Winds are turning and shadows are lengthening, the vibrant pinks, yellows, greens and blues are fading into glowing reds, browns and oranges, and there are faint whispers in the air of white weather returning to claim the fields, waterways and bare trees.
It's not Autumn yet.......
But this fire coloured Maid will be along soon, working her dusky magic on the many varieties of leaves that still cling bravely to their trees and breathing cold air into the cracks under doors, slithers between windows and gaps under floorboards.
...... But it's not Summer.
This time of year means cultivation: the turning over, breaking up, skimming over and general disturbing of the soil. The stubble left over from harvest disappears under the plough and is replaced with deep brown soil, rich in growth and a perfect blank canvas on which to nurture next years yield. I think that's what I love most about farming; the age old cycle of the earth, come rain or shine farming continues, it laughs in the face of these 'big world problems' and carries on with its business, it doesn't have time to stop, it doesn't care to linger in the bright lights of the hyper media world. It's got a job to do.
Walking up to Ash earlier on the tea run, hair blowing wildly in the wind I reflected on the visual changes since my last walk up to the top fields. I've always found the end of Summer days quite mystical, there is something magical in the way the scenery changes so quickly before Winter takes hold and diminishes the warmth in more ways than one. I do not like Winter, I feel alive in the warmer months, I connect with the earth and people better, I like my Vitamin D and Winter withholds this from me. But October is the time where I ready myself for the mini hibernation I withdraw into until late March/early April, I make the most of the dwindling warm sun, of the light mornings and the late blooming flowers. The smell of soil coming from the fields is one of my most favourite scents ever (its on parr with cut grass and Turkish delight) and its this time of year when I will bundle up in woolly cardigans and stroll through the arable land just taking in all the sights, sounds and smells.
The Rayburn will be lit soon, that's how I know Summer is properly over and the cold, soggy wheelbarrow trips to collect firewood begins. Waking up and feeling the cold press against the skin on your cheek and gently coaxing yourself to haul yourself out the warm pit and get dressed as quickly as you can.
Hmmm, I'm really not looking forward to it at all...... however I do like porridge and its really only socially acceptable to indulge in porridge in colder months. Oh and slow cooked stews with dumplings and buttery toast to dunk on the side. And hot chocolate before bed. And pumpkin carving. And (dare I say it?) the distant sound of sleigh bells..........
Do you like this time of year?
Do you have any memories relating to early Autumn?
Are you a Summer Sunshine or Autumn Maid? If either?!