Sunday, 21 August 2016

The Closing Of Summer









There is still heat in the air but the days are turning now. The wind is blowing, buffeting the leaves, reminding them that ahead lies the tumbling time, when they turn golden and drift down from the bough.

Yesterday, I went out searching for Dormice. Of the fifty boxes checked, not a single one yielded a Dormouse. Apparently, numbers are down this year so far. Perhaps due to a long wet cold Spring. It is a worry. We did find a Pygmy Shrew though (see pic above). Relatively rare, I have never seen one, so it was a joy to find him, scurrying about inside one of the boxes. They are smaller than regular shrews with longer, more triangular snouts. Shrews have to eat their bodyweight in a 24 hour period to stay alive. They are busy, busy, busy.

We found a couple of Dormice nests in the boxes. These are told apart from those constructed by Woodmice by the addition of green hazel leaves among the brown. Nature leaves so many clues to help us understand things, if only we take the time to listen and to learn the language.

The Cinnabar caterpillar was a pleasure to find. I have been searching Ragwort and not found any until this solitary chap appeared.

The Pheasant is by middle son F. A gift for his grandparents who, this September, celebrate fifty years of happy marriage. My ma in law is an artist and my pa in law spent his working life on the land, so they will both feel the specialness of the gift.

I have been sewing steadily through the summer and my sewing area has evolved along with my ability to tackle more complex projects. I like to stand and admire all the fabrics in their boxes. So many colours and patterns. It inspires and encourages and draws out creative energy. I am far happier giving vent to this than trying to fit life into rational squares. I am writing too, the book I metioned at the start of the year. It comes, slowly, but well I think and I am enjoying doing it.

I've picked what look like the last of the Sweet Peas today. They have given me huge pleasure this summer; their scent, shape and colours. I feel quite sad that the bush is now curling into dry, crisp, brown leaves and the blooms are fading, even though it is timely and right.

Two weeks left here of school holidays before I turn my face properly towards Autumn.  Swallows are lining up along the telegraph wires and all the birds have fallen silent, apart from the Robin who began to sing again a handful of days ago, a sure sign, if any were needed, that the Wild knows the season is turning. However blissful the long relaxed days of summer are, I am always glad of the change into cooler days. It feels like a reaffirmation of life; the changing Earth energy opens up fresh beginnings and new opportunities, and that is Good.

Hope all are well?

CT x


35 comments:

  1. Your writing are very impressive. Time goes by. I hope you have nice days in the coming autumn.

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    1. Thank you, and the same wish for you. Thanks for the comment :-)

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  2. that's an absolutely gorgeous painting of the pheasant....the grands will surely be delighted...what an incredibly thoughtful gift [by a very talented artist himself].

    there are signs of autumn all around, despite the crushing heat [although the humidity has happily dissipated this morning]...you can see it here in which of the wildflowers are in bloom [goldenrod, asters] and how the bird activity shifts [swallows gathering on fence wires, starlings taking to the sky]. i love every bit of it and am always so very ready to welcome the turn of the season. especially this year, a summer has been so uncomfortably brutish.

    much love to you...xoxo

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    1. We're v proud of him, the painting looks amazing in the flesh. I'm with you on loving the changing seasons. Each one always lasts just long enough. Love back to you xx

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  3. Fall is gently coming (in Kentucky) with yellow leaves on the Crepe Myrtle and a hint of coolness in the air... My favorite season!!! Your sewing corner is so colorful; I'm sure it's a joy to enter that special space!

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    1. I love autumn too. An exciting season :-)

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  4. I feel Autumn is on the way, everything is slowing ending in the garden, nice collection of fabrics, x

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  5. It certainly is starting to feel very autumnal isn't it. Your photos are lovely - that caterpillar is amazing and the tiny shrew adorable. Your son has certainly inherited his grandmother's artistic talent - that pheasant is beautiful and spot on. I'm sure they will treasure it. I have serious sewing corner envy! xx

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    1. I'm slowly expanding the sewing area. Eventually I shall take over the entire house :-) xx

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  6. I found a dormouse a few years ago sleeping in a mound of leaves in our small copse. Of course, I did not disturb him. I was so thrilled to see him. I have a hazel coppice and grow honeysuckle for them. I havn't seen one since but hope they are out there somewhere :)

    Yes, autumn is approaching. A very nostalgic season and one that I love. Spring can often let us down but autumn always seems to display wonderful world of colour.

