Arrived back from New York tired but happy to have spent some time with Vicky and Kathryn and to have experienced New York. The city seemed so familiar somehow, but I guess over the years with the amount of American TV and Films I’ve seen it’s inevitable. We had a lovely time together and Kathryn was able to meet up with her dear friend Leo; he looked after three very jet lagged ladies the first evening and then later in the week widened our horizons taking us to eat Japanese food which was delicious.

Autumn has arrived here at La Fosse, and the leaves are turning to a glorious gold before dropping to the ground. The weather has been and is currently wonderfully warm and gentle.

We have had five new arrivals with our Bantam hen successfully brooding and hatching 5 tiny chicks. She is being the most marvelous mother and all our concerns about where to put them all, and whether she would reject them, have come to nothing. In fact the whole family has come together to raise them. Two nights ago the cockerel cared for them while mum had a “good night’s sleep” on her normal perch. We’d never heard of a cockerel keeping the young warm before. A truly modern man.

Sunday afternoon stroll with Mum and Dad

It’s sweet chestnut time again, much to the concern of the dogs, ducks and chickens who find walking across the prickly outer covering unpleasant. However, the inner chestnut makes up for the challenge of picking them and it’s a real pleasure to split, roast and shell the mouthfuls of sweetness. Earlier this week we spent a lovely evening with our neighbours drinking cider and eating chestnuts – so convivial.

This late summer and autumn the weather has been so kind that we are having one of our fields cut for sileage. Too much grass has not been a problem before now. Normally we are desperate for grass to feed the sheep. Mums and the girls are enjoying being in a field lined with chestnut trees – they don’t seem to mind the coverings! The boys are together in another field doing what boys do; there’s the occasional mock fight, followed by a bit of eating and then sleeping in the sunshine. What a life!!

The vegetable patch and its produce is now put to sleep for the autumn. It will be apples next to be juiced for the year to come – cheers everyone smiley

As John Keats wrote

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.