1 October 2018
Nothing moves like honey; not the deer treading softly through the wood nor the dolphin gliding through the sea not even the buzzard circling above. Honey has a motion all its own; droplets slowly spill from out the frame as it is lifted; begin to move in bulk as caps are cut from cells; and once spun or pressed into a bath of sweetness become a viscous rolling wave of wonder.
2 October 2018
Clear cold night has left the grass thinly spread with dew minute beads of water clinging to the blades; grass green in places but mainly brown; and this dew is slight sparse and scarce far too insufficient to refresh the russet and ochre swathes of sward that wait dry upon the earth.
3 October 2018
Young dog sniffs the earth and does not spy the ring-necked pheasant wandering by. The bird becomes aware of us and speeds up to a military pace. Young dog senses something in the air and lifts his head. From stationary to top speed in a single bound the chase is on and the bird switches to a run. Young dog gains with every step and snaps at rising tail as the bird clumsily and noisily flaps into the trees. Young dog sits and stares and wonders why she will not play.
4 October 2018
No wind last night to shake the walnuts from the tree; and not all trees just this tree. Prolific and all fresh; not wrapped in aging black cloaks or cloaked in thick green coats but fresh popped from their emerald shells. More than any other day and only from this tree. Not wind nor storm; then what; just chance or some unexpected rodent race through branches that shook them free or did the spirit of this tree finally decide to unburden herself of something that once released presented as a cornucopia of fruit?
5 October 2018
Clear cold and still; at first as if nothing moves nor sounds; then I hear the whisper of a bird of two, a conversation designed to pass on secrets; something passes in the undergrowth barely stirring leaves; ubiquitous and ever present the river’s near silent sounds are there barely powered by the little water that it carries; and in the distance rarely heard amongst the tranquillity we treasure is the traffic of the world moving miles away driving forces that may tear this this little spot of wonder from out the earth.
6 October 2018
Mist hangs on high spots; not low clouds this has a damper consistency an almost wetter one. This mist has lingered with the spirit of the night and knows she should have disappeared with dawn but clung on to see the sun and feel the warmth.
7 October 2018
Liquid from the sky; not mist nor haze nor cloud nor even mizzle but water droplets of sufficient size to catch the eye and mark their long descent upon the surface of the river. Not big drops not dribbling tippling nor pelting no downpour stair rods no cats and dogs, present company excepted. This rain may be small but is not pretending it is real rain showering in every now and then to spill and sprinkle on the earth.
8 October 2018
River captured all rain that fell upon its surface and some that slid down leaf laden banks but none has oozed from under ground. Earth took all that was on offer and held it close; some it used to close up rifts and chasms but not much; some landed in gaps and holes in canyons deep and strange; and most was used to change the thin pale brown of so dry soil to darker hues russet and auburn coffee and chocolate.
9 October 2018
Mist in the hollows turns to fog as I climb above our valley; thin and slightly sparkling alive and full of zest not yet grey and dense with winter where the deadness walks. Light ripples through the half formed cloud this moist moisture mist this reflective and refractive pile of molecules that have gathered to present a gently moving ballet of everything from billowing vapours to hazy wisps that barely hold the air.
10 October 2018
Sunlight on still water; river seems to barely move; great stretches hold a mirror to the world and give back the trees and branches the leaves and tangled ivy the hawthorn blackthorn and bramble that grow so well; all reflected in a silent surface sliding slow as pitch as it slips downstream; and then a little tumble on some tiny rocks tentative and uncertain a child testing stepping stones for the very first time.
11 October 2018
There is a sense of dampness hereabouts from where water fell last night in great gallolloping buckets encouraged by the thunder and the lightning; brief but plentiful. And now it sits moist within the surface of the earth and hanging dropletted as strings of pearls upon the rims of leaves. Even the river has registered some rise, if not substantial at least an increase in substance, just sufficient to change the timbre over rocks.
12 October 2018
Yellow leaves register the most; green and brown are there as well and even the occasional hint of russet but yellow register the most; from pale thin things that look as if the life has already been leached right out of them to golden hearts that fell from poplar trees and lie about the wood awaiting visitors to admire and collect them hold them high and wonder at their splendour before the wonders fade and slowly turn to brown and black.
13 October 2018
Walnuts like dogs and the world can only be seen from three different directions. Sun is all youth this morning dappling colour onto leaves and tipping light into hollows; trees are settling for the turning of the year; and leaves are colouring and dying. Young dog is all vim and vigour chasing shadows; old dog must gird his loins to rise and move; and both respond with hope as we reach walnutland. Walnuts must be hunted amongst the fallen leaves once from sunlit side and once from shadow and then from a third way each time revealing new aspects and yet never illuminating everything.
14 October 2018
Season turning dew drops form and hold on fallen leaves. Suddenly the number on the ground are growing and yet the trees look full of greens with sprays of paint splattered yellow; the wind blows them back and forth between Manet and Van Gogh. Yesterday there were fewer on the ground and fewer turning in the trees and tomorrow there will be more of both.
15 October 2018
Rain, foretold to be showers, swings back and forth from lighter to heavier. Young dog sits by the door looking disconsolate then bounds past me and races through the damp grass to check on whether the rabbit kits are ready yet to come out and play. Old dog wanders out barely noticing the light rain that settles in his thick fur. Animals checked walk done we return in heavier rain and both move under cover by the door to wriggle as I towel them down.
