Wednesday 18 October 2023

Autumn Begins. Arrival of Christmas Turkeys

We are now well and truly into the season of fallen leaves, sharp winds and the knowledge that summer has become just a memory. Although there are still many green leaves on the trees the litter of brown and gold is increasing daily. There are acorns lying everywhere as we have a good population of oak trees on the farm and the ducks take their promenades to where they know they will find rich pickings of acorns and beech mast. In the hedgerows there are the rich crimson of hawthorn berries and the lipstick red of rose hips gleaming through the tangles of ever more visible twigs and branches as the leaves fall from the hazel and bramble. An occasional faded rose-pink of a late blackberry flower can be seen and the vivid shocking-pink of the tiny wild geranium flowers brightens up the lower hedgebanks. Today is particularly windy and the trees are tossing their heads in petulance at yet another storm on its way to blow itself through the branches and throw the more fragile ones to the ground. Our resident rooks however seem to enjoy the wind and we watch them being thrown around the skies like shreds of black paper as they make their ways across the fields and up to the top of the beech trees in the garden where they have loud conversations with each other. The days are growing noticably shorter and I find I am lighting the fire earlier in the afternoons now and drawing the curtains by 7o'clock when the light has truly gone for the day. On the farm things are starting to have their winter routines established and Elder Son is busy out and about hedge-cutting. Today we collected 20 turkeys to be reared for Christmas for our regulars of friends and family who want free-range turkey for their festive dinners. The turkeys will spend happy days patrolling the yards and finding beetles and worms in the lawns and around the farm building and whilst not the most decorative of birds they do have a certain character that is quite entertaining. I suppose the arrival of the turkeys is a real sign of winter on its way.

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