Along with red vine leaves are red apples littering the lawn. They're smaller than usual, but at least we have them. Many orchards have suffered this year from the cold summer and resulting lack of pollinating insects. Flocks of fieldfares have been scouting, pausing in the trees around the Haggard but not settling yet, having no desire for apples in their still not-yet-rotten state.
So the job began. The extra freezer turned on, then out to the Haggard armed with carriers bags filched from countries that still give them our for free, harvesting windfall apples. Four bags full thank you very much. Wait for them to freeze, defrost, through the fruit press and our first juice of the year.
The garden is full of seeds and berries. It's also full of birds. Two blue tits this morning, landing on these spikes of knotweed, bullfinches last week. A robin beneath picking up anything dropped. The tits and finches have their acrobatics well-honed, landing on a delicate stalk and taking the droop as it bends beneath them, balancing finely as they peck at the ripe seeds.
In case of panic this is KNOT Japanese knotweed but a native variety.
Blackbirds are squabbling over the profusion of rowan berries. Piping calls echo through the Hollow.
And in the Grove, deer footprints. The (oh so adorable) feckers are eating my garden again.