Half way through August and the summer seems to be ageing rapidly. Whatever weather system is dominating us at present has brought cooler, fresher air and grey skies. Light levels have been very low for the last few days. The trees and hedgerows have lost their fresh gloss and now are a dull green. Grass is brittle and straw-like. Thistles have flowered and now their downy seed heads are drifting hither and thither in the slightest breeze. We have berries are ripening on the Hawthorns, Elderberries and Mountain Ash - somebody will observe that's a sign of a cold winter to come. More like a sign of a late spring when frost didn't nip blossom in the bud.
There's a ripe harvesty feel to the garden and surrounding countryside. Even under leaden skies this border is satisfyingly rich and jewel-like. The 'hot border' (still in its infancy) is aflame with red, orange and yellow which seem just right for now.
Round in the vegetable garden we're harvesting the fruits of our labours - trying to get to the cabbages before the caterpillars and devising yet another cunning use for courgettes.
Alan has just gone out to shake his fist at a blue tit which was busy pecking away at an apple - I don't like to tell him that the moment his back was turned it came back - with a friend - and now there are 2 little birds tucking in with gusto. Surely there's plenty to go round?