Tuesday 2 September 2008

Autumn's marching on

Autumnal mood, wildlife pond and gardening, wind and staking.

My visits to the allotments in the last couple of grayish days have thrown me in a blue mood: the lush green - both vegetable and weeds - is receding, bed by bed, and quite surprisingly it is affecting me! I do not know why, it's not that there are fewer interesting things, or less to do.

Certainly not less to do, there is enough to keep me busy for the whole winter, such as building shelving in the shed, experiment with mushrooms in the greenhouse, dig the last beds, plan for next year, improve the pond...

And talking of interesting things, the pond has surprised me. As the rose bushes and the wildflower lawn are less thick, and the water is quite clear, I could observe the new life that has developed over the year: there are plenty of water boatmen of all sizes - which worried me a little because some eat tadpoles, but then I was reassured - and several other tiny swimming and wiggling thingies that I could not identify (despite this pretty clear table). I was surprised by such a lively swarm of insects, maybe the two ducks that came for a while in early summer helped somehow. Even if they didn't, they were an amusing view, standing on their legs in the shallow water!

The strong wind these days has put to serious test my staking skills, so I had to fix the beans, adding more bamboo sticks to carry the weight. Luckily I had bought some over the weekend.

As autumn's is definitely marching on, I have finally decided to place the hedgehog hideaway. I am a bit worried that this might attract rats instead, they would never say on the instructions, would they? The last thing I would wish is to help shelter those beautifully furred but nasty creatures.

I wish I had the camera with me as a cute curious robin came down to observe the proceedings and feed on some insects that must have surfaced in the process. Other pictures worth taking:
- sweetcorn at sunset under a showery rain,
- the pupa of my 'insect of the month': the cabbage white butterfly. This is the first time I have seen one.

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