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blazing autumn skies

The river was beautiful this morning; just a breath of haze and haunted by cormorants who kept giving me the stink eye for some reason. I also see a spectacularly noisy jay most mornings; taking advantage of this autumn's bumper acorn crop, it seems to have been a good year for the Oaks (Hawthorns, too) while the Limes, especially have suffered with the dry spring. Every morning I pass a particularly pretty dark purple vetch that's just coming into seed; another one to take back to my garden, if I can catch the seeds between them ripening and being shot away. After the success of the chicory I'm keen to bring more of the tow path home (although the amazing mutant pink chicory I harvested last year didn't come true from seed).

Noticing that one had gone to rot, I chopped up the apples and pears last night for the freezer, though a few more had caught the rot before I could rescue them. Had enough to make chocolate and pear right-way-up cake for pud, and between them and the damsons I'm probably crumbled up for the rest of the autumn now. Three bunches of grapes on my vines, still not ripened. This weather's giving them the best chance though, surely? Any experiences vine owners, should I remove the leaves around the grapes so they get more sun?

The aubergines are starting to sputter out, after a pitiful harvest. Better luck next year, I guess. The earliest of the tomatoes and squashes are almost gone. But the chillies and achochas are not done yet, and the tromboncino vine is still rather rampant. Never mind the nasturtiums. Next job out there will be re-jigging the tangle to include some fruit bushes, a weeding track and a better balance of plants. Oh, and potting on OMG nectarine, which has been giving us fruit good enough for cooking this year. Lamb and Nectarine Jalfrezi! Nom!