Autumn gold

October has been a truly golden month here, with bright blue skies, hot sunshine and deliciously soft, warm air. Even the roses are having another flush, their third this year.

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The meadows are still lush with grass and filled with the gentle lilac haze of autumn crocus, such fragile and beautiful things with their sunny saffron centres.

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It has been a joy to be outside in the fresh air and I’ve had a happy time of it pottering about the patch and doing a bit more end of season tidying. The compost heap and bonfire have both grown steadily as spaces open up and we start to plan the planting scheme for next year.

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Having reached this stage of the year we are happy that we have more than enough planting space which is a relief as the idea of carving out more from the mountainside doesn’t fill me with a lot of pleasure! I’ve loved the flowers mingling in the veg patch and crowding each other along the fence, definitely one to do again next year. I’ve been collecting seeds as I go but I’ve left most of the sunflower heads for the birds to clear up.

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It’s lovely to watch the flocks of various finches arrive every evening to feed although frustratingly they have so far evaded my attempts to capture them with the camera. No worries, they are certainly doing a great job.

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Despite the summery weather, there has been a subtle shift in what’s on offer from the garden this week. We ate the last aubergine, and we are down to just a handful of peppers. Lovely to see them ripening, though, and a mixed dish ‘padron’ style was a delicious (and rightly warming) tapas dish earlier in the week.

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We had the first savoy cabbage of the year, only a small patch of these to come but they always do us more than one meal so that’s no problem.

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Likewise, the parsnips: I’m not sure why I worry about how small the row is, when they’re all this big we really don’t need too many!

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No shortage of chard either, this kept growing all last winter. I just love the way the sunlight illuminates those gorgeous stalks.

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Away from the garden and the renovation work has been coming on apace once again. Much of our life is spent overcoming problems (it’s good for the old grey matter) and this week was no exception: how to transport sheets of plasterboard safely and without damaging them. After a busy time in his Man Shed, Roger came up with the perfect solution, a customised plasterboard carrier fashioned from old doors strapped to the trailer.

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Sadly, he’s yet to find an easy way of carrying them up fourteen steps then lifting them into the attic on ladders. At 26 kilos each, we felt we’d had quite a workout by the time we’d shifted fifteen of them!

On the upside of Plasterboard World, we decided to combine our DIY shopping trip with some time off to enjoy and explore several beaches en route. Well, why not, given the gorgeous weather? It was such a perfect day, the sea a deep blue but rolling and boiling with those classic Asturian waves that the surfers love so much and were certainly enjoying. In fact, there were several people swimming too, and we wished we’d thought to throw our swimmers and towels in. Never mind, it was lovely just to walk along the beaches, watching the white water throwing up rainbows and luxuriating in the wrap-around warmth. So very beautiful. What a stunning place this is.

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We weren’t the only ones enjoying it, either!

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Hard to believe it’s nearly November . . .  🙂

 

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Autumn gold

  1. Have you already got our finches there? At least they have been leaving here at a high rate (and speed) – namely chaffinches and bramblings; greenfinches are just arriving here for the winter (God only knows from where) and bullfinches are a permanent feature all year round.

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  2. How do I ask them in Finnish?! Mostly chaffinches and a few greenfinches,I’ve never seen bramblings here; also, interestingly, quite a gang of great tits (not finches, obviously) who seem to have a taste for the seed. We have a fair few bullfinches here all year round and several breeds I’m not familiar with from my native haunts, such as serins and cirl buntings. Slightly concerned that the pied wagtails seem to be planning yet another brood . . . Have your cygnets made it away on time?

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  3. If they are still wet from the melting snow they are ours… Chaffinch = peippo, brambling = järripeippo (a double Scotch “r”, please).

    No way; the families are still here – and most of the non-family adults, too (but they could migrate if they had the mind to – the families can’t yet; not at least for two more weeks…)

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  4. No, they all look very dry and warm – think they must be locals (I forgot to mention the huge flocks of goldfinches, too). At least that spares me the embarrassment of not being able to roll the r properly, not helpful in Spanish yet alone Finnish. When I was researching native American months I found several tribes that had a ‘When the young geese fly moon’ which made me think of your swans. Hope they manage it in the end. As for your snow . . . 😦

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  5. Well, the cygnets can already fly though not for long stretches so in the worst case the family will move to some rapid that doesn’t freeze in the winter (fortunately quite a few of them hereabout). Rather many swans spend their winter that way nowadays.

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  6. Oh my goodness, I think you’ll need to bring several woolly layers across with you in a couple of weeks time – we’ve already had a couple of frosts, and it’s freezing! Can I put in an advance order for some of that Asturian sunshine in December please?

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  7. I’ve dug out some woolly pullies, hat, scarf, and gloves in preparation. Do you think I need my thermals, too?! Will do our best with the December sunshine, it was certainly like that last year so fingers crossed!

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  8. Ooh, we might just nick that plasterboard transportation method! Maybe you’ve got our goldfinches. We had a large gang all summer, but now it’s mainly great tits, sparrows and robins – and pheasants, of course. We’ve only got two parsnips this year, but one is a monster, which is probably more parsnip than we want to eat. This winter we’ll also dig up our skirrets for the first time. Will be interesting to see how similar to parsnips they are.

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  9. Ha ha, it’s amazing what you can do with a couple of old doors, isn’t it? Hopefully we won’t need too much more plasterboard as upstairs is starting to shape up at last. No pheasants here – well, only a surprise one, not the UK raised and released hoards – and I have to say I don’t miss them, having had our last garden completely trashed by them (although they’re always okay in the pot!). We don’t have many parsnips, they just wouldn’t germinate despite being fresh seed, but everything we’ve dug so far has been a good meal’s worth. I’m really interested to see what you make of the skirrets, aren’t they the ‘forgotten’ Tudor vegetable?

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