Wednesday 28 October 2009

Bountiful Barleycorn In October

Large White And Red Admiral Butterflies On Michaelmas Daisies

At the beginning of October the sun shone brightly and our visiting butterflies had their last sustenance from our Michaelmas daisies. After such a poor Summer, weather-wise, with a period of almost ten weeks of rain, we are having a glorious Autumn.

Red Admiral and Hoverfly On Michaelmas Daisies

It was a joy to observe the flurry of frenzied activity on the various posies of Michaelmas Daisies around our ponds. I, too, enjoyed the warmth of the sun on my back while taking my little video of the butterflies and hoverflies. It makes my heart sing to see the fruition of all the hard work in creating our garden, when intensive farming methods deprive little creatures of their habitats.

Red Cotoneaster Berries

The birds and insects, too, have had a wonderful time gorging themselves on the Autumnal fruits and berries we provide for them. They had a choice of cotoneaster berries, rowan berries, crab apples, Japanese quince apples, the tomato-like hips on the Rosa Rugosa hedge, hips on our climbing roses and a cornucopia of seedheads from all the herbaceous borders.

White Bark Of The Jacquemontii Silver Birch Tree

Autumn is a wonderful sensory experience in the garden, with a rainbow of colour which paints a smile on the dullest of days. In this photograph, we can see the green leaves of the Cornus Alba, the White Dogwood behind the silver birch, turning to gold. But, now that we are at the end of October, they are all but spent.

View Across Part Of The Back Garden At Barleycorn

Our garden is too large to leave all the cutting-back to the Spring, when we would be in danger of trampling our bulbs. It means, therefore, that, in Autumn, my hubbie and I spend a fair amount of time cutting back spent stems which no longer bear seeds. It helps to encourage a new crown around the centre of the plants, which, in turn, protects them over the Winter. As you can see from this photograph, we have left the foliage on the pond plants at this late date in the calendar, as they give shelter to a host of insects.

Red Autumn Foliage On Joseph's Rock Rowan

When you come to view the little video (at the end of this post, made up of snippets taken during this month at Barleycorn) the Joseph's Rock Rowan has green foliage with yellow/orange berries. This photograph, however, shows the amazing transformation from green to yellow to its glorious red Autumnal coat...but, even as I type, the tree is almost in silhouette...

Lily Leaves In The Pond

I have said, many times, the ponds are a constant source of delight to us, and never more so than when they are wearing their Autumnal hues. As an amateur watercolourist, I delight in the photographs which show the play of light on the ponds. The reflections never cease to amaze me.

The Potentilla Hedge Up The Drive

Our Potentilla hedge, planted by my hubbie, flowers for six months of the year and feeds insects and birds to their heart's content. Whenever we walk its length, sparrows are chattering amongst its thick-set foliage, safe in the knowledge we can scarcely spy them. On frosty days, it is often draped in dew-filled spiders' webs, which, like so many fairy necklaces, exude an air of magic.

Hosta Foliage In Autumn

Even though many gardeners are keen to tidy up, I prefer to leave the hosta leaves until they disappear by themselves into the ground. On dry days, I like nothing better than coming across a filigree-patterned leaf, with only the skeleton of the veins showing.

Crocosmia Leaves And Spent Grasses

Once or twice, we have come across a hedgehog's nest in the garden. They are shaped like a rugby ball with the lower half underground in a hollow in the earth and the top half made from the long foliage of grasses and crocosmia, all woven together with hedgehog spittle. Once, to our delight, we found three babies inside. However, on closer inspection, we found they were dead, and we wondered if their mother had been killed on the road, as is, sadly, often the case.

Lichens On Logs

Here and there, around the garden, we have logs for insects to hide in and to chew. Over the years we have had to replace many of them as the insects, and the weather, have reduced them to smithereens. The glaucous blue lichens growing on these logs are worth a closer inspection. Just click on the photograph.

Taz, The Barn Cat, Under A Weeping Birch Tree

Those of you, who follow the blog, will know that Taz had a friend called Cookie who shared the barn with him for the past four years. Her original owners have now decided to take her back to live with them and their seven new cats. No sooner has that happened than a new cat, jet black with green eyes, has made himself at home in the barn. Since the barn is 70 foot long, they will be able to give each other a wide berth if they fail to bond.

White Iceberg Climbing Rose

This climbing rose stays with us till January. I am so glad it is so hardy, and is covered in heads at the moment. Hoverflies, flies, spiders, and a myriad of other insects feed on it, and, in turn, they feed the birds. Although its foliage sometimes suffers from a spot of mildew, the blooms don't seem to be affected.

