Sunday, 5 October 2014

Fall in to Autumn~the Last of the Harvest ~~~

Gentle Reader ~~~ the days of Autumn are now well and truly upon us and we are preparing for the first storm in just a few short hours.  The forecast is for severe gale force winds, torrential rain, and later in the week thunderstorms may add their presence to the mix.  I have scurried around the garden as best as I can to quickly bring under cover all those things that will not stand up to wildly windy weather; bins and things that could blow over and away are now safely stowed in the garage.  The hatches are as battened as I can make them, but I am never fully ready for the bad weather.  

I know you know that Autumn is my favourite season of all, and I love it best for the cosy warm feeling I get decorating, sipping mugs of hot cocoa, the lengthening shadows, bonfires, bringing in the harvest, walks in the countryside, stomping through crisply crunchy leaves, and so much more ~ I don't mind the gales and rain either, although they do curtail our outdoor activities ~ what you do not know is that I do miss, deeply, in my little corner of the world, the rich colours of trees turning to gold before shedding their summer coats ~ for the winds rolling in across the Atlantic wreck their havoc before the trees have turned, and leaves, dry and burned from weeks of drought and salt laden breezes, tumble from the trees, dried brown long before the yellows, oranges, and reds take their turn ~~~ so I live this vicariously through the images of others on places such as my Pinterest boards of Autumn landscapespumpkins, and other Blissful Autumn themed images ~~~

Here is a lonely leaf, falling free from the tree ~~~


As each day passes into the next, I check the vegetable garden thinking each day will be the last before Spring when there will be a gift to bring inside ~~~ well, those days go on and on ~~~ each day I found something more to harvest ~ for everything is a bonus at this time of year ~~~

I was delighted to find a small pick of tomatoes, a small treat of raspberries, a fair few courgettes and a plentyful bowlful of cooking apples ~~~



The courgettes are bigger than I like, why, one is a 'dreaded marrow courgette' that escapes detection until the very last, and although not as delicious as the tender, younger, smaller fruits it will not waste for it can be stuffed with lentils and a served in a home made tomato sauce ~~~



Then again, a few days later ~ there were more ~~~


Courgettes, the very last of the carrots, and some delightfully red eating apples ~~~


The courgettes gave so generously ~ right up until yesterday! So, I have been busy putting up yet more stores for the winter ~~~ isn't it wonderful?

Then, just yesterday, when I thought all was safely gathered in, and with the warnings of imminent severe gales {why, I can hear the winds beginning to gather momentum outside my cottage as I type ~ believe me, they have not been missed} I picked the last few very small courgettes that will not ripen now, and cleared the stems and leaves of the plants to put in the compost bin, I found these ~ a big fistful of tiny baby beets that had escaped earlier detection as they hid and sheltered underneath the big leaves of the courgettes ~ so there was a delightful bonus on the last day of the Autumn harvest! ~~~


While out and about on the byways and back roads of the Shire there are blackberries on brambles, berrilicious goodness ~~~


Pies, cordials, jams and jellies, blackberry wine ~~~
Just look at all those colours ~~~

Hawthorn berries, fiddly to eat and with a big stone and little flesh, although delicious, I leave for the birds and mice ~~~

Aren't they beautiful, how they just hang so invitingly ~~~


The stream is running dry, but after this weekend the water level will rise substantially and all the trout will be happy again ~~~


I think I found a Faerie House ~~~ 


I waited, but no one was home ~ or came to call ~~~

As ever, sunsets are a special and spectacular gift and this one was no different except that I put a filter on {and now forget which one, so cannot tell you}


Here is a link to the church yard that my Great Grandfather used to have to cut by hand ~ this is only a small part, and my mother tells me he did it all with a scythe ~~~ can you imagine that?

It was a gently grey and dampening day, you can hear the rainfall pitter pattering on the leaves and the birdsong that is omni~present in The Shire ~~~ so calming and restorative ~~~ before the walk back up that hill!




