I love this time of year. The mornings are just beginning to slow to light so it is easy to cuddle down under the duvets for an extra 10 minutes, I can still pad quietly into the kitchen without needing slippers and watch the fingers of sunlight creep over the roof, whilst I make our morning cups of tea. Often mists encircle the surrounding hills giving a mystical, mythological feel to where we live, almost as if fire breathing dragons are sleeping at the base of the slopes their heated breath caught on the morning breeze lifting until it dissipates into the sky.
The leaves are turning red and gold and the boughs of our apple trees are heavily laden with green and red fruits awaiting to be scrumped or for that gust of wind that will blow them to gardens new. It won't be long before we can go kicking the fallen leaves on a cold, crisp, dry day. They are beginning to fall just not enough to wade through yet.
As child 4 loves going out to see the chickens, especially with a handful of corn to throw for them, we spend many an hour pootling around outdoors. Today we collected up the windfalls - that for me is THE autumn word, windfalls, it just rolls around the tongue making you think of apple and blackberry pie, apple cake, apples and cinnamon, apple and hazelnut crumble, toffee apple pudding and there are still pears and plums too. Pear and toffee tatin, baked plums and Barbados cream I could go on and on. This then takes us on a journey to open fires, long afternoon walks wrapped up in winter coats, long woollen scarves, mittens and wellies, Halloween with its pumpkins and little callers at the front door all dressed up in scary outfits, little hands and sticky mouths awaiting more goodies for their sweetie laden baskets. Guy Fawkes night, when the sky lights up with a million different coloured sparkles and bangs, whizzes and whooshes can be heard all around, hot dogs, toffee apples, marshmallows on a stick, hot chocolate with that canned whippy cream, not long until Christmas.
But, back to the garden and child 4 helping me collect the windfalls in a big old fashioned tin bucket, the chickens love the windfalls, it gives them something to chase and peck at in their run and it entices in all types of bugs they love to eat, which means we will have big fresh eggs for scrambled or fried eggs on those really dark, wet mornings a little bit of warm yellow sunshine on our plates makes it all well with the world. Today though child 4 has found that Dylan the Dog will chase the apples if he throws them so boy and dog played, the dog was so patient waiting for the boy to throw the apples, he didn't try to snatch them or become over excited and silly as he often has done these past few days, meaning that he has had to retire to his crate to calm down. The two had a marvellous time playing together just like a boy and his dog should. Oh happy autumnal days ;-)