    Lovely post.....enjoy your week :)

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    1. I am a little bit green with envy, your own hazel coppice- how utterly wonderful. Do you have good connectivity with hedges/ woods nearby? That helps reduce vulnerability in dormice and improves survival rates. Xx

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  7. Hey CT,
    We are off blackberry picking this week. For crumbles and pies. With custard. I love the turning of the seasons. Different activities. Different things to see and do. Lots of cinnabar caterpillars here in the dunes. Life is treating us well here. The painting I a triumph.
    Leanne xx

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    1. Crumbles pies and custard- yum! Great re the pillars and so glad all is well. I miss your posts xx

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  8. I think we're in for a few more hot days which I hope will ripen the tomatoes. I wonder what next year will bring. Great picture, how thoughtful. x

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    1. It's been hot here today but our toms have blight :-( x

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  9. Three years ago when I had not long moved to the village I came across about twenty of those Cinnabar caterpillars, absolutely spell binding to observe yet since then not one have I seen. Autumn is perhaps my favorite time of year with its echos of sweet and sad feelings it evokes. A lovely post CT.

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    1. I remember you moving there. Is it really three years? How the time flies. X

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  10. Lovely paintng and I like the how you composed the first shot.

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  11. Wowser - that painting is a corker. He has 'the eye'. How wonderful. Lovely, evocative writing, as always CT. It's feeling distinctly on the turn here, too, but we have hot days forecast for the rest of the week. I think one of our cats may have caught a pygmy shrew (I know, just awful. It upsets me greatly.) Have a good week xx

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    1. He's been very modest about it but I think it's smashing and the in laws will be made up :-) My dear old puss cat caught shrews too xx

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  12. Although 'our' swallows are still breeding in the barn we do notice large numbers in a line on the electric wires - presumably just passing through.

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    1. Wonderful you have them breeding with you. Ma had them raise young in her stable this year :-)

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  13. Wow, the pheasant is phenomenal, very well done indeed. The grandparents will certainly treasure it. Love your sewing space, VERY nice. A worry about the lack of dormice. I like the turning of the season too, although I'm always a bit reluctant to say goodbye to summer. But I have more energy in the colder months. CJ xx

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    1. Me too, energy-wise. I think it's being a child of the northern hemisphere. We're not evolved for heat :-) xx

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  14. Wow CT the pheasant really is impressive, what talented middle child you have. A lovely thoughtful gift too. Yes there are little snippets of autumn here too, I'm glad as its my very favourite season, it appeals to my mindset of putting things to bed. The idea of curling up with a glass of red wine, blanket and book is also very welcome. Love your sewing space, I would very much enjoy stroking your lovely fabrics. I'm visiting a new local yarn shop today which only stocks British yarns!!! including an alpaca one which was bred and spun all within 35 miles. I shall be sticking my snout through the door in the style of a bisto kid! xx

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    1. The yarn shop sounds amazing! Hope you had a good time and didn't return home bankrupt! ;-) xx

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  15. The drawing of the pheasant is excellent - just stunning!
    I'm like you.... Watching and seeing the seasons change is like a tonic to the soul!
    Spring is on the way here! Buds are brewing, blossom is opening and birds are getting busy building nests!
    I love sweet peas! Such a favourite smell!
    Happy days CT! Xxxxx❤️

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    1. There is nothing quite like a sweet pea for filling a house with happy smells. Xx

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  16. Yes there are signs of autumn here too, even though we're in the middle of a heatwave. I heard the robin singing its autumn song yesterday, although I haven't seen the swallows gathering yet. That is worrying about the dormice, such lovely little creatures. I love the shrew, too and the pheasant is excellent.

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  17. I agree, change in seasons is always good. I would find it hard to live somewhere that is always hot. Like you I still have a few sweet peas. They have lasted such a long time this year. B x

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  18. Feeling autumnal here too despite the heat - Will be glad for September and the cooler fresher days (August is not one of my favourite months!)

    Lovely painting of the pheasant. Still picking Sweet Peas here too :) I haven't seen any Cinnabar moth caterpillars at all this year :(

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  19. Fabulous pheasant! I do have fancy box envy! Your stash makes mr want to EXPLORE it! Please can I come to squish and stroke?!

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x