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. 😦

Misty Moisty Mornings And Spiders’ Webs

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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.  🙂

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