Village Life and a Touch of Autumn

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A couple of days ago I was chatting with fellow blogger, Lynn – from Lynz Real Cooking – about the lovely colours of Fall. Lynn suggested I do another post about the village in which I live and show what the autumn lanes looked like. The lady on the horse, above, is a neighbour and retired teacher, like me. There are so many people with horses in this village, and the clatter of hooves is a common sound. (Nothing to do with autumn – just part of village life.)

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As you can see, much of the landscape around our village is holding on well to its summer green. The trees are turning gold, some species more so than others, as to be expected. But the good old oaks, always the last to give way, are still pretty green, whereas most of the ash trees are bright yellow.  Deep amber, horse-chestnut leaves also litter the ground, with shiny conkers amongst them:

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Most of the berries that filled the hedgerows a month ago are now becoming wizened; only the hawthorne berries (haws) still bright red. Haws can usually be seen well into winter, as the birds don’t seem to like them much, and only eat them when all the juicier fruits have been devoured.

The photos below show a mix of lanes, hedgerows and trees, in varying states of ‘browning’. We have little of the blazing red colours common to parts of North America, so our colours tend to be a mix of golds, ambers and browns, with the deeper red of the odd copper beech here and there. We do have the occasional red maple, and they make a wonderfully bright splash aamongst the rest. Many of the fields are now sprouting spring wheat or barley, ready to grow with all haste once the winter’s done:

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Here are a few more photos from my walk down the lanes immediately round our house…

And here’s a selection of views from around the village. We have a mix of houses – old and new – some dating back a few hundred years. The church of Saint Helena dates back to the 11th century and old telephone box is definitely past its sell-by date, but there’s still a useable phone in there. I’ve never seen anyone using it, so whether it actually works is anyone’s guess. The dovecote is a rare old thing, too, built in the 13th century (last picture). The amusing name of Washtub Lane has two possible origins, both related to a farmhouse once located there. The name could refer to the lines of washing hanging at the farm, or to the big tubs standing there,  for washing leather and tannery.

Well, that’s it until winter comes along and I can take some frosty pictures, if not snowy ones.  Next Saturday the clocks go back in the U.K. and the dark nights will descend earlier and earlier. Now that is a really depressing thought. 😦