Falling into Autumn

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It’s mid-October yet at midday  you’d be forgiven for thinking we were still in the midst of summer; but by evening there is a discernible feel of autumn in the air, a decisive nod of acknowledgement towards the cooler months ahead. However, if you rise with the lark the crisp early morning chill is unmistakable. I’ve put the heating on in the car for the school-run, I’ve found a scarf to wear over a t-shirt and when I return home I firmly shut the front door behind me.

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Leaves are beginning to fall, crunching underfoot and the days are getting shorter.

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We no longer need umbrellas or shade; half an hour of vitamin D is beneficial for everyone and does far more good than harm at this time of year.

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If you take the time to look around there are signs of autumn at every junction; the change in seasons is perceptible, the virginia creeper has started to turn its deep vibrant red, putting on the most wondrous display of fall colours.

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Many of our roses are making a valiant effort to keep blooming

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and the drive is still flanked in foliage on either side.

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The Japanese anemone are tough, they soldier on despite the drought, they’ve been flowering for months and show no signs of stopping.

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The tiny autumn cyclamen are poking their heads up through the fallen leaves.

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Logs are being delivered to homes all over the area in readiness for winter, and yesterday we lit our first fire, we didn’t really need it but just looking at it we instantly felt warmer! There’s no longer the lingering smell of barbecues in the air, and soon the comforting smell of woodsmoke will surround us.

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We’ve had a couple of evenings two weeks ago when the rain did the watering for me; it was most obliging as it fell when everyone was tucked up in bed and ceased at dawn the next day when the children wanted to return to the great outdoors and play. We were very grateful for it, none more so than the lawn, and the plants looked refreshed for a few days, perking up and turning their attention back to looking good instead of channelling all of their energy into quite simply staying alive. I am back to mowing at least once a week and incredibly of this time of year, I am also back to watering as the lack of rain has once again returned with a vengeance.

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However, the warm days continue to allow the tomatoes to ripen, the courgettes and aubergines are still producing new flowers and the peppers and chilies are more than happy.

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In fact it’s pretty much ideal, it’s cool enough to play, no longer is man and beast seeking only the shadiest spot and incapable of little more than slow movement.

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Yet it’s still warm enough to lie in the sun should you be a fan of soaking up the rays

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Even Rory and Clara have temporarily given up their daytime siesta. In the Summer they sleep all day in the coolness of the barn, in the winter they snuggle inside the house on someone’s bed; but right now they’re out and about with everyone else during the daylight hours.

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I have found a renewed passion for the garden, digging over the beds in readiness for winter, pruning anything that needs a good trim at this time of year, cutting back and tidying up.

We still have butterflies and bees circling around, and the ladybugs, as we love to call them, are sunning their backs when they can – even if this little chap is in fact a Harlequin ladybird, a species not particularly welcome in Europe as it is highly invasive and is wiping out our native ladybirds.

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It’s time to harvest the peanuts, a first time experiment for Millie who grew them, and we will also say hello to the mutant watermelon/squash plant. This is a single plant with two species growing from the same stem; a mistake in the grafting department at the garden centre perhaps?

The grapes are still going strong, getting sweeter by the day.

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The peaches are producing their second crop this year, juicy and sweet and the walnuts are just starting to fall, I’ve collected the first ones and the rest are only days away.

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One thing that gives me immense pleasure is being able to give away the excess fruit and vegetables we have grown. I always grow far too many tomatoes, but then again can one ever grow too many tomatoes? I think not, they are a base for so many of our recipes. It is so good to be able to stack a box with them, freshly picked, add a couple of aubergines and courgettes and offer it to friends and neighbours. As you know we’re giving away figs by the crate to all and sundry, and although I have not so much a part in this as I didn’t plant it, our wonderful fig tree shows no signs of slowing down with this season’s incredible supply of thick purple skinned fruits.

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The chickens are out and about all day long, busy at work, gone are the hours and hours snoozing under the drooping boughs of the hazel trees.

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Our two chicks which were hatched at the end of May have provided us with exactly what we wanted. I don’t know if you recall but there were a lot of variables at stake. There was a 50% chance they could be frizzled.  In an ideal world we wanted one male and one female, and we wanted them both to be frizzled. We had to wait and be patient for only time would tell, but unbelievably we got just what we wanted. Both are frizzles, one is a little rooster now named Sirius and the other a hen named Hermione (the Potter fans amongst you can rejoice); and in case you are wondering why we have such a fascination with frizzles, just look closely – their feathers turn outwards instead of inwards and they look perpetually scruffy. That though is part of the charm, they remind me of naughty school kids; they should have their socks falling down around their ankles and always be chattering in the back row!

