Friday, 6 September 2013

September's harvest

September has started and the swallows have all but gone, as the wheel of the year turns, even the Skylarks have faded. The skies seem quieter without their cries.

The colours are changing, slowly swinging from the rich greens and jewel-bright flowers at the peak of the year into the warm, sun-beaten tones of late summer.

All around, harvest is in full swing and Nature's larder is well stocked this year. After three or four years of sparseness, the yew and elder trees are heavy with berries.
The rowan has sprays of scarlet fruit, each carefully maked with a pentagram at the base, added by the Earth Mother herself.

The branches of the apple trees are weighted and bent and the brambles, full of berries as black as scrying mirrors, each reflecting the late summer's sun like little jewels.

Cloudberries hide lower down in the undergrowth of forgotten path edges, perhaps to tempt out the smaller folk, the unseen Fae. Even the Wayfaring Tree has full boughs.

Acorns upon the oak are ready for bushy-tailed squirrels to steal and hide away for hungrier times.

Elsewhere, the sloes are slowly ripening but need winter frosts to bring out their flavour before adding to gin. For now, they soak up the sun.

The scent of wild marjoram is thick in the air, soothing and lifting. Hawthorn berries hang nearby, medicinally said to be a tonic for the heart and St. John's Wort, such an important part of Nature's medicine cupboard, is considered to repel all sorts of negativity - from driving out depression to offering gentle protection.

While the farmers gather their crops, the remaining flowers attract bees and hoverflies and the seedheads rattle in the breeze - impatient for the wheel to turn a little more for them to scatter.

"And as the seasons come and go, here's something you might like to know
... there are fairies everywhere under bushes, in the air, playing games
just like you play, singing through their busy day. So listen, touch, and
look around -- in the air and on the ground. And if you watch all nature's
things, you might just see a fairy's wing."


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