I headed out early this morning while it was still dry. Our little Cam river is already pretty high, after record lows just a few weeks ago, so it looks like we might get some flooding if the forecast is right - ours is a watery little valley and flooding is very frequent.

Because it is morning, everyone is having their breakfast, including this little chap, dining off a late hogweed flower.

 In the long meadow the ponies are munching away too, and because I am a bit scared of big animals I move up to the edge of the field to skirt round them - and find this beautiful late yarrow plant - pink tinged perfection.

It's been a rich year for berries, and it's good to see that there are still plenty around for the redwings and fieldfares when they arrive - so if the  promised Siberian weather arrives (always two weeks after the east coast of America, and they have had up to 32 inches) they won't go hungry.


Hawthorn Berries

Last nights rain is still in evidence as I trudge through the mud in my wellies, through the new wood in it's yellow and orange autumn glory.

The mud is strewn with their discarded leaves - a beautiful decaying tapestry. And there is someone else having their breakfast!

The alder trees are wearing their cones alongside next years buds, and the elder has it's usual adornment of jelly ears - I give them a little squeeze for pleasure. Not sure I'd want to eat them like the Chinese though.

Jelly ears on Elder

I gather some burdock seedheads to stick round my lampshade at home (they look so jolly!), trying to make sure I avoid the ones full of hibernating ladybirds - only one in this bed but some have three or four crammed in together. And the little one said "Roll over'...

Burdock and Ladybird
Walking through Little Scotland towards Splott Hill and home I find a dead crow, so I pick it up by it's lovely chunky leg with an ivy leaf and take it up onto the bank. Find a place to lay it on the earth then cover it with leaves, a hogweed seedhead and a last Himalayan Balsam flower. Rest in peace crow, and enjoy your new weightless flight. I love crows!

Joy is a butterfly
Fluttering low over the earth,
   But sorrow is a bird
With big, strong, black wings.
   They lift you high above life
Flowing below in sunlight and growth.
   The bird of sorrow flies high
To where the angels of grief keep watch
   Over death's lair.
Edith Södergran (1892 - 1923)