During the night our end of Long Mountain was shrouded in mist - as dawn approached the moon hung spookily overhead and trees across the lane were but lumpen shapes. It seemed as if every owl in the parish had gathered there too. By 8 o'clock though the mist had evaporated, the sky was a clear blue and the day as beautiful as can be imagined - the lawn and fields heavy with silvery dew twinkling in the low morning sun. These autumn mornings, dank and chill, a hint of decay in the dying vegetation, will forever remind me of the trudge back to school after the summer holidays - except now those sensual reminders jolt my memory in October rather than September.
These Amelanchier leaves are some of the first to show their autumn colours and were stunning with dew on them this morning.
The sheep were lying at the top of the field making the most of the sunshine as I went down the dingle to let the hens out. With me I had a bag containing a heel of bread - and we all know what a sheep magnet a plastic bag is. Pretty soon there were 56 sheep baaing, bawling and jostling for a share of the crust. What optimists those sheep must be - 56 sheep into one piece of bread equals not-very-much-each.
I do think sheep have rather sinister eyes, there's nothing cute about them at all.
We had friends from the north staying overnight so took advantage of the beautiful weather to show them something of the Shropshire countryside. We ended up, once again, on the Stiperstones overlooking Wales to the west and England to the east. It's not easy walking up there - the tracks are boulder strewn and uneven - but the view from the top is spectacular and the air fresh and clean. (Unfortunately today visibility was poor and it was hard to make out any familiar landmarks - we usually can pick out the church across the field from the barn)
Back at Lower House, Huw and Millie have been muck spreading - having scraped out the shed on the other side of our garden wall in preparation for housing some beasts over winter. They started just as our guests drove away up the lane - a lucky escape I say. (Thanks lads, brilliant timing) It doesn't actually smell too good round here at the moment. I expect it will pass.