Autumn is my favourite time of the year.
Most days start fresh and bright, and yes sometimes a little chilly, but it's nothing that wellies and a lightweight fleece can't cope with. The dogs run around the paddock after their breakfast with the long wet grass soaking them up to their tummies ... the downside to being only a foot or so tall ... poor things, while I stroll and ponder on the day.
There's still harvesting to be done and bits of space to be found in the freezers for the food, once it's picked, washed and blanched. To tell the truth it starts to get a bit boring by this time of the year, and at times I even miss the simplicity of just nipping out to the shops for a bag of frozen veggies!!
We stroll to the far end of the paddock, the dogs dashing around and sniffing here, there and everywhere, and ... I hope you're not tucking into anything tasty while you're reading this ... eating any fresh rabbit droppings and occasional sheep poo that takes their fancy ... sometimes I despair of their manners ... after all it's so soon after breakfast!!
As I look back towards the house, the sheep are tucked under the hedge in the dry spot they have slept in. Yes they are back, four of this years lambs now pretty much grown up and no longer needing their mums. One is a returner and knows the ropes of ignoring the dogs and in return being ignored by them, it works well and nobody gets upset by our twice or thrice daily meanderings around the field.
As we walk back towards the house the sun comes out even brighter, illuminating the fields on the hillside with their criss cross of electricity wires and pylons, and promising another good day.
And at my feet more mushrooms, they are everywhere this year, and the damp morning conditions are just perfect for bringing them on.
As we get back to the house, it's time to dry off the dogs little wet paws and for me go out to clean the henhouse. The chickens are loving being back in their old stomping ground at the side of the house. The early morning light sees them vanishing into the small wooded area that separates our land from that of our neighbours. But when they hear me coming over they rush to the fence to see what goodies I might have and yes, as usual I have a scoop of corn to scatter around and keep them out of my way while I clear out the henhouse and leave it fresh for more egg laying.
It's a good Autumn routine at the moment, and it will last us a while ... well until it changes into a Winter, much brisker but equally invigorating one.