Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

At this time of year, we often wake up to an upside down world where we’re above the clouds.

misty morning

Above the clouds!

There aren’t many minutes each morning to get a decent photograph. My biped tells me that it’s still too dark and when I remind her a few minutes later, it’s turned into a mist hiding the mountains. As soon as the sun hits the cloud, it starts to drift upwards and the magical effect is lost. These photographs were taken in the Spring when we also sometimes see the clouds below us in the mornings after it’s rained.

Mist after rain

After the rain

My bipeds tell me that “mellow fruitfulness” means things like this butternut squash! Well, I know that bipeds like food almost as much as dogs do, but I don’t think it’s a subject for poetry.

Butternut squash

Butternut squash

I think John Keats meant to say “mountain walks and hikes”. Autumn is the perfect season for hiking in the mountains. The higher parts are at their most accessible. This is partly because of the temperatures and partly because there’s hardly any snow.

Paths that are easily walked at this time of year are covered in snow in the winter and spring. It’s fun to walk up the mountain to the snow and play, but it’s also fun to explore more tracks higher up the mountains while they’re free of snow.

I love it when I see my bipeds get rucksacks (backpacks) ready and put their walking boots on. I know we’re going on a hike and I go and wait by the door. I try to wait very patiently, but sometimes they take so long getting ready that I have to sigh! They laugh and tell me they won’t be long. There’s nothing I like better than spending the whole day walking with my bipeds, it’s my favourite thing about the autumn.

What do you enjoy most about this time of the year? Autumn or Spring, depending which hemisphere you live in!

The title is the first line of “To Autumn” by John Keats.

See you next Wednesday!

Ch-Ch-Changes

We live near one of the very old paths that lead up the mountain. In the past, most of the local livestock was taken up the path in the Spring to remain on the high pastures all summer. One of our neighbours, he is about seventy years old, has told my bipeds stories of when he was a boy.

He said that once a week someone would climb the mountain with a donkey carrying food for the men who were spending the summer up there. He often went. The day before the trip, everyone in the village who had someone up on the mountain brought packages of food to his mother’s house. He would get up before dawn and load it all onto the donkey and he would set out just before first light. He would arrive at the pastures before the real heat of the day and spend the day up there, returning in the late evening.

Not many farmers take their livestock up the mountain anymore, but there is one farmer nearby who still takes his cows up every year. He brought the cows down a couple of days ago. They take nearly an hour to go past the end of our road. I don’t know how many there are in the herd. I would like to go out and supervise, but I’m never allowed to do more than watch from a distance!

Cows going by

Cows going by the end of our road

It looks really tranquil. Look a little closer and you will see that they are all wearing cowbells.

Cow with cowbell

Cow with cowbell

I had never heard cowbells until we came to live here. I had a romantic notion that they would sound pretty. I can tell you that there is nothing romantic about the cowbells in this area. They are purely functional and designed to be heard from as far afield as possible. The sound is like someone beating a big metal saucepan with a wooden spoon! Multiply that sound by the number of cows in the herd and you will understand why my bipeds say that they can’t hear themselves think when the cows are going by. Yet they still won’t let me go and hurry the cows along!

That’s two changes I’ve told you about – a seasonal one and a change that’s happening with the passing of the years. I now come to another change! I recently asked my bipeds to help me make some ch-ch-changes to my corner. They asked me what I meant and I explained I thought I’d like to give my blog a makeover.

There was hysterical laughter. They reminded me that my makeovers haven’t always been a success! They said the bathroom was a mess when I’d finished and that the bench in the kitchen collapsed. They laughed even harder and started talking about the changes I made to the water barrel in the garden and how I’d turned the lawn into a rabbit warren.

I waited patiently for them to come back to the matter in paw. They helped me decide what I was looking for in a new theme. The top of my list was that the theme should be responsive, so that it works well for you however large or small your screen.

I hope you think this makeover is a success! Please let me know if you have any difficulties with anything.

If you’re puzzled by my title, all will become clear if you listen to “Changes” by David Bowie.

See you next Wednesday!

Spring is sprung

Spring is sprung, the grass is ris.
I wonders where the birdies is.
They say the birds is on the wing.
Ain’t that absurd?
I always thought the wing was on the bird.
(by Anonymous)

Almond blossom

Almond blossom

Spring has arrived! We took this picture of almond blossom a couple of weeks ago. The trees looked beautiful. Yesterday when we got up, the wind had blown most of the blossom off the trees. It looked a bit like snow on the ground, but it isn’t nearly as much fun as real snow!

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Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!

When my bipeds first talked about snow I had no idea what it was. Pippin, the cat who is a couple of years older than me, told me that it’s nasty stuff and it’s best to wait indoors until it goes away again. Mulberry, the other cat, had never seen snow either.

Then one morning when we opened the back door everything was white. Pippin didn’t even come across the room to look, he put his ears back to signal his disapproval and went to sit by the fire. Mulberry took a few steps in the snow and he jumped about a little bit. Then he decided it was cold and he went back to join Pippin.

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