Saturday, 1 October 2016

October: autumn's changes

October: Twelve Months of Flowers  Jacob van Huysum, early 18th century
©  Fitzwilliam Museum

"I mow the lawn for what I hope will be the last time this autumn; though in some years another cut is required in November, or even December.  Instead of  the grass-moths of spring and summer, long-legged craneflies leap from beneath the mower's blades, bouncing away in search of an uncut patch of sward where they can hide from predators.

Despite the warmth, signs of autumn are more and more visible; not least in the absence of those pink and purple flowers that lined the rhynes and hedgerows during the past few months.  Purple loosestrife, which only a few weeks ago was still flowering in any damp corner, has gone to seed, while only a few sad, drooping fronds of willow-herb remain.  Clouds of midges still hang in the air in more sheltered areas; but within a week or so I shall hear the high-pitched call of returning redwings in the night sky; and soon afterwards feel the crunch of early-morning frosts beneath my boots."

Wild Hares and Hummingbirds  Stephen Moss

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