Where’s summer gone? What’s happened to the hazy lazy warm days when we slap on our sunscreen, dress in flimsy apparel designed to keep as cool as possible, enjoy a surreptitious whippy ice cream and think wistfully of weekend barbeques and long summer evening walks in the meadows…… Summer didn’t last very long at all… too short and over too soon. July’s thunderstorms are past although the memory of a bolt of lightening joining with a sharp crack of thunder just beside me as I walked to my house is etched into my memory. Little Meg, the Dandy Dinmont who was faithfully trotting alongside me at the time, moved with a hitherto unknown speed, dashing into the open door of the kitchen, where she lay, panting, her little heart fluttering wildly and her already big eyes huge looking bewildered. Her response showed me that I was not exaggerating my horror at almost being hit directly with a lightening bolt! Considering a single lightening bolt can contain up to 1,000 + volts of electricity with the accompanying hot air discharging as thunder: if this happens in close proximity as I experienced, the flash is infinately powerful and the clap of thunder, deafening! ….A close escape for both me and Maggie especially since we were outside in the open near the neighbour’s tree: perfectly placed as conductors of electricity.
August too has come and gone: those of us with the belief (and the stomach!) cheerfully consumed oysters on the 5th of the month, knowing that our finances would be healthy for the next year. The ‘Glorious Twelfth’ saw the start of the hunting season when grouse need to be canny and careful to survive the hunter’s bullet. Sad the heart that hears the crack of the shotgun on shooting days, hoping that each volley finds its mark causing the least amount of suffering to the innocent bird. Farmers are as always, busy working on their land, harvesting precious crops until late in the evening. From early morning till long after dusk, the familiar rumble of tractors can be heard on country roads returning home having cut the corn all day long; perhaps looking forward to a hearty harvest supper of home made game pie, lashings of vegetables, all rounded off with warm freshly made crusty bread and pickles from the previous harvest! In truth, not to burst romantic bubbles, farmers wives are all too often an essential part of the harvesting and can often be seen driving tractors alongside their spouses, so the idea of the comely farmer’s wife dutifully serving a home made supper in her Cath Kitson apron is probably a myth nowadays. Still, such a meal could constitute a wonderful Sunday lunch with friends and family.
Lastly, our little feathered friends have too soon flown off to sunnier climates, leaving us bereft of their delightful company. Swallows, swifts house martins are perhaps most identifiable as they collect in flocks, sitting on overhead wires, twittering softly until, drawn by some unidentifiable instinctual signal they leave, taking to the sky to begin their amazing journeys which will end as far away as Africa and Morocco.
The Autumn Equinox around September 22nd marks the time when the sun is above the horizon for 12hrs and throughout the world the day and night are similar in length which is a remarkable feat. Enjoy !