So much is written about autumn, from fire-painted leaves to smooth, shining conkers. And yes, there is a deep beauty in it- the growth and vigour of the summer months is returning to the earth, ready to feed new growth after the long winter months.
We may choose to pile our waste into pits in the ground, but the natural world beats to a different drum, where old growth is cycled back into the soil. From death and decay comes life.
Immersed in the garden, you see, smell, feel see this. As the season melts into deep autumn, it is a time of harvest and slumber. Our pear tree has just one precious fruit, hanging on amongst the yellowing leaves.
Over in the chicken run, the supply of eggs has slowed to a crawl. As the hours of light shorten and the temperature falls, their rate of production decreases. The slowing of the eggs is just another marker of the ebb and flow of the seasons.
Our Sussex hen is going through a moult, where they drop their feathers and grow a new set. Her snow-white feathers are scattered over the grass. She is looking a little less proud with just a single tail feather.
Before winter sets in, the strawberries send runners off in every direction, creating a web of fresh growth amongst crisping leaves and black earth.
Some of these ‘baby’ strawberries I pot on, the others I leave to run riot wherever they take root. They say that they only fruit for a few years, but because of all these runners, you will always have a fresh supply of the plants and their fruit.
The leaves of the strawberry dry to a blaze of red and rust and honey, a marker of the crimson berries to come in the height of summer.