Today is the autumnal equinox. The night and day are equal but because we have British Summer Time for another month, it seems to be getting dark earlier. Astronomically, it is the start of Autumn but to anyone with eyes to see, the season is half over.
The brambles are past, the haws are red, the autumn crocuses are still blooming but not for long, the plum crop has been eaten or turned into jam and only the apples that are too high on the tree to be reached remain. They will have to wait until the equinoctial gales shake them loose.
|Out of reach|
The log store is stacked. The apples have been traded to the cider maker for a few bottles of last years vintage. The jams and chutneys have been labelled and stored.
The bird feeders have been cleaned and disinfected for the winter seeds and nuts and one or two of the blue tits have been making an early inspection. The cotoneaster is laden with berries awaiting the waxwings. Will they appear this year?
The late burst of sunshine has brought out the butterflies to feed on the rotting windfalls but no wasps. Where have all the wasps gone? We have hardly seen one all summer.
|Butterflies feed on the windfalls|
The hedgehog has deserted the garden but he or she - it's difficult to tell with hedgehogs - is still around. I think its low profile is not due so much to imminent hibernation as to being picked up by an inquisitive collie. The hedgehog may have been a little bit miffed but there was no doubt from the yelps as to who came off worst from the encounter.
The year is on the turn and autumn, however you calculate it, is definitely here.