Sunday, 18 September 2011

September and Storms

September and May are my favourite months. May, fresh and tender with new growth; September's maturely wistful, mellow air. The light in both months has a soft golden quality, the sun lower in the sky.

September is usually a last little burst of warmth before autumn sets in properly, the mornings chilly and  dewy, and the afternoons mild and golden. A 'season of mists and mellow fruitfulness'. This September however has been tempestuous and unsettled as the country is lashed by the tail-end of hurricanes from aross the Atlantic. Inbetween the storms the days have been as mild and sweet as usual, and the garden is full of abundant apples, damsons, autumn raspberries and blackberries. The hedges too are dripping with sloes, elder and hawthorn berries, rosehips and hazelnuts. The good weather in the early part of the year allowed excellent pollination rates and now we are reaping the results.

There is uneasiness in my heart though. Weather patterns seem to be changing, and although I know climate change and weather patterns are not the same thing, still there seems to be something going on. The last few years we have had bitingly cold winters, an unseasonably hot, dry spell in spring/early summer, followed by wet, windy summers and flood-prone autumns. Everywhere I hear people exclaiming about the unusual weather, not just here in the UK but all around the world. Droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, prematurely melting ice. Something is going on. And it disturbs me.

Here on the calm, mild days the sun is interspersed with gentle rain and it seems like a normal September. But in exposed places, traumatised trees have had still-green leaves torn away by the fierce winds. In the garden there are few signs of dew-dropped spider webs in the morning. All their careful weavings have been torn and battered down by storms.

The swallows have already left, and no doubt the martens will follow shortly. I pray they will find safe passage to their winter homes. Soon the winter flocks of starlings will be in evidence again. Hopefully this winter won't be so harsh for them.

I hope my fears are unfounded. But I worry about stormy times ahead. In the meantime I harvest fruit from garden and hedgerows, bottling, jamming, pickling, chutneying, drying and brewing it into store cupboard goodies for the cold months. What else can we do but prepare as well as we can for the lean times, whilst hoping for the best?


the wild magnolia said...

You are right, something is afoot, and the most we can do is prepare. Life as usual.

I love the "sheep(s)".

Good post.

Leanne said...

I feel exactly the same, and its unsettling isnt it?

Leanne x

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Moonroot said...

Hi notjustamummy - you can use my photo but please give credit (copyright Susan Moonroot). Thanks!

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Mimi said...

What a thoughtful post. I wonder if it is the same thing that makes animals build thicker nests ahead of cold winters, migrate earlier, or hide before a thunderstorm that is in us, making us slightly uneasy about the oddness of the weather the past few years?

Rachel said...

I agree I've been thinking this as well because I always look forward to the summer holidays because I need my sunshine. Unfortunately I've not had enough to keep my reptilian blood warm. We can only blame the people who deny global warming and accept the natural change of seasons. At least we'll be gone when the next ice age is completely here. If global warming lets it happen.

Silver Fox said...

wow...lean times and what I hear is abundance you have soo much. You are able to co-create with natures fruits. How many of us can say we do this? The world is upside down and backwards with regards to projecting a false sense of wealth. jars or pickles jams etc in the coming winter months how wonderful. And love the picture of sloe's :o)

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