Crimson Glory Climbing Rose

This rose has been growing up the wall next to our back door for eighteen years now. It has a profusion of blooms throughout the Summer and has a pleasing fragrance. I miss its cheery colour when it goes to sleep next month.

Ox-Eye Daisies

These daisies spread themselves freely around the garden and I love them for it. They brighten dark areas of the garden, such as next to this pile of twigs and logs. Each head always seems cheerful to me with the golden cups of sunshine in their centres. They open with the dawn and close at dusk, which is why they are called the day's eye...

Who Goes There?

I am a light sleeper and often hear our local Barn Owl screeching as it catches its prey during the night. Often there is a large pile of feathers lying along one of our paths. This pile looks to have been left by a sparrowhawk though, as I often see one de-feathering a smaller bird in the same spot... near the stane-dyke wall adjacent to the field behind our garden, so that he has access to a quick getaway.

Balloon Over Barleycorn

Our October weather has been perfect for ballooning and the prevailing winds often carry the balloon over our house. I always greet the travellers with a friendly wave and they often call down to me. Three years ago, our elder son and his new bride treated us to a flight and it was a wonderful experience flying over our village, cameras at the ready, taking aerial views of our garden.

Sunset Behind Barleycorn

We do not always have beautiful Autumn sunsets, so I made the best of an opportunity to take several photographs of the ones we have enjoyed this month. In this photograph, as the sun neared the horizon it became a fiery red.

Sunset Behind Barleycorn 2

It's always exciting to have the silhouettes of trees in the foreground. The tree in the middle is a Holly so it will stay in that form. But, the two either side of it are Silver Birches, and, gradually, they will become more streamlined.

Sunset Behind Barleycorn 3

As if it wasn't enough of a pleasure to be writing this post, a surprise came to me the other day from one of my blogging pals, Linda May, who writes at

She very kindly gave me the One Lovely Blog Award. I feel very humbled and honoured to receive this award. Linda writes from Canberra about her garden and her family and, in her own words, would "like my writing to be thought of as 'painting pictures with words' ".

In turn, I have to nominate blogs which I feel worthy of recommendation.


My video consists of many snippets taken during the month of October in our garden as well as footage of Greylag Geese flying over our garden and in a field along the road from us. Turn up the volume to hear my CD of Josh Groban singing, 'You Raise Me Up'.


Cheryl said...

Dear Wildlife Gardener.....

Is this not a most beautiful time of year.....a time for nostalgia, not regret.

Your gardens are showing her autumn colours so beautifully. The red admiral is a wonderful adornment......and the little white so delicate and fragile.

Taz is a pretty little cat .....your photographs show the softness......

A beautiful autumnal post and such a moving video......I do love that song so much......

Cheryl said...

Wooops....I do apologise....thank you so much for honouring me with the award......So very very kind.

Naturegirl said...

Such a wonderful post to celebrate Autumn in your corner of Barleycorn! I love the sweet Taz posing. The roses are beautiful and the sunset..well there are no words..your walk with Autumn was delightful and tranquil to view.
You are deserving of the award given to you..congratulations!
I thank you for sharing this award with and light NG


Your BarleyCorn is such a beautiful place and Autumn is no different. You still have so much blooming and those sunsets are amazing. Thank you for sharing your beauty with us.

A wildlife gardener said...

Good Morning...and a warm welcome to our little corner of paradise, Everyone :)

* A warm welcome, dear are quite right...Autumn is a glorious time of year, every moment to be savoured.

I am so glad you enjoyed the post and thank you for all your lovely comments.

I nominated your blog as absolutely everything in it inspires me so much :)

* Dear Nature Girl, it's wonderful to have your company :)

I am glad you found tranquillity in the garden. I nominated your blog because I love the artistic way you post and all the beautiful words you write :)

* It's great to see you again, dear Coneflower :)

The sunsets were awe-inspiring and I'll no doubt post about them in November as we are still having them :)

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Hi Wildie, glad to find another post! I always forget that your part of the world is much milder in temps than here... Our butterflies are long gone, so I love seeing them in your post. And hello to Taz!

Jeanne said...

Thank you my lovely friend for nominating me for that award and most of all for YOU
and your golden gift of friendship
I love you

Tira said...

