Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Autumn appears

What is the first sign of autumn I wonder, the answer for me is those large spiders that scuttle across the carpet, you catch the movement out of the corner of your eye as they head for the skirting board and then the sofa.  They come in from the cold to the dry, too hibernate or maybe too die?
Could of course be the torrential rain and winds that whipped through the trees yesterday, the first autumn storms, or maybe even the starlings who seem to have departed elsewhere a few days ago.  There are hundreds round here, feeding on the green in front of the house, bright plumages gleaming in the sun.  Perhaps they have flown to France to see if the weather is better there.  The little sparrows are still around, soft brown furry balls hopping around, squabbling at the seed holder for first place. And in the last few days a couple of young collared doves have come down to the lawn.  Feeding on the lawn the other day, one of the young magpies came down and marched up slightly belligerently to the young doves, mother and father doves immediately flew down furiously to protect their two and the young magpie squawked and flew away.  Young magpies do not grow their tails for quite a while so it has been a bit strange watching our two hop around practically tailess.
I note friends are harvesting the wild fruits, we haven't been yet,  but it reminded me to look up the time of the sweet chestnut harvest, for there is a wood not too far away with plenty of old trees and of course mushrooms - too record not eat, though we have signed up for a mushroom lecture/walk in October.

It seems I should find an Autumn poem but there is sometimes a tinge of sentimentality that I dislike in 19th century English poetry, shall have to find my Welsh poet - R.S.Thomas out for real misery, so skirting past Tennyson and Shelley, two short snatches from the Geoffrey Grigson's anthology Cherry Garden; The following poem sounds almost Saxon with its reference to wolves...

Slieve Gua - from the Old

Slieve Gua, craggy and black wolf den;
In its cleft the wind howls,
In its denes the wolves wail

Autumn on Slieve Gua; and the angry
Brown deer bells, and herons
Croak across Slieve Gua's crags

Rushes in a Watery Place - Christina Rossetti

Rushes in a watery place,
and reeds in a hollow;
A soaring skylark in the sky,
A darting swallow;
And where pale blossoms used to hang
Ripe fruit to follow.


  1. A lovely post. Am looking forward to finding some mushrooms too, soon.

  2. Thanks, I do read yours and everyone else's post', but can't seem to comment on some blogs. Think it is to do with email address between gmail and yahoo!