You only have to look at the contents of my pockets to know that there’s a change in season.
On Saturday, returning from a walk around the village, I emptied out a couple of scrumped windfalls and a conker, while just the other day, it was a handful of acorns and their caps.
The windfalls, beautiful red apples, without a bruise, blemish or any signs of pests, were too good to leave lying around on the grass. They were also just what we needed for a cosy, autumnal Saturday lunch – cheesy fondue.
Along the lanes I’ve spied garlands of white bryony and strings of black.
Up on the hill, whipped by the wind, there are robins’ pincushions on the wild roses; and fat hips and haws brightening the hedgerows.
Blackberries glisten where wild apples ripen.
There the fields are being ploughed, breaking up the clay, and refining it from great clumps to breadcrumbs. Birds gather to pick over the newly turned earth.
The ivy is in full bloom, and the Red Admirals are out, while clouds of bees, hoverflies, and wasps erupt as we walk by.
The solitary bees collect nectar and pollen as food for their grubs, storing it with the eggs they lay in their nests, as provisions for their offspring when they are gone.
But the honey bees will live on through the winter months. They are busy foraging to sustain their colonies through the cold weather.
The nectar they collect is stored in hexagonal wax cells where it is converted into honey. More on that soon.