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Alas for another year we have said au revoir to summer but we’re enjoying Autumn, for a while I resisted her charms, but I have relented.

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We returned to Emmaüs by the way on Wednesday, but the beautiful carved piece of furniture had been sold; our loss. But it does mean we can continue browsing in the hope of maybe finding something similar at some stage. For all my Canadian readers, of which there are a great many, a very happy Thanksgiving Day to you tomorrow. For everyone affected by Matthew, you are in our prayers, and for everyone I wish you a very happy Sunday. xx

135 thoughts on “Falling into Autumn

  • Loved every inch of this autumnal tour of your little oasis, thanking you for sharing it with us, a very happy Sunday to you and your family

  • Yesterday I thought, “it finally feels like fall.” The air was a tiny bit crisp, even though the sun was bright and warm. I’m ready for it.
    I went into a home-goods store and found it completely redone for Christmas. Aisle after aisle of Christmas decorations. Another store had a little Halloween section as that continues to catch on, and then lots of Christmas.
    I’m happy to welcome autumn at last, but it’s too early to think about Christmas!

    • Yesterday was the first really chilly day here too, bright sun and blue skies but the temperature failed to get any higher than 17C. Today is noticeably warmer. I haven’t seen anything remotely Christmasy here yet, thank goodness, but I am sure it is only just a matter of days, I am not ready for winter let alone Christmas! Halloween has quite taken off in our little village, each year more and more houses participate, I think it’s rather fun. Xx

  • I envy you the warmth in October, Belfast in Northern Ireland is distinctly chilly. We’ve been lighting the fire for a month!

    • Brrrr! Today is much warmer than yesterday when there really was a chill in the air. Today the doors are once again open and it’s fun to be outside. At least it’s fun to snuggle up by the fire! Xx

  • I so love reading your post. You are such a talented writer. I hope that you have a blessed Sunday and a wonderful week!

    • I too love summer, I cannot deny it. I wasn’t ready for Autumn at all, the warmer months seem to have flown by far too quickly. Yesterday was the first really chilly day. But I do enjoy cosying up the fire in the evening and long Sunday roasts around the kitchen table. There are good things about all the seasons and it is each one that makes the next one more special. Xx

  • I so enjoyed your post!
    We are enjoying our last days of summer, with record temps in the 90s, but when the sun goes down, there is a definite chill. And yes, if you are up early, there is certainly a chill in the air. Soon, our new patio will not be so welcoming as the damp moves in….
    Love your chickens…so wonderful. And I wish I could have some of your figs!
    Our baby Black Mission fig gave us about 10 figs this year…quite lovely…but being a small yard it will never be allowed to be huge…
    Nancy
    wildoakdesigns.blogspot.com

    • Thanks so much Nancy, yesterday we only managed to get to the mid 60’s, it was our first really chilly day, even though the sun was shining, there was a north easterly wind. Today is much better and we are in the low 70’s again. We are usually pretty dry here until November, normally our wettest month of the year. I hope you enjoyed and every single one of your figs and savoured every mouthful! Have a great Sunday xx

    • Thanks so much, I adore the frizzles, we are so excited they turned out to be just what we hoped for! We really need some of your rain, but then again I don’t want it either! Enjoy your beautiful day now and have a lovely Sunday xx

    • Thanks so much Ellen, it is good for them to be picked up and handled a little, and of course the children just love to bring them indoors, they’ve been known to have tea parties with the chickens if you go back through my very first blog posts! At least they are much loved!! Have a great Sunday xx

    • Hi Anne, they most certainly are real! We adore them, no they are not the slick type of usual hen, Roddy calls them scruffy buggers, which of course they are, I have to admit I think they are fabulous, I always like things that are a little out of the ordinary!!! Hope you have a wonderful day and a Happy Thanksgiving Day tomorrow. Xx

  • I would love to keep chickens especially those frizzles, they are the cutest ones I’ve ever seen. A quick question, do they lay well or are they just ornamental?

