Today (September 29th) is Michaelmas Day, one of the four historic quarter days, when traditionally farms change hands and farm rents are paid. The wheat harvest has finished and the ground is ready for next year’s crop, making Michaelmas Day a natural break in the farming calendar.
Michaelmas Day 2018 has been a wonderful day, with blue skies and sunshine.
The perfect day to take a walk in the countryside.
To enjoy the changing colours of the leaves on the trees …
… and the scarlet splashes of the haws on an old gnarled hawthorn tree.
To make a note that the crab apples need picking if I’m to make Spiced Crab Apples this year.
There’s time to stop and talk to horses.
To marvel at the Old and New as vapour trails from the planes headed for Stansted Airport criss cross over the bright blue sky above ancient trees.
To wonder why another lone sunflower has appeared. In the summer, one lonely sunflower popped up in the middle of one of our fields of barley and now this one is growing in our neighbour’s strip of cover crop. Maybe someone has been wandering around with a handful of sunflower seeds, tossing them willy nilly into the fields. Who knows?
According to some, a clear, sunny Michaelmas day means a dry, freezing winter ahead.
We shall see.