16 October 2018
Not here but arriving from the low surrounding hills a chill mist descends into the sunlight as if poured in by some ill wind. Cool turns to cold and goosepimples the skin; and a kind of hush appears; river’s distinct notes of low but moving water hang as if in space; birds hold quiet conversations as if in alternative dimension; silence spreads like the mist until the fields are thick enough with it for a wizard to appear resting on his staff or for a group of horsemen to step out cloaked in darkness.
17 October 2018
Yellow leaves leech out their colour first and fastest; fading to lemon and saffron declining to amber and ochre diminishing to flax and cream and collapsing into maize and buff and beige. Greens hold their pigment for a while and then on some appointed night they crumple into one of five dozen shades of brown; clay and rust and spice or coffee and umber and walnut or wood and russet and caramel; all holding hope that time may pause before descending into shadow or charcoal or black.
18 October 2018
Walnut harvest shrinks day by day now no more than a handful. Courgettes have capitulated cucumbers surrendered and tomatoes are all but done. Yet the morning glories still persist in their solitary day of glory; fewer than there were later to awake and sooner to succumb to evening chill but still splashing pink across the world.
19 October 2018
In corners and hidden crooks groups of dark brown hooded beasts stand waiting; pale grey and thin stand others; and some white and round break from open spaces. Mushrooms push against the earth throughout the wood not whole creatures but their fungal spores offering themselves to spread themselves and seed themselves and live a further life.
20 October 2018
Trapped by twigs and branches caught in crannies in the bank leaves congregate and group and linger lifelessly like old men reminiscing over long emptied coffee cups in the huddled corners of a sunlight café through the autumn of their days. Some slink through for a slow waltz along the soft river to the next gathering; some give themselves to the growing crush; and some slip away beneath the surface to settle in the silt and shrivel.
21 October 2018
Lone crane stands amongst the stubble; sun rising over hedge lights up its head which slowly turns toward the heat as do the scattered handful of late blooming sunflowers rising after harvest to bravely go into winter where they must lose their ripening seeds to growing cold.
22 October 2018
Not with sound but by sight or smell we spook a deer, probably a two year female coming up to mating. She starts and runs unthinkingly bounding past but feet before us her sleek red-brown flank aglimmer in the dappled sun. Old dog watches contentedly; young dog spins towards her and leaps to bring her down; instinct overcoming any thoughts on size and practicality. Then through the trees she is away; young dog chases back and forth every shadow growing feet and eyes.
23 October 2018
Still and silent nothing moves but us; then a leaf breaks from a twig and spins and flips and slows and falls into the river; hits the mirrored surface and sends faint ripples circling out; banks reflect and deflect developing patterns of interference; lucky ones travel upstream and down until they fade into turns. Taken slowly oh so slowly by the all but non-existent current the leaf heads imperceptibly toward the sea; wondering in its heart if it will arrive or be caught at a bend or branch to slowly fade to dust.
24 October 2018
Clamped to the earth chill mist layers the grass and leaves with dew syrup thick and dense. Even in amongst the trees this heavy haze infiltrates and penetrates a thin shroud hanging under the canopy. A chill to pass through skin and flesh and reach the bone. And yet the tops of tallest trees are bathed in sunshine as this fog has weight and mass but little depth.
25 October 2018
Leaves build their autumn carpet on and near the path; dry brown and crisp move with gentle wind that fails to stir the heavier greens and spotting yellows. Already some begin to break apart against the damp earth and flesh gives way to veins and skeletons.
26 October 2018
Altered energy pervades; not the threatening rain that drizzles now and then; nor the coolness that permeates the air but the charge in the knowledge of what is to happen. A group of rabbits grown to a maturity will today meet their end . . . And now I have held and hugged and halted them; what had life now cools; what was flesh and blood now is meat. I did this; as calmly quietly and gently as I could.
27 October 2018
Cool and chill have given way to cold; in and of the air and carried by the wind biting at skin and flesh; in the waters and the earth slowing growth. Plants huddle in a little sensing their limits are being reached; do they fear an end or if perennial a little death; the death of winter’s deep long sleep with damp and rot and animals to gnaw; to be followed only by the possibility of life.
28 October 2018
Wind waves the treetops coldly dispatching leaves clinging on by threads; beneath the remaining canopy it swirls more slowly round a branch weakening the stems and squeezing life from them; at breath height it turns warm air to mist the very vapour of life; and at foot level is chills the earth to darkness.
29 October 2018
What danced and tumbled in the breeze browned and crisped by sun and air; now are flattened to the earth; a night of rain has crushed their contours and softened out their shapes; squashed them down against their fellows not so much a springy carpet but a dense fibrous mass; one more step upon the road to dissolution to that moment of translation and transition from once living thing to compost.
30 October 2018
Some hang still from branches though brown and curled and dead for days or longer; flags to their fallen comrades sisters siblings brothers who lie upon the woodland floor in preparation for a long slow funeral that will bury them within the confines of the earth; not a loss but a transformation into the soil that is the very essence of the life from which all else flows.
31 October 2018
All focus and energy is twin led; in flesh we meet; to hold and hug to touch and taste their airs; to see the stretch of so small shoulders as they’re cradled in mine arms; to watch so slow struggles to open eyes of left and right and both at once; to hear the gurgles of their satisfactions and the grumbles of young bodies waking; and to touch skin so few hours old and yet afire with so much potential. Day well spent.