    • Hi Varsha, the frizzles are Pekin Bantams, we have both regular ones and these ones, the only difference is their feathers. They lay really well, Hermione is still to young to lay, maybe in a month or so. Our other bantams lay small white eggs. Xx

    • Lots of people love fall, it’s true the changing colours are quite stunning, it is only just starting here, another couple of weeks and everywhere should look even better. Hope you have a lovely Sunday xx

  • Good advice! I shall try to be positive and enjoy the little things each season offers and focus on them rather than just dreaming of summer

    • Very true Nadia, with the fire lit in the kitchen for the first time yesterday, I spent a lovely couple of hours baking with the girls. Alas, it’s not cold enough for a fire today and we ate outside again! We went to friends for dinner last night and had the most delicious soup made with Pattypan Squash, do you know it? It was one of the nicest soups I have eaten for ages. That’s another great thing about this time of year, it’s soup weather!

      • Yes, it is quite common in South Africa. I find it often at the local market here too but must admit that I have not used it for awhile. Time to start again.

      • I have seen it in the markets here but I don’t think I have ever cooked with it, but I shall buy one next time I see one, this coming week I hope, the soup really was delicious. xx

  • Thoroughly enjoyed your autumn tour and pictures. I don’t garden much anymore but do love going to the farmers markets for fresh produce. I mostly keep herbs in pots now days. I am thinking I will cut them down soon and freeze them for use in soups and stews during the winter months. We, too, still have anemones blooming although the pink ones bloom first and are done for the season. Orange ladybugs, ugh. They have pretty much supplanted the lovely red ones. I havnt seen red ones in several years now.

    • Thanks so much, we don’t have any pink anemones I can imagine they are really pretty, the white ones seem to just self seed, I have heard people say they are weeds and we should pull them out, but I love them, they are a very welcome addition to the garden at this time of year. Fortunately we do still get the red ladybugs here, but far too many of these orange Harlequin ones sadly. Smart move to freeze your herbs for the winter, ours tend to survive quite happily in pots on the terrace all winter, it doesn’t get too cold here with only a handful of gentle frosts, normally!! xx

  • Love your posts. Gorgeous pictures and so inspiring! I’d love to spend the day hanging out at your place, outside of course, as I also prefer the sun. It looks absolutely beautiful and so inviting. Those frizzles are beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Have a blessed day.

    • Thank you so much Mary, it is a wonderful garden just to hang out in, and I could spend ages just wandering around watching the chickens, they are so entertaining! If you are ever in France and in this direction, come and have a wander! xx

  • What a lovely tour of your autumn yard! I love your descriotion of the frizzles as naughty school children with their socks around their ankles. Such a funny mental image! Your commentary is always so charming and the highlight of my Sunday mornings.

    I still have more post-hurricane cleanup, but the bulk of it is done. Since everything was removed from the back patio, it seems like a good opportunity to do some cleaning there. We were really very lucky that the storm stayed off coast. Lauren and her horses came through just fine up in Jacksonville, but she was nervous. Back to my chores! Happy Sunday! Xoxo

    • Thank you so much Nancy, we were so relieved to see Matthew stayed just offshore, we watched the live broadcasts from WPTV on the computer, we felt as if we were there. So happy Lauren and the horses were ok in Jacksonville, I know they got hit far harder than further south. Fingers crossed that’s the last visit from mother nature you’ll have for a while. If we were there we’d be over to help you. xxx

    • Thanks so much, I love wandering around the garden and seeing how it has changed so much from just a couple of months ago. It lacks flowers and colours for the most part but I think it still has a certain charm and I love the crunch of leaves underfoot! xx

  • Oh my. I just love your frizzles, our grandsons chose one each, when the family had chickens, but sadly a fox came and took them all one by one. They had a black one, which reminded me of a floating black cape when she wandered around the garden. So nice to see you still have warm sunny days, we are too, along with cold nights & early mornings As our house is in a hollow & surrounded by trees we had a severe frost over night on Friday and it caught our delicate pot plants by surprise. One reason I won’t be sorry to leave! However I must say the trees are looking very autumnal, they have started to put on their glorious red robes, making everywhere look colourful . Looking forward to meeting you soon.

