Monday, October 6, 2014

Early autumn oddities

Proper autumn weather always arrives sooner than expected.  All of a sudden one is closing curtains in the early evening, peaking around them at seven in the morning only to find that it is still dark outside. The day closes faster and opens more slowly.

Our usual pattern here is to have a warm but misty start to the day, a start that promises warmer weather by mid-day.  The warm weather comes after lunch (taken on the terrace) where evening drinks are later served as the sun settles behind the high woods across the valley. Toasts are drunk to 'shepherd's delight' as the sheep noisily rootle in the woods for chestnuts and acorns, then finally settle for the night's digestion in the high fields.
morning misty view from the terrace - towards the fields

For a while we were all lulled into thinking this autumn would be a standard issue autumn.   But, if a few days experience is any basis for judgment, it seems this autumn will not be as autumns of yore.

On the one hand, I blame the mycophiles who are in great distress.   The tail end of August, most of September, were very dry months with only sporadic rainfall - though some of it was impressively heavy.  As a result the ground in the woodlands is dry, too dry for fungi to arise at the appropriate phases of the moon.   And now it has started raining, a full moon is expected on Wednesday as well as a rise in day-time temperature.   This should mean fungi by Sunday.
If yes, their prayers have been heard first.

But the hunting season has started - so all may not be safe in those woods. Scared game, over enthusiastic dogs with little bells attached, and armed men in strange combinations of camouflage clothing highlit by fluorescent vests, will also be noisily ploutering around.

Another sign of an unexpectedly cold early autumn is the arrival of strange insects attempting to take over the house.  We quickly get used to the dopey flies, head-butting against the window from the inside.  Even the odd, disoriented couple of dragon-flies in the conservatory were accepted and eventually persuaded outside.

A very silly arthropod indeed.

But i do not understand the fascination of the bath for spiders and other multi-legged beings.   Only a few days ago, truly the biggest spider I have ever seen, was trying to find minute roughness in the bath sides in in order to get out.   I had to help by hanging the shower mat over the side.   The millipede managed to get out by itself.  I rather wish I knew where they went.   Or perhaps I don't.

How many legs?   I did not stop to count.

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