Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The colours of autumn

Just when I was enjoying the lovely autumn we've been having, winter arrives! I woke this morning to a beautiful covering of powdery frost. It made getting the hatch off the eglu difficult so that's usually means it's a pretty bad one. I still have tomatoes going bananas (uh?) in the greenhouse and things like roses, sweet peas and my passion flower are still holding their own. Maybe not now though...still, it's a beautifully sunny, crisp favourite sort of wintry day where you just want to wrap up warm and go for a long walk. I'm unable to do that today but I can enjoy what's around me. I'm looking out of the window now and the garden is alive. There are Great Tits eating the bright red berries on the cotoneaster and then poking their heads in the nest boxes. Checking out next years maternity ward perhaps! There are rabbits jumping about on my gravel garden in the sunshine and then chasing each other under the hedge. And my resident robins are cheekily coming to the eglu to pinch Bettys layers pellets...sometimes they do it while she's actually eating out of it. And, if I'm lucky, I get to hear Tawny Owl 'hoo hoo-ing' in the middle of the day and see the ghostly figure of Barn Owl flying steadily and slowly along the hedge line looking for prey as the light begins to fade. I do feel incredibly lucky to see these creatures from the comfort of my own home...sometimes we forget to appreciate what's right under our own noses.

There are lot's of fallen leaves all over the lawn that need raking up. I spend a lot of time doing that at this time of year and they're not even my trees! They are all sorts of lovely colours this year though so I will enjoy raking them all into a big pile which Betty then likes to annihilate in about thirty seconds flat! It's great exercise and get's you all hot and out of breath if you work quickly. In New England the best and most beautiful colours are a result of warm days and very cold nights which keeps the leaves on the trees longer. At least, that's what I was told. Maybe we've had the right conditions this year?
On a recent walk I brought home some lovely 'found' bit's and pieces.

The feathers were too pretty to leave behind...and they make a change from white. The skeleton seed head is from one of my was blowing around on the drive for a few days before I brought it inside. I don't know how it survived but it's so beautiful!

Pine cones make great free decorations at this time of year...I'm sure I'm not the only person who's sprayed them silver and gold at Christmas?

We collected so many I struggled for somewhere to display them all as you can see. I filled my rucksack and then had to resort to putting them in nappy bags!! They're still in the rucksacks from when we had a dog with decent legs...but more of Jack later.

My one concession to decorating for 'the season' as our American friends would call it is to display this wreath. I love all the autumnal colours and it reminds me of the beautiful place I bought it. Like a mad woman, I brought it home in my hand luggage but it survived very well with just a couple of things having to be glue gunned back on.

I also bought these 'mums' last week in very seasonal hues...

...and there is still some colour to be found in the garden. I just love the deep, rich shade of the sedum; it's deepened even more since I took this picture.

This clematis leaves behind such unusual seed heads...they remind me of that breed of chicken with the lovely fluffy it a silkie? I'm sure someone will know. It looks amazing with the sun coming through it. I'm trying to make the most of these lovely autumn moments before the dreaded Christmas rush is upon us...but upon us it will be so I have been busy adding lot's of great vintage Christmas decorations to the site and they are now available to buy. I will be adding more so keep checking back. There are also lot's of gift ideas and again, I'll hopefully be adding to them in the coming days and weeks.

(Sorry! These are SOLD but yellow and french grey still available.)

And talking of Christmas...I'm very excited to show you this card from the Oldies Club as Jack was chosen to be one of the re-homed dogs featured on it!! He was actually re-homed in March; I don't know how they got that wrong but hey...let's not be pedantic! I'm very proud of him after the rotten life he's had and also because he's having a few problems at the moment. If you haven't bought your Christmas cards yet and you're an animal lover then perhaps you might consider these? The Oldies Club are a great charity and as far as I know the only one of it's kind just re-homing older dogs. Not only do they foster their own dogs in Oldies Club care but they publicise other homeless older dogs from many shelters and rescue organizations up and down the country.

A star is born!!

I'm off to do some sewing now...I've finally sorted out our office/gym/library/workroom so I have a little corner all to myself with a table just for the machine. Now I can walk away in the middle of a project and come back to it at my leisure. That's impossible when you use the dining table. Hopefully, I might even get more sewing done; well, sometimes miracles can happen!