    • Hi Barbara, the dreaded Mr Fox, fingers crossed he has never visited us but I don’t want to jinx things, as we are walled on three sides I think there are probably much easier gardens for him to visit, but we are always as careful as we can be. Our black frizzle Hermione is gorgeous, you’ll get to meet her! I cannot believe you have had a frost, brrrr! The coldest we have got so far is 6C on Friday night/Saturday morning and it really did feel cold, hence we actually lit the fire in the kitchen yesterday afternoon. However, today was much warmer, certainly no need for fires today! Thoroughly looking forward to meeting you too. xx

  • a 2nd crop of peaches, oh so envious. We have cool nights and early mornings, grateful for this. Fig clafoutis baking in oven. Smells divine and will be perfect for my husband’s BD.

    • Fig Clafoutis, I never even thought of that, I shall be searching out a recipe and a very happy birthday to your husband. Hope you have had a lovely day. Yesterday was really chilly and a north easterly breeze kept it cool all day despite a clear blue sky and plentiful sunshine. Today the wind had gone and it was much warmer, no need for a fire! xx

  • Here in Southern Spain the weather is amazing in October…the best time of the year… because
    you can enjoy the sun more than in summer. Also the nights are pleasant and not cold. But the best is that all the
    tourists are gone and you feel the real spirit of this area. Relaxation pure. We just came back from a beach-lunch
    and it was wunderful..oh, sorry, I am too effusive but feel joy and happiness.

    • I can totally feel your happiness. It is the perfect time of year when one feels that we have the beach to ourselves. I was on the beach yesterday morning with our youngest who plays tennis there, not a soul in sight, just some people windsurfing and others sailing, it was utterly stunning. You are obviously a few degrees warmer than we are. Yesterday was cool all day despite blue skies and sun, we were plagued by a cool north easterly breeze. Today however, was much warmer, we ate lunch outside and enjoyed a long cycle this afternoon. A wonderful time of year as you say, when it is warm enough to do so much still but cool enough to actually want to go out and do it! xx

  • I follow many blogs (several directed at francophiles like me). Your blog is by far my favorite. Your life looks perfect. I have to keep reminding myself that no one person’s life is perfect.

    • Thank you so much Marty, you have no idea what your lovely comment means to me. I promise though my life is not perfect! I am really lucky, I have a fabulous husband and five gorgeous children and a beautiful home, but there are still all the usual things that have to be done, the boring errands, and work! There are occasionally sick children and sick animals. Then in the winter there are the leaky windows that no matter how often we have the carpenter out to look at he cannot find the problem and the rattling draughty doors when the cold wind blows. But it’s all part of life, we make the most of it, I always look on the bright side and I love sharing everything with everyone. xx

      • Thanks so much, I am so grateful to you and everyone else who reads my posts and enjoys them and takes the time to comment, I love the interaction with everyone, we are all getting to know one another in a virtual way and I am loving it! xx

  • Those last days of sunshine warm enough to keep you in a T-shirt, even with a scarf, are to be treasured, bottled even, I always feel. Your little mooch round your sun-dappled garden was just the ticket for a lazy Fall day across the Atlantic! xx

    • I love days like these. Yesterday it really felt as if autumn was here for the first time. There was a stiff north easterly that plagued us all day, despite blue skies and a bright sun, it was enough to make us light the woodburner in the kitchen for the first time in the afternoon. However today was much warmer again, no need for a fire this evening. Plenty more sunshine forecast, I can’t quite believe I am watering in mid-October, it is so so dry. I can’t help but wonder what this winter will bring, every season this year so far has been way off kilter. When are you back on this side of the Pond, is it this week? xx

      • When I first moved to France it was into a warm and sunny late September which stretched into November. The following two years gave me the same and it seems as though its a pattern which I hope will continue year on year! Over hear, last week we enjoyed temps in the mid 70s and clear bright blue skies. Today we had rain as a tail end product of Matthew colliding with a front from the West but we are set fair for the next week and I am thankful for that. The colours are beyond my ken and I understand what the fuss about Fall in New England is all about. I am indeed due back in Europe next weekend and in France midNovember IF all goes to plan. Mice and Men conspire and the plans may alter slightly … its all about toy infuriating foot. Xx

      • We’ve always had lovely weather right up until November too, November is usually quite wet but still relatively warm with temps frequently as high as 18C. This morning was another really chilly morning though and we had to light the woodburner for the second time this year!!! I have never been to New England at this time of year but of course I have read so much about it and seen so many photos, I am glad it has lived up to expectations for you. The colours here are only just starting to change, so nothing that spectacular to report as yet!! Is the foot getting better? Hope so, how irritating that so many problems can arise from something so simple. xx

