Misty Moisty Mornings And Spiders’ Webs

008 Spider' webs 1

This past week we’ve seen many signs that autumn is nudging its way in and summer is gracefully retreating (not that summer this year was anything worth holding on to!). Much of the U.K. presently has a high pressure hovering over it. Skies have been quite clear rendering night-time temperatures low and giving us mornings of ‘misty moisty’ wonder (depending on your point of view on those, of course).

For anyone unfamiliar with the phrase ‘Misty Moisty Morning’, it’s from an old nursery rhyme:

One Misty Moisty Morning

One misty, moisty morning,
When cloudy was the weather,
There I met an old man
All clothed in leather,
All clothed in leather,
With a cap under his chin.
How do you do?
And how do you do?
And how do you do again?

All I can find out about the origin of this rhyme is that it’s based a traditional English poem with several verses. Here’s the first verse of another version:

One misty moisty morning, when cloudy was the weather,
I chanced to meet an old man a-clothèd all in leather.
He was clothèd all in leather, with a cap beneath his chin,
Singing ‘How d’ye do and how d’ye do and how d’ye do again’.

On Monday morning, when I was out on my walk I took some photos of the village and surrounding fields and lanes. Here’s a few from the lanes, giving lots of glimpses of autumn. The hedgerows were bursting with hawthorn and elderberries, sloes and rose hips, and the leaves on trees were turning really golden. I got a close-up of some conkers too. Some of the fields were still golden with stubble, others had already been ploughed and disked.

I also took some photos around the village on my way back. There are some quaint old buildings and interesting gates – and the church dates back to medieval times.

Well, that’s all about autumn for now. I was supposed to be doing my WOW post, but thought I’d just do this one while it was on my mind.  Who can ignore the “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”? It certainly inspired Keats to wax lyrical bout it . . .

Besides, I rather like spiders – except when they completely cover my washing line with their webs.  🙂

004 Spiders' webs 2

 

About milliethom

I am a reader and writer of historical fiction with a keen interest in the Earth's history and all it involves, both physically and socially. I like nothing better than to be outdoors, especially in faraway places, and baking is something I do when my eyes need respite from my computer screen.
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45 Responses to Misty Moisty Mornings And Spiders’ Webs

  1. John Yeo says:

    Absolutely beautiful! ~ We are lucky to be living in a very interesting and pretty part of the world Millie, you have portrayed life in an English village in a wonderful way. I have the same flora and berries around our allotments. You have inspired me to take my camera with me tomorrow 🙂

    • milliethom says:

      I can imagine how similar your countryside would be to ours, John. You’re not that far away, are you? It is really lovely outdoors at the moment. The hedgerows always get to me this way – and the golden look of the trees and fields. Definitely take your camera with you! I’ve started taking mine with me every time I leave the house. I’m becoming addicted to taking photographs! Nice to hear from you. Take care. 🙂

  2. What beautiful pictures of a lovely village. Seems like something out of novel!

  3. Joy Pixley says:

    What a lovely village, and so much soul-refreshing greenery as well! From out here in drought-ridden California, it’s nice to see lots of rain-watered plants that don’t have any guilt associated with them. 😉

    I had to look up “conkers” when I was trying to figure out what those seeds/fruits were — never heard that term!

    • milliethom says:

      Hi Joy, and thank you. Yes, it’s almost always green here – and you got the ‘rain-watered’ bit right.’Rain-soaked’ is more like it, sometimes. I know how difficult it’s been for you all in California this year. If it’s anything like the U.K. we have strict prohibitions on watering gardens and using water in years of drought – which, fortunately, aren’t often.
      I did wonder whether I should explain what conkers are. They are the hard, shiny seeds inside the spiny shell you see in the photo (just one large seed per fruit).Playing ‘conkers’ has been a game for all school children for generations.

      • Joy Pixley says:

        We are just having a discussion about this on my neighborhood list serve, whether we should have water balloons for the kids at an upcoming event, because we’re not allowed to use recycled (non-potable) water for it. All of our public landscaping uses recycled water (and all the landscaping at the university and in our neighborhood) but it is actually quite difficult for individual homeowners to set up their own recycled water systems. So there are now rebate programs if you tear out your lawn and put in sustainable landscaping (e.g., desert plants).

        I’m glad you didn’t just call the conkers “horse chestnuts” because then I would never have looked them up and learned about the game! I think I have to use this game somehow in Eneana now…

      • milliethom says:

        It must be hard living with constant water shortages, so I suppose we shouldn’t moan about all the rain we get here. It’s just a pain for us in summer, when picnics and other outings are cancelled or ruined by the rain. As for ‘conkers’, I spent hours when I was a child playing that game during ‘play-times’ at school. So did all my children. Now schools have banned conkers on Health and Safety grounds (bits flying off and hitting children in the eye etc.) It would be a good game to include in your fantasy world, as many old English traditions are. 🙂

      • Joy Pixley says:

        i was surprised to read that adults play conkers and even have tournaments! But yes, I can see why it might carry that particular risk (bits in the eye). I noticed that the adults I saw in the tournament videos weren’t wearing safety goggles though!