A little advance news to end on ~ I am thinking to plant onion sets this month and see if I can crop an early harvest next Spring ~ something I have never done before ~ but more on this later ~~~ in the meantime, Gentle Reader, remember that ~~~




~~~A Gardener's Work Is Never Done ~~~

***DO NOT EAT ANYTHING YOU FIND IN THE COUNTRYSIDE UNLESS YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN WHAT YOU ARE PICKING!!!***



25 comments:

  1. Glorious Fall! Thanks for sharing your bounty of sustenance and beauty. I suspect the faeries may have been peeking out at you from 'neath the ground cover! Wishing you warmth and serenity in the days and nights to follow.

    Sharon in Alabam

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    1. Thank you Sharon ~~~ Yes, I think that is where they were hiding, for I am certain I heard faerie laughter, like tiny, silver bells ringing in the distant landscape ~~~waving~~~

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  2. Happy Autumn to you, Deborah! Your photos are simply beautiful and the fresh produce has my mouth watering!

    Have a glorious day :) Hugs!

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    1. Thank you Stephanie ~ yes, I love picking fresh food to the table in minutes; it tastes so good! Plenty frozen fresh too, for the winter! ~~~waving~~~

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  3. There are some faerie front doors in the woods near me too, I sometimes catch a flash of colour from the corner of my eye when I am walking, like a little faerie whisking out of sight as I approach X

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    1. Thank you Penny ~ and sometimes they float by me masquerading as the seeds of a dandelion! ~~~waving~~~

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  4. Hello Deborah... I just love the way you describe everything... from the winds to the storm coming in... to your "finds" in your garden... sounds perfect to me!... I didn't know your leaves fell before they turned... nevertheless, Autumn in the Shires looks beautiful to me... those berries!... how gorgeous!... and my mouth is watering thinking about jams and jellies and pies you will make... and what a lovely little fairy house!... maybe they too are getting ready for the storms that are moving in... thank you for sharing your "harvest" with me... xoxo... Julie Marie

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    1. Thank you Julie Marie ~ there are so many lovely berries this time of year, the hedgerows are a treasure trove of jewel colours! ~~~waving~~~

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  5. I love seeing all your garden produce, they all look so pretty & I bet taste wonderfully good.
    We did not grow marrows this year but our neighbour kept us supplied & we gave her some eggs.
    Thank you for another wonderful post & good luck in the storm, I think we are to miss most of it.
    Fondly Michelle

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    1. Thank you Michelle ~ yes, I think you will avoid the winds ~ which are already howling through the rafters and about the chimney and rain is lashing against my west facing windows ~ I think the winter storms are arriving earlier this year than usual ~~~waving~~~

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  6. I know this word is terribly overused, but not other will do! Just wonderfully enchanting! All of your colorful produce and wild gatherings of berries,and such; the birds, the rain, the moody cemetery, the faerie house and the stream. We will be thinking of you as you stay safely tucked inside while the storms rage. We are quite behind the rest of the "4 season" part of the country here. Just beginning to see color -- and lovely fall days in low 60's now -- like our Indian Summers up north. Thank you so much for sharing. Always enjoy being whisked away to the fair isles!

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    1. Thank you Jane ~ I did remain safely tucked up in bed and seem to have slept through as the winds howled above and around my cottage in the Shire ~~~ no dark riders but my shed seems to not look the same this morning ~~~waving~~~

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  7. Wonderful writing! Fabulous photos! (no, I'm not shouting at you...just excited) lol
    I thoroughly enjoyed this visit to your corner of the world. Your garden has done well this year, I think. The bonus beets are a treat for sure. Finds like that are so much fun.

    Hope you fare well through the storms. Not fond of them myself. I think I am in for a rainy spell this upcoming week. That will probably finish off all the leaves. Not a good show here this year, just spots here and there of color. But I will take what I can get of Autumn.

    Take care!

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    1. Hello dear friend ~ Thank you Darlene ~ I wish you could come see for yourself ~ Storms gone for now ~ looking out the window there are large gaps where yesterday leaves gaily danced ~~~waving~~~

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  8. Oh, Deb! Your Autumn words and images are pure poetry! The lone leaf twirling down with the bokeh effect in the background will stay with me for a very long time. It's so nice to see the beautiful bounty of your harvest. The blackberries and hawthorne berries look lovely through your lens. Thank you for sharing the falling rain and birdsong in the churchyard with all of us. It feels like a walk with a friend through an Autumn fairy land! Heartfelt thanks for inviting us along! Stay safe, warm, and cozy inside for a few more days. Then you can meander through Autumn in the Shire again! ♡

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    1. Thank you Dawn ~ yes, I thought of you and how you introduced me to the world of bokeh! Hoping to do some more wandering~meandering~ through the Shire before the Autumn weather closes in ~~~waving~~~

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  9. You make vegetables I don't even care for look appetizing! I love that you found a faerie house in the woods. I'm always on the look-out for them here. I wonder if the faeries are able to keep in touch with their friends across the ocean like we do!

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    1. Thank you Cathy ~ you have to eat your veggies! I'm sure the faeries have a most magical method of messaging! ~~~waving~~~

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  10. What a wonderful garden you have to keep giving its bounty into the fall. I see you are over the winds and rain and all safe and sound in the shire. We have been getting leaves up around our home. It's because they are dry and have not turned their lovely colors. Rain would be so welcome to our gardens as it seems to fall all around us. Hopefully before long--- I so loved the peek into the churchyard and appreciate all the hard work our ancesters did by hand. Enjoy your autumn days. ♥

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    1. Thank you Martha Ellen ~ yes, everything is now a little damp and dishevelled in the Shire and our leaves don't turn either ~ I will do a rain dance for you and try to send some your way soon! ~~~waving~~~

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  11. Ooo, bountiful abundance! Lovely!!! My favorite time of the year too!
    Do you ferment? I just love to ferment beets (with ginger and garlic)
    I loved all the pictures and the faerie home :-D
    Sent from my kindle, blessings and warmth Linnie

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  12. Thank you Linnie ~ no, I have never even heard of fermented beets, so I will have to look it up and plan to try it ~ for I am always looking for new ideas and recipes! ~~~waving~~~

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  13. Hello from Southern California. Somehow I have just stumbled upon your blog and want to say what a delightful visit this has been! I hope to visit often.

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    1. Thank you Sara ~ I'm so pleased you found us and look forward to seeing you very soon again! ~~~waving~~~

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  14. Your garden is so bountiful, both in fruits and veg and the most beautiful sights! I just love the fairy house you found, I love coming upon things like that on walks in the woods. Your stream is so lovely and so are the beautiful red berries! Your sound and video clip of the churchyard was just wonderful, we get a lot of rain here as well and I just love the sound of falling rain and birds, so peaceful! Time for me to plant my garlic and put the rest of my garden to bed as well. I am pretty sure I have a few extra large zucchini hiding out under the old squash vines too. Have a wonderful weekend! :)

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Thank you for stopping by today ~ I love reading your comments