      • In our area it will generally be really warm with the nights dropping right down and frosts becoming more frequent into November and mostly waking to ethereal veils of fog on the hills or vice Versa with the fog on the ground and the hills and mountains sitting in blue sky. BUT invariably we get a first shock of snow sometime in November and then it is either set for the winter or it decides to return to Indian for a while longer. My foot is a major problem and we are hoping for answers before I fly on Friday otherwise there is a serious possibility that I will have to delay and remap everything. My husband is very patient with my impatience! Xx

      • The low lying fog is incredible here too, so often I want to stop on the way to school and take a photo, but of course, we are always very nearly late, the children who run in at the last minute before the gate closes, there is certainly no time to stop and take photos! But the time I return the sun has come up and the moment is lost. I know, I can hear you think leave earlier, but it’s just not that easy getting 2 teenagers out of bed and ready to leave early just for a photo, they would rather sleep five minutes longer!!! Your poor foot, I really feel for you, how infuriating it must be, why are you having to wait so long for answers and what can be done? xx

      • Why on earth would I be thinking that? I was always the last past the post with my girls and often the mother told off for being late to collect them too. A living disgrace and proud of it! We have some answers but it is a laberynth of different pieces – nerve, ligament, soft tissue, tendons and bones … its not til you hurt something that you pay any heed to what a complex and extraordinary thing the body is. My issue is not wanting to change healthcare systems at a crucial moment. All shall be well. I remind myself of that frequently!! xx

      • Of course, if we are last to collect them we miss the worst of the traffic!!! You shall be well, you shall be running around and skipping along the lanes like a fairy before you know it. Xxx

      • I’ve ordered up the gossamer wings already! As for the late mother badge of honour …. I zone out when the girls reminisce – they exaggerate dreadfully 😂 xx

  • Those frizzles are too adorable! Does the rooster crow? And that closeup of the cat…thought it was a wild one at first! So fierce looking. We are a bit ahead of you here in Colorado. In fact, the 14ers are snow-covered today. Looks beautiful up there but I’m not ready for it down here. Spent the morning pruning, raking and watering as it’s been quite dry here too.I hope you have a fabulous Fall to remember. Hugs,

    • Hi Pat, the frizzles are adorable! Yes Sirius, the rooster, has just started to crow, mind you he will never get very loud, he’s only a little chap after all, certainly not enough noise to wake anybody up! When do you normally get your first snow? Then does it stay all winter on the ground, or just the occasional snow fall? I can’t quite believe we are watering at this time of year, or that you are too, so unusual. Hope you too have a wonderful Fall to remember and the you are having a lovely Sunday xx

  • Well, you had the two of us here giggling into our coffees with the first photo – wonderful, classic. There’s a lovely soup book we use a lot called the Covent Garden Soups Book ( I think). If you have never seen it, try and pick on up, wonderful soups and enough variety to last one through the winter. Great photos, love the cat! Stunning photo that top one…

    • Thanks so much Simon, we have that cook book, given to us years ago by a very good friend, but I had forgotten about it, I shall search for it tomorrow and look up some recipes. Soups have to be one of my favourite things about this time of year, a thick tasty vegetable soup and some crusty bread is the perfect lunch for me, I particularly love carrot and ginger. So glad you liked the photo of the frizzles, it does them good to be handled a little and of course the children love bringing them indoors! xx

  • Thank you for you beautiful posts. I feel like I’m there with you. Looking forward to all you future post. Thank you again so very much.

    • Hi Freda, thank you so much and welcome to the blog, great to have you following along. Can’t wait to ‘chat’ more over the coming months. Hope you have had a lovely Sunday and thank you for taking the tie to comment, always much appreciated. xx

  • I absolutely loved this heartwarming update on your garden, animals, and overall transition into autumn. The two frizzle chicks are adorable- have a great Sunday!

    • Thank you so much, after such a wonderful long hot summer it is rather fun to see everything out and about again making the most of this perfect weather. We too adore the frizzles and they have equally great characters to match! Hope you too are having a wonderful Sunday xx

    • Thanks so much, so excited about the walnuts, we dried lots last winter and this year there are certainly many more. I enjoy cooking with them fresh too, there’s always something to eat around here in the garden! xx

  • Beautiful photos from your garden Suzie. Yvonne and I had the most beautiful second stay with you last month and we can’t wait for our longer stay next Autumn. Regards to Roddy and the family xx

  • What glorious photos! I can almost appreciate the beauty of autumn… but no, I’m glad that spring has arrived here – albeit a little slowly. See you next year when summer has returned to your part of the world!