What a delightful post-or could have been three posts LOL. Love the fall foliage and berries, cool cat, gorgeous sunsets esp the first one.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

What a lovely time of year in your corner of Paradise! I especially love all the detail in the Hosta leaves that were brown and curled, and the Lichen log looked like it was growing fur for the winter. Your Roses are stunning--and little Taz looked as though he was dreaming of summer days long gone--or maybe all the mice he wanted to chase! Awesome sunsets--you really have a wonderful view of them when they are visible. I watched a Hawk swoop down and pick a wren off the Lady Banks Rose last week, and pull it's feathers off before eating it. A grisly sight, that left me shaken for days. I know the Owls and Hawks are doing what their nature tells them to do, but it is shocking when it is right in front of you.

Marie said...

What a beautiful post this is :)

Hug from Marie :)

joey said...

Never a dull moment in your beautiful Barleycorn ... Autumn Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Never a dull moment in your garden! The autumn browns and dampness are my favourite things. Your video has been the perfect way to end the day; some spectacular footage of the geese! I just gaze in awe when skeins of them fly overhead - so, so beautiful.

And thank you so much for the award! I was so chuffed :)

Here is a poem for you; I think it goes by the title "October", although it's part of a longer poem:

The sky breathed autumn, sombre, shrouded;
Shorter and shorter grew the days.
The mysteries of the woodland shade
With melancholy leaf-rustle were laid bare,
On the fields the mist lay everywhere.
Of geese a cackling caravan
Stretched far to the south: and then came near.
A weary season he awaits who hears November at the gates!


Michelle said...

Things are rather wet and dreary here, so your always-beautiful photos are even more welcome to see!

Linda May said...

G'Day, Glad you liked the award I shared.
Also pleased to read that you don't take away the detritus from finished plants in your garden. I reckon we should feed the earth back with that which comes from it.
Michaelmas daisies are a sort of tradition with me as in this country they flower at Easter and are symbolic for me. Same as I love Flanders poppies which flower around remembrance day , sentimental aren't I, :)

SandyCarlson said...

Your autumn garden is gorgeous. You capture the hosta in a beautiful way, too.

A wildlife gardener said...

Good afternoon, Everyone, and a warm welcome to our little corner of paradise :)

* Lovely to see you again, dear Monica...and Taz is purring too...we are still enjoying a lovely autumn, as I type... :)

* You deserve the award, dear Jeanne, as you exude love and warmth to all :)

* My posts do tend to go on a bit, Nicole, as I only manage to post once a month nowadays, so I save it all up...glad you enjoyed the sunsets :)

* Great to see you, too, Morning Glories in Round Rock...and thank you for all your lovely comments.. about my post..watching birds of prey with their catch is fascinating...nature in the raw :)

* Thank you, dear Marie...I am so glad to welcome you once again :)

* That's very true, dear Joey...thanks for popping by :)

* I was chuffed to get the footage of the geese, Kitty...awesome birds in flight...and thanks for the poem...very apt for my post :)

* Always a pleasure to have you pay a visit, dear Michelle...and glad it brought some colour to the grey days :)

* Thank you once again, dear Linda May, for the award :) I, too, feel we should replenish the earth with spent plants as it seems so natural. Isn't it amazing that your Michaelmas daisies are out for Easter...and I'm going to have some of my beloved annual poppies flowering on Remembrance Day this year, thanks to the gloriously mild Autumn :)

* Welcome, dear Sandy, and thank you for your gracious comments...always aiming to offer something to everyone :)

Libby said...

As always it is a total pleasure visiting your blog, I am quite sure if I had more width to my garden I would be able to be more inspired, but as it is only 13ft wide, the plants struggle and stretch for light so grow at peculiar angles!

A wildlife gardener said...

* A warm welcome, dear Libby, and thank you for your generous comments...I love visiting your garden because you manage to grow the exotic in our temperate climate...and I am in awe of all you grow :)

Miranda Bell said...

This is a lovely record of all the wonderful autumnal hues - I particularly like the sunset photos you have at the end - quite magical and of course the video at the end with great shots of the geese - it really is quite a beautiful time of year - I also love the promise of all the new things in the spring too! Take care - Miranda

A wildlife gardener said...

* Good morning, Miranda...lovely to see you, as always...glad you liked the video of the geese and the sunsets. Enjoy the Autumn in Brittany :)

Barbara said...

Your autumn garden reveals all the beauty that this season is giving to us, the stunning sunset included ! When the days are getting dark, cold and wet, it's wonderful to remember and look at all these beautiful pictures.
Enjoy November too!

A wildlife gardener said...

* Great to have your company, dear the dark days ahead, with less and less sunlight, I do concentrate all my efforts on looking for the