Autumn has finally arrived

The weather changed dramatically this morning from what seemed like an everlasting sunny and dry Summer to windy and wet but then cheered up in the afternoon. Autumn has arrived!  For the first time for ages I felt cold  - no heating on yet in our house although of course I offer it for our cottage guests and they currently have it on there, having come from the heat of Australia.  They like this cooler weather and are not averse to a bit of rain.

I was too busy in the garden in the summer to take many photographs or blog so I have to skip over that bit.  We had masses of fruit this year (except for strawberries but that is another story) - raspberries, blackcurrants, whitecurrants, redcurrants, gooseberries, rhubarb and blackberries.  Here is a photo I look after a short picking session on another occasion.

Summer pickings  

A lot of the summer was very hot so I tended to make jam in the evenings.


The resident pheasant went away for the summer months but now he is back and looking very handsome.  He makes quite a noise in the evenings and roosts in a tree in the garden.






Another surprise visitor recently was a baby hedgehog.  We found him on the lawn on a hot day, apparently in a pretty poor state.  It was a bank Holiday weekend so I spent some time trying to find out where was the nearest place to take him to for treatment.  However, a drink of water worked magic - the little creature who could not even stand up and was waving his legs in the air did an about turn and started to walk about perfectly normally.  I had some tins of cat food in the cupboard (beef variety) and put this on a plate, not really expecting him to be in a fit state to eat.  However, to our amazement he gobbled the lot (a very noisy eater!) and then took himself off, "a new man/boy", to the bushes.  I left further food which disappeared but I have now left him to fend for himself.  I am hoping he will be big enough to survive the winter but I might have to go on a hedgehog hunt and try and find him to keep him over winter and feed him.  The real surprise was finding we had hedgehogs in the area at all as not 500 yards away is a badger sett and I haven't seen hedgehogs for over 20 years in our garden.  I am wondering if the badgers, having done their worst by completely demolishing our shed in the field over the road, with their digging, have moved on of their own accord.  They have been there for 30 years at least.  Perhaps they feel they should have a new house.  I rather hope so as they won't then come and dig up my tulip bulbs at night........


Here is little Master Hedgehog enjoying his cat food lunch - he cleaned the plate!: