We are already in November and still so much to be done in the garden before the harshness of winter shuts us in-doors. After yet another stunningly hot day a blanket of fog has crept up from the river and irrigation lakes and has settled over Bon Abri. Standing outside with the haloed glow of the moon overhead sound is reduced to the gentle hiss of settling dew and the occasional muffled rustle of a foraging vole or shrew. There is no wind.
One sure sign of the approach of Autumn is the migration of the cranes as they cross from the Paris Basin to the Atlantic coast and onwards to the south. The flocks have been getting bigger as the days go by. The birds normally pass us late in the afternoon. Whether it is a single days flight from the summer grounds or whether they had stopped the previous night at some convenient point I don’t know. The lugubrious calling within the flock and the seemingly effortless flight bely the speed with which they pass over. The numbers of birds per flock are hard to count as the birds are constantly moving within the ‘V’ formation and often the ‘V’s will break up and then re-form. It is a beautiful sight and sound.
For the last few weeks the shops and markets have been full of chrysanthemums. The huge pots of kaleidoscopic colours have been spilling out across the streets from market stalls and flower shops across the country. Within days they will have been taken to family graves brightening up the cemeteries. Toussaint has come round again and now the cemeteries are vivid with colour.
With Autumn crowding around us there is a lot of produce in and around the garden just crying out to be harvested. Apples, chestnuts, walnuts, leeks and beautiful, huge, orange potiron (pumpkin). We took one from our plot and have so far made a pumpkin and chick pea curry and several types of soup from the flesh then cleaned, salted and toasted the seeds – what a fantastic vegetable. On the subject of food our afternoon tea-cake this week has been orange with an orange caramel topping. A delightful way to watch the sun go down.