  • NEVER TOO MANY TOMATOES!
    YOU are living a B E A U T I F U L LIFE………….and I know YOU know how LUCKY YOU ARE!
    XX

    • I do, I really do. When I get down about something I look around and just give myself a good talking to, I don’t have any right to complain. How I agree, never too many tomatoes, keep them coming! xx

  • What flowers are you looking forward to seeing this season? Your garden always looks so beautiful! You’ve captured the autumnal spirit perfectly.

    • Thanks so much Helen, the garden goes very quiet soon, the tiny cyclamen flower certainly up until Christmas and then the daffodils usually start around mid January and it all starts over again. xx

  • What a delightful post, Susan! We’re in much the same situation insofar as weather and foliage are concerned. I enjoy all the seasons and there’s something exciting about being on the cusp of the next season. Your comments about the wood reminds me of all the wood piles/stacks/walls we saw while I was in France in July and my s-i-l has had several loads delivered. I’m sure their fireplace will be going all winter. I miss our wood-burning stove at this time of year. Although our rental house has a fireplace, they lose more heat than help, so we do without.

    I refuse to think about all those figs. 🙂 Cheers!

    janet

    • Thanks so much Janet. It is a beautiful time of year although the mornings are really chilly at the moment, this morning we had to light the woodburner in the kitchen so we were quickly snug and warm again! I know exactly what you mean about old fireplaces, it is sad as they look so stunning but they are rarely as efficient as a woodburning stove and use twice as much wood for half the heat. Still overrun with figs, now if only you were closer! Have a great week xx

    • Thanks so much. I grew up with chickens on the farm, but they were always just sort of there, I didn’t take any notice of them at all. So I was really surprised at just how much pleasure one could get from a few chickens, there is something terribly peaceful about just standing and watching them go about their daily business and they are so friendly, they come running when they see any of us, hoping for scraps from the kitchen! The frizzles are a great fun addition! xx

  • We just survived what was left of hurricane Matthew, tropical winds of 87 miles and 12 inches of rain. Overnight it went for 83 and 100% humidity to 70 and cool. I am ready for Fall.

    Love seeing what you are up too. That is a gorgeous photo of your cat!

    • Thanks so much Elizabeth, Matthew was horrendous, we watched so much on the news and with so many friends in Florida we chatted to them and felt as if we were there with them. Let’s hope that’s it for this season now. Mother nature certainly knows how to keep us all on our toes. Enjoy the fall xx

      • Don’t you just hate auto correct? the number of times I have hit publish or send on something without reading it through only to realise I have made some ghastly mistake! My children laugh their heads off at some of the texts they get sent in haste by myself!!

    • Thanks so much, I adore the chickens, the frizzles are a fun addition, but I love them all, they are all such characters and definitely a great addition to the garden. In another month or so I shall let them spend a few hours in the vegetable garden, foraging, they will think they are in paradise! xx

    • I am glad other people feel the same way about autumn. Only this morning I was thinking on the way back from taking the children to school, “only five months and we will be excited about spring again” and then I told myself, quite sternly that I cannot wish away half of the year waiting for the other half, I have to enjoy these months too! xx

    • I understood! and actually yours was not the first comment to have put drizzled instead of frizzled! Half the time I want to turn auto correct off and the other half it is really useful, one simply cannot win!!

  • Your blog is great and gives us a great view of the incredible beauty of your garden. Love the chickens and learning about so many different varieties.

    • Thanks so much Judy, the garden is still struggling with the lack of water, it’s almost unheard of having to water in October! We adore the chickens, they are so peaceful to watch as they go about their daily business and they are all such individual characters. The frizzles are a bt of fun! Hope you didn’t have any damage after Matthew. xx

  • Love the pictures, so vivid it feels as if I am standing right next to you looking over your shoulder as you are taking them. Btw, we have the largest Emmaus in France just 40 minutes south of us (Pau), peut-etre bien qu’une visite s’impose!