        And yes, I’m always on the lookout for games that don’t require modern technology. There are TONS of them out there!

      • milliethom says:

        Yes, adults are just as mad about conkers as children. People go to great lengths to find the biggest, hardest conkers. Some people even cheated by baking them! Tut tut! Hope your book series works out really well.It sounds fascinating from sections I’ve read in your posts.

      • Joy Pixley says:

        Thanks! Although I’ll admit that I’m spending so much time writing these flash fiction stories, I haven’t had much time to work on my “real” short stories, much less my novel.

  4. Love this post, Millie! So many beautiful photos! You can almost see the start of autumn in the leaves and the colors. Also enjoyed seeing pics from your village (is it really a village? I do remember you saying you lived in the countryside and had slow wifi…). The former post office looks like it could be from a cartoon, so cute 🙂

  5. Bekki Hill says:

    Gorgeous pics – thanks for sharing 🙂

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you, Bekki. I’m a real ‘sucker’ for autumn. The colours just amaze me. It’s just a pity we don’t get as much of the red as they do across the Atlantic. There aren’t as many maples here. I read about the reasons for the differences in autumn colours between America and Europe once and it seems to depend on climatic and geological conditions. All very technical. Anyway, I still like autumn, whatever colours we see. 😀

      • Bekki Hill says:

        I seem to remember that last year the colours were supposed to be more vivid because we’d had a hot summer. Still you’re right not a patch on New England.

      • milliethom says:

        New England has been on our ‘to visit’ list for a long time. Still, the golds and ambers have their own charm, too. It sounds as though you’ve been to N.E. – so I envy you that.

      • Bekki Hill says:

        Yes, we went a few years ago. You definitely should do it – it was a fabulous holiday.

  6. I learned some more about your surroundings. Thanks for sharing all of this.

  7. draliman says:

    Lovely, stunning photos!

    • milliethom says:

      Thanks, Ali. I should think your hedgerows look just the same. It’s been a good year for all kinds of fruit – although I know you’ve had a lot more rain than we have. Up here apple, pear and plum trees etc. have done brilliantly. Perhaps next year will be better for you.

  8. exiledprospero says:

    Elderberries, yes. I need to grow some. I planted some black mulberries (Morus nigra) the other day, and now I have dozens! I think you might actually be able to grow them in the uk.

    Incidentally, I loved your reading of Faint, as it was completely different than mine (as I explained in my comment to Cynthia). Very interesting.

    • milliethom says:

      I think there are a few areas in the UK where mulberries are grown, but mulberry trees and bushes aren’t a common feature on the landscape. Elderberries grow everywhere! As for my interpretation of your wonderful piece, Prospero, you can generally rely on me to see things differently (for that, read wrongly). I often get things completely ’round my neck’ – but I’m glad you found it ‘interesting’, anyway. 🙂

      • exiledprospero says:

        There is a very large black mulberry specimen at the University of Reading. So you are all set–the tree conclusively grows in the uk. You should be in the silk business by 2020, if only you can convince your husband to invest now. Don’t worry about the technical details, as you can cross that bridge when you get there. That’s the best attitude to have with harebrained ventures.

        As for Faint, I still can’t for the life of me see why your interpretation can’t work. Beauty (or short fiction) is in the eye of the beholder.

      • milliethom says:

        My husband would be an ideal candidate for going into the silk business. He could probably get a mulberry tree to grow well in our garden and, unlike me, he thrives on technical details.Oh, and he loves harebrained ventures. 🙂 As for Faint, having given birth six times, I probably have faint lines on the brain. Obviously, that wasn’t the type of faint line you were talking about.Thank you for being so gracious about my addled interpretation. The eyes of this ‘beholder’ are obviously getting a little old. 🙂

  9. irinadim says:

    Delightful post! Autumn is a lovely season. I like the ‘misty moisty’ nursery rhyme.

    • milliethom says:

      Thank you for liking it, Irina. I’m a really novice photographer, but I’m trying hard! I’ve always liked that poem, too. We’ve had a whole week of misty moist morning now. Yesterday, the mist was thick and didn’t clear until lunch time – which is a bit late! The afternoon turned out really warm for a British October. Odd weather we have here. 🙂

  10. Now that’s a web!!! Lovely vistas through the village. Love the rhyme.

    • milliethom says:

      Thanks, Amanda. 🙂 Spiders’ webs are everywhere at the moment, and I love that way they look with the dew on them. I have lots more photos from around the village, but I’d already put up more than I’d intended. The post was turning out to be a photo overload! And yes, the rhyme is great. I need to do a post now on the significance of the leather clothes mentioned in the rhyme. But not for a while…
      (I’ll be over to look at your Proverbs later on. I did little on my blog again yesterday.) 🙂

  11. Oh wow what a gorgeous village it is! It looks particularly beautiful especially when the sun shines on it (full of Autumn vibes). The berries, trees and houses make it look like a kind of place I read from a story book. Truly amazing photos and I’ll glad you shared this post with us Millie! ❤ 🙂

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