This theme continued for the next 10 days, with much rain every day, often strong winds, but staying really mild. No hints still of any frosts on the forecast. All the wet weather of the last several leaves made the inevitable task of clearing away soggy perennial foliage less enjoyable than usual( ?)
The same evening, but an hour later, around 5.15 p.m., I stood, waited, and thrilled as this year’s first woodcock was spotted (just a few days before the “woodcock” full moon of November) flying up over the gateway to the South of our upper hay meadow.
We finally had a light air frost on November 19th, but the theme for much of the month remained one of rain on most days, saturated ground, generally mild and with sufficient fleeting breaks in the clouds for light to often be lovely. By the last week, most leaf colour had been blown off the trees, and interest remained on the ground only, as the hint of the first colour from Cyclamen coum flowers finally appeared.
Given the unprecedented current rise in energy costs, consequent to the ongoing war in Ukraine and inflationary pressures from the global pandemic’s profligacy by most governments, the milder temperatures were most welcome. As is having one’s own store of seasoned firewood – we recently learned that even sustainably produced wood pellets for our biomass boiler have now increased by around 40%, since our last delivery.
The earthtongue mushrooms appeared as usual in many areas of the mossy croquet lawn, and after the very wet weather a very necessary top dressing of the steep section of our access track was needed. It’s surprising how quickly 2 scoops of scalpings were soon used up on around 30 metres.