Changing Seasons – October

Month ten of my photographer’s nature journal.

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house. So I have spent almost all the daylight hours in the open air.”
Nathaniel Hawthorne

October has been a mixed month. We didn’t go very far as we had the builders in during the last week of September and into mid-October, replacing the horrid polycarbonate roof with a new solid ‘warm’ roof and very large Skypod lantern so that we still kept the light. We are hoping that this will make the previously useless conservatory into a more usable Orangery! We have taken to eating our lunch in there. Watching the dairy herd make their way along their track to the dairy to be milked and trying to identify the little birds returning to the garden looking for feeders – Chaffinches, SBB (Small Brown Birds), Robins, Goldfinches, Blue Tits, Pied Wagtails and Wrens have been spotted.

The weather wasn’t so good during the first week of October as we were shrouded once again in thick fog and the Cornish mizzle. On my birthday we escaped to the coast only to find glorious sunshine. The following week Storm Callum hit and we were battered for several days by fierce winds and torrential rain. A gap was exposed in the flashing and rain once more entered our Orangery.


Then we hit a lull. Quiet days. Still days. Sunny and unseasonably warm days. Sheep out in the green fields. Flocks of small birds racing by our windows.  Trees are losing their leaves, though not as quickly as in previous years. Shiny berries hang in the hedgerows and Fungi sprout on rotten wood and the bracken turns brown. Gorgeous autumn sunsets. Time spent in the garden tidying up and planting spring bulbs. A walk in a nearby NT garden in lovely autumnal sunshine. Evenings in front of the log burner.

Then towards the end of the month the Starlings returned, zipping around in their flocks of hundreds. A sure sign of winter to come and indeed the end of the month saw temperatures plummet by 10° as a cold Arctic wind blew its way down the coast and the clocks went back. Two years ago during our first winter we saw several flocks of small birds – some were Starlings, others were Fieldfares. Watching them perform their aerial displays was so absorbing. Last year nothing. I think I may have seen one small flock early on in November, but even they disappeared. I hope this year’s flocks hang around so I can watch the murmurations when hundreds of them swoop and swirl above.

Just hanging about on the neighbour’s roof

The Changing Seasons | October

69 Comments Add yours

  1. That’s so poetic. Well, not thecleaky roof but the other bits …

    1. Heyjude says:

      Cross fingers the roof issue has been fixed!

  2. beetleypete says:

    It started so well here too, and lasted until my trip to Castle Acre the other day. Since then, cold, darkness, and rain. I think Winter has definitely arrived.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

  3. Tish Farrell says:

    Am so pleased to see all those starlings. We have none around us. Lovely October round-up.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Tish – the starlings are still around at the moment.

  4. Ali says:

    You’ve taken some really beautiful photos, Jude. I love the fungi especially.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you Ali. We have had some lovely days to end the month with.

  5. Sue says:

    Lovely images, Jude. Sorry to hear about the leaky roof…hope you have it sorted soon

    1. Heyjude says:

      The builder came back and carried out some repairs, so far so good!

  6. The word “autumnal” is lovely and creates such beautiful images. Our weather seems to be mirroring yours – some warm and even hot days and then another blast of chill winds and even some rain. It’s wedding day this Friday and the forecast is good!

        1. Heyjude says:

          Oh, how exciting! Hope she has a wonderful day.

        2. It was perfect in every way. There are lots of photos to see on Instagram. Click on the link on my sidebar!

        3. Heyjude says:

          Your Instagram account is private and I don’t have an account myself. Maybe you could put one or two photos up on a post?

        4. Even better – I sent you an email. 🙂

        5. Heyjude says:

          Yes, thanks Carol. The photos are lovely. What a gorgeous location and I really like the simplicity of the bouquets and decorations – very elegant.

        6. She was determined to do it all herself and succeeded very well.

        7. Heyjude says:

          Very Australian. Is her sister the one who is living in Canada? Or has she moved again?

        8. No she’s finished in Canada. Her visa expired mid-September and she spent several weeks travelling across Canada before flying home in time for the wedding. She is living with us for a while, got herself a great job within two weeks of being home and will spend some time deciding on her next course of action.

        9. Heyjude says:

          I wonder how long she will stay at home. All that travelling gets in the blood.

  7. janesmudgeegarden says:

    Another fall of rain to test the roof? I expect it will happen soon enough! I enjoyed read your autumnal post, Jude, and getting a glimpse of your view. Starlings are not liked much here, I’m not sure why, but I expect it’s to do with raiding crops. We don’t see many of them, although a pair insist on trying to nest in our roof, which is annoying. It’s warming up here with every maximum this week forecast to be 30 or more.

    1. Heyjude says:

      We have had a few tests this past week including several rather heavy hail storms – so far so good!

  8. Su Leslie says:

    I’m reading this as the builders working on the site across the road compete in the noise stakes with traffic on Parramatta Road and the baby in the next room banging something on the balcony railing. Oh, and we’re under the flight path. I’m reading and enjoying quiet and the narptural world through your photos and words. Thank you 😀

    1. Heyjude says:

      I couldn’t live in a city again after living here. Apart from the noisy boys next door (the Moos) and the farm equipment rattling about it is relatively quiet all the time. I love listening to the birds singing or chatting and just the quietness on a still day. Granted there aren’t many of those, but even listening to the wind is not unpleasant. How long are you in Sydney for then Su?

      1. Su Leslie says:

        I feel the same way. We don’t even have rural noise at home — just “out of the way, urban-fringe” bird-song and the occasional military aircraft from Whenuapai Airbase which is just over the water from us.
        Home tomorrow and will definitely be ready.

        1. Heyjude says:

          Ah, yes, we occasionally get the military aircraft flying by and the air-sea rescue helicopter.

        2. Su Leslie says:

          These days we seem to have the police helicopter buzzing around far too often.

  9. I love this series – have I said this before? Maybe nine times??? I love the way you notice and the way you write – rare extended writing of which I would enjoy more. Maybe I’ll emulate the series next year. You are so attuned to changes – they drift by me. But there won’t be birds – I so envy your bird shots. May November not be all gloom!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Maybe I will do more writing next year as I am winding down the other blogs. Goodness knows what I will find to write about next month though!

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