Notebook Entries

Throughout the week I post on Facebook or Instagram, inspired by daily interactions with nature, the view from my window, or other things that catch my eye. Incase you have missed any of them, here is a curated selection of my regular notes.

Tuesday 12th November

Autumn came with a wind and a care
To strip the old trees bare.
It scittered along the roof tiles and creaked about the eaves,
A shapeshifter’s form revealed in swirling falling leaves.

Thursday 14th November

It’s a misty murky day, muted and grey.
The apple tree still has a few glowing fruit hanging, as though someone has dangled a few early festive baubles to see if they can get away with it. There is a soft old beauty to November, a subtleness, a grace of decay. Those colours that do remain seem to shine all the brighter for the mellow washed out pallet that surrounds them.

Sunday 17th November

Sunday. Half developed morning light. A congregation of pheasants, all top hat and tails and flamboyant jacquard waistcoats, preach the virtues of fallen fruit from beneath the dark-damp orchard trees. They seem resplendent in their golds and bronze and emerald greens, like painted decorations, too sharp and glowing against the old softness of grey November. Their voices cut harsh. But then they melt into the collapsing folding stems of nettle and bramble, leaving the sweet song of Robin to ring the dew drops and cajole the tired light.

Monday 18th November

Most years I detest the morose dark and the soul-sapping cold, but as we find winter now on the horizon I find myself longing for ‘proper’ seasonal weather. For glistening frosts. Even for snow. We have had a couple of frosty mornings this month but mostly damp chill weather. Perfect for (human) lurgies, plant pests and fungi. Not great for planting bulbs, getting stuff done at the allotment, or jumping in piles of crisp rustling leaves. I hope we get a good cold snap when winter finally arrives. In the meantime, there are many jobs I must get on with before then, but it’s tricky when the day is cut short by mid afternoon.

– – –

The wind is back to torment the leaves. Not steady gusts but tempestuous and strained. Over wrought eddies stamp and kick those leaves already fallen, giving them no rest, whilst the trees sigh and hunch their shoulders and shake their heads at the winds bullying tantrums. The sun seems reluctant to join its boisterous playmate, when the wind is in such a mood.

Tuesday 19th November

A harsh frost has paused the morning, triggered sharp intake of breath that tastes of all that winter holds. Does memory have flavour? Cinnamon and dark fruit and chocolate. Golden pine resin. Hot stuffing balls and deep gravy. Snow, and the musty cardboard box of decorations, ceremoniously brought down from the loft. A whisper of cold-dark and hunger we banished long ago with glowing embers in the hearth.
The wind has been admonished and sent away. Ice needles into plant cells, those unprepared. The trees are not shocked however, they are already half asleep. The dark brooding yew lights its berries in a kindness to the birds.

Wednesday 20th November

Old crow, like an old leather shoe, lodged in the crown of the leaning apple tree. Trunk angles forty five degrees, branches claw, weeping, grasp the empty air to claim tree not log. Crow, leucistic, one white flash of right wing, shames each flight into preened place. Not leather but feather.

Saturday 23rd November

Starting to feel like we are wrapping up autumn and putting it back in it’s slightly soggy, mud splattered box, packed away with some spices and crisped curled leaves, the last softened apples, and a day of drizzle. Time now for winter. Scarlet sunsets from the edge of the wood, sparkling hoar frost, migrant thrush streaked skies and stolen holly berries. It’s the turning points of seasons I love the most.

2 Replies to “Notebook Entries”

  1. We certainly need some proper winter weather, now. I think I love most weathers, but that particularly drab, gloomy, damp-cold type of overcast November day is just soul-destroying.

    We were on the Brighton sea-front on Tuesday…God, it was cold!


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