    • Thanks Margaretha, it is great fun to walk around and really appreciate the garden and the blog makes me do this. We used to live in between Pau and Biarritz, so I know the Emmaus you are talking about, it is huge! We only went there once, I think it was almost too big. Our one is tiny by comparison, just one barn, which makes it more like popping down the road to a small brocante store! xx

    • Thanks so much Monica, it is good for the chicks to be handled, it makes them a little bit more friendly and stops them from being nervous of people, the children love to bring them indoors! xx

  • Fantastic photos, Susan – as normal. Love the chickens on the table, especially. Autumn has been here a while too – not too many people on the shingle this week:) Time to stock up on some logs myself, for the stove in the shed. Won’t be long before the first of the winter’s gales set in….

    • Thanks Phil, winter gales and the coast, so long as you have somewhere warm to retreat to they can be great fun. Nothing better than a walk along a cold windy beach with the waves crashing onto the shore. xx

  • I love each of your instalments. Its lovely to see your garden change through the seasons. Childhood is so precious. Thank you for sharing Susan. My family cannot wait until we revisit france next summer. We are going christmas shopping in France in December I’m so excited.

    • Thanks so much Ellena, where are you staying next summer? If you are coming over Christmas shopping I would imagine you must be in the south of England, maybe close to the tunnel? I always hear wonderful things about the Christmas markets in Alsace, I have never visited, another thing on my wishlist! If you have a moment, let me know where you are going, sounds like great fun. xx

  • Oh My Goodness this was lovely! Fall is my Favorite time of the year! To me it never ceases to amaze me with its beautiful colors. It is one of those “AWE” moments that I am forever grateful for every single year…🍁🎃🍁 It is during this time that my walks are a little longer, soul searching more compelling, and wonderment more electrifying! Thank you again for s beautiful post…and for being such a lovely and wonderful woman filled with so much Grace! ❤️

    • Thank you so very much. We haven’t quite got to the beautiful colours yet, very very close, but still a few days away, the leaves haven’t really started falling in any numbers yet, we are still picking and eating tomatoes straight from the vines and grapes too and figs of course, it’s such a funny season, a mixture between late summer and autumn and the lack of rain is bizarre! I know what you mean about the longer walks, we have taken to bike riding again, it is now cool enough to enjoy it but warm enough not to freeze ones toes off! Have a wonderful week, I’ll be back on Thursday with more trips around our area! xx

  • New Orleans had its first taste of fall yesterday with a lot of sunshine, blue skies and a hint of a chill – in the early morning and late evening. Same weather today but more warming. Still pleasant, and we are so grateful Matthew did not visit us and pray for the areas that were affected. Love your post – each one!

    • It sounds as if you are enjoying the same sort of weather as we are, it’s a beautiful time of year to get outside and do things, perfect temperature. I am so glad Matthew didn’t visit you, New Orleans has suffered far too much with hurricanes in the past. The damage in Haiti breaks my heart, those poor poor people, like you I pray for all the areas that were affected. Let’s hope Mother Nature stays away for the rest of the season now. xx

    • Thank you so much Sally, I have to admit we are quite a fan of them too! They are so adorable and the colours of their feathers incredible, especially when we can look closely because they are sitting on the kitchen table!!! Have a great week. xx

  • A very interesting post about autumn changes. For one, I had never seen a walnut on a tree before. Great photo. I had no idea the nut was encased in a green ‘shell’ before it’s ripe – assuming *ripe* is the right word for it.
    I was also really intrigued by your mutant watermelon/squash plant. I’ve never heard of something like that happening. I’m curious – what were you expecting? Watermelon? or Squash? 🙂

    • Hi Joanne, the green husk splits to reveal the nuts inside, this is easily discarded but you really do need to wear gloves as it produces tannins which stain ones fingers! Now as for the watermelon/squash plant. We bought a watermelon, in fact we bought several watermelon plants all side by side. We planted them all, the vines started spreading across the ground. This one plant sent out two different types of vines with two very distinctly different leaves. As the fruit appeared and then slowly grew it became apparent that they were different. I shall take some photos this week! Even our neighbour who is a Landscape Gardener was baffled, he had never seen anything like this before either! xx

  • Autumn looks perfect in your part of the world. I am trying to learn to love it. It’s too overshadowed by what comes next for me, but this year the weather has been so gorgeous even I have relented. Your frizzles are just too cute, love them!

    • I know exactly what you mean, I am trying to like winter, because otherwise it is wasting away months of the year yearning for what follows and that seems to be such a shame. So I am being really positive! I am, by the way, in love with your blog, where are you in the UK, that’s he only thing I couldn’t work out! Looking forward to reading lots more xx

  • Lovely photos of your garden, it’s bounty and the animals…. what a super shot of your cat. The frizzled chooks are adorable! It’s getting chilly in West Sussex, I’ve lit the fire on a couple of nights, I don’t mind this time of year generally but I loathe the spiders!

