fruits of the earth

Autumn means different things to different people.

Summer is over and the sun has lost its strength, so every warm day seems like borrowed time and the chance to step out into the sunshine must be snatched whenever possible. Even in the twenty-first century, there’s still a feeling of Harvest Home: a desire to gather in and stock up, ready to weather the long winter ahead.
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nature lessons

When I was a child, my family used to attend church regularly. The minister was a kind man who cycled round the town as he said it put him in closer contact with his parishioners than driving a car would. I don’t know how the adults felt about him, but I was a shy little girl and he must have been one of the few men I trusted.

Perhaps what I remember most is that he had a story for every occasion and could turn any situation into a learning experience without it coming across as heavy-handed or didactic.
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great oaks

They say great oaks from little acorns grow. Certainly the acorns I saw on my walk yesterday have triggered a chain of thought, which I think is likely to result in a a blog post of some length.

First of all, the first time I tried to translate that gem of traditional English wisdom into Spanish, I was met with blank stares.

Apparently, what I thought of as an acorn – una bellota – was never going to grow up into an oak tree – un roble. It was going to grow into an encina, which is a holm oak and, it seems, to those who raise livestock on the Spanish dehesa, that’s a pig of a very different colour.
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ruffled feathers

It’s autumn, and the hedgerows are bright with berries. But there are other flashes of red, too, competing with the bryony, hips and haws.

This feathery tangle is Robin’s pincushion, which I found on the wild roses around the racecourse.
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berry bright

It seems that autumn is nearly upon us. Certainly the weather is no longer very summery. The rain is torrential and the gusting wind makes thinking almost impossible. Even when the wind chases the clouds away and allows the sun full rein [sic] there is little warmth in the sunshine.

But clearly there is enough warmth and sunshine to have started to ripen all the autumn berries, as I found on my walk today.
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