The Dog, Jackie and I have been living in our new place for just over a year, now. A year ago I set myself the task of posting every day. The main farming activities in the fields that surround us are winding down. The trees are shedding leaves and the flowers are dying back, in preparation for whatever the winter weather has in store for us. So many things seem to have come full circle. I was standing in the back garden this morning, listening to the rattle of acorns as they fell through the branches, with the occasional thump, as an acorn landed on the roof of the house. A train came past along our embankment, going at a good lick, downhill, on its way to Carlisle. I watched until it had disappeared round the bend. In the silence that followed, I heard the tap, tap, tap, of the woodpecker, doing a little carpentry, in the trees behind me. All reminders of how delighted we have been with our new home, over this last year.
But time and tide wait for no man – Google notes that they have known this truth since at least 1225 and probably earlier. So it looks as though Time and Tide haven’t changed much since then. We, however, are making big changes. From today we will only post once a week – on Friday to start with, but there is no logical reasoning behind our decision, so things may change. This, then, is not the end. It is the start of something new, we’ll be telling you more as it happens.
Going up the hill yesterday, we passed an oak tree and something about it caught my eye. Now, the road snakes its way up the hill from the level crossing with some quite tight bends, so it isn’t easy to stop and take a picture safely. The Dog is used to the quiet lanes of our normal route and is inclined to sit down in the middle of the road while she waits for me to engage in my artistic activity. Occasionally, when the mood to explore takes her, she might even decide to investigate the verge on the other side of the road – this stretches the lead right across the road and we have, in the past, been embarrassed by the silent approach of a cyclist. Because our level crossing is one of the few places that gives access to the world on the other side of the railway line, this section of our route is fairly busy – as in, we will usually see two or three large trucks or a car or two on our way up or down.
With all this in mind, I suggested, quite firmly, that she consider the delights of the verge at the base of the tree in question, while I focused on focusing on the acorn in the photo. Did you notice that it was dangling at the end of a long stalk? All the other Oaks I’ve spoken to around hear have had acorns with a short stalk. According to The Woodland Trust, they are Sessile Oaks, They have long stalks on their leaves and short stalks on their acorns. This guy is a Common or English Oak and like us, he’s a southerner.
Well, it seems we have definitely had our summer. It lasted nearly two weeks, so I suppose we can’t complain.
The wind is being a little over enthusiastic today and the trees, in the wood that rises up the hill behind the house, are jumping up and down and waving their arms around like a bunch of five year olds on a bouncy castle. They do enjoy a good breeze and the noise of their laughing and shouting quite overrides the chortling of the beck that normally greets you, as you step out into the back garden.
A week or so ago, I popped in to see Sharon at aleafinspringtime in Finland, and I noticed that she had a picture of an Oak tree in flower, while there was only the merest suggestion of leaves on the Oak trees in our wood. Well, now our Oaks have woken up and are properly dressed, there is no sign at all that they intend to flower this year.
I could have missed it, I suppose, with winter hanging on until the last possible minute. When Spring arrived she really didn’t have time to do everything that needed to be done. There was such a rush to get on to summer and a great many things were swept under the carpet of last years leaves.
I’ll keep an eye out – but I don’t think we’ll see Oak flowers this year.