    • Hi Fiona, we have lit the fire the past couple of mornings in the kitchen, just to take the chill off, we’ve let it burn for an hour or so and then we’re warm and toasty all day. Haven’t lit the sitting room fire in the evening yet! Beautiful days though so cannot complain as it is mid-October. Lots of spiders here too especially in the chicken coop, they live on the ceiling and they are huge!!! xx

  • Hello everyone! Not to put a damper on the loveliness of autumn, but the hurricane, while over for some, continues its fury in my state of North Carolina that is experiencing flooding continuing on through this Friday, the 14th. Some areas have reached historic flooding of 65 feet. The areas affected are about 100 miles inland from the coast, affecting towns as far north as Rocky Mount, NC near Virginia border down south below Fayetteville into South Carolina. Sadly, many of these counties flooding, such as Lumberton, NC are very low income counties. Those who have little have lost everything. Also, animals are suffering, from dairies and goat farms, to abandoned cats and dogs. Please please all of you who follow this post…. pray for a miracle that the waters will recede before Friday. The Red Cross is accepting donations for N.C. Also, check on animal rescue groups who need financial help. Thanks so much!

    • Hi Melanie, we have watched on the news the devastation caused by Matthew and my heart bleeds for everyone. Having lived through hurricanes I know what they are like and the tragedy they cause. We continue to pray for all of those who have suffered, in America, in Haiti, in the Bahamas, everywhere. xx

  • Love your autumn descriptions. We’re in about the same space as you, although halfway around the world in Ohio. Chilly at night, warm and sunny during the day. Little rain. But our tomatoes bombed this year. No idea why. Other friends had the same thing happen here. Thanks for sharing your beautiful autumn and for playing along with Dreaming of France. Here’s my Dreaming of France meme

    • It’s a strange climate this year, I know friends in Lexington are having just the same weather as us also, extremely dry and cold nights with these lovely warm autumnal days. Our tomatoes were really late ripening this year with the cold spring but now they are still producing with lots more still to come so long as any frosts hold off. I know many of the local french have said it has been a difficult year for vegetables, fruits, in fact pretty much anything that grows. xx

    • Thank you so very much and also a big welcome to the blog. Great to have you following along and thank you for taking the time to comment, always much appreciated! Enjoy the rest of the week xx

    • Thanks so much and welcome to the blog! It is such an in between time, the weather is actually perfect right now for working in the garden and there is so much to be done! Thank you for taking the time to comment, always very much appreciated. Hope you enjoy following along xx

  • Hooray – the chickens are back! Seriously, love this incredible and exquisitely written play by play of stepping out of summer directly into autumn – and for convincing me to embrace it as well. I, like you, adore summer. Fall always meant going back to school for me, which was not at the top of my list, so I blamed that entire situation on Fall. No, I didn’t love the Fall colour of the leaves , no, I didn’t love the crisp air! Summer was over, school was starting, and our magical freedom was gone.
    This has been a very therapeutic piece for me, as you pointed out all of the activity, and it’s true! I’m even experiencing it in my own life. Busy times getting everything in order, while the weather is indeed cooler, the animals all loving the weather………..yes, I may have to become quite mature and enjoy Autumn for it’s wonderful qualities, and not blame it for school starting or winter coming.
    I loved the photos!! What a treat, from first to last. Did I miss the photo of the melon squash?? 🙂
    Thank you so much for this Fall experience!

    • 100% agree, I hated autumn for just that reason, it meant back to school, the endless freedom of summer, riding ponies all day long, playing on the farm, it meant summer was over and I hated it. Now I am not keen, because like you it still means back to school, only this time for the children and so I miss them and all the noise and fun at home. But we cannot, we really simply cannot while away five or six months longing for spring and summer because then we would be wasting 50% of our lives, so we have to embrace autumn and the winter and we have to find a way to do that. I find the answer is to look for all the little things that are special and focus on those. No I didn’t post a photo of the melon/squash plant, I will take one this weekend! xx

    • Thank you and welcome to the blog, great to have you following along. We adore our chickens, they are all such characters, I could stand and watch them for hours as they go about their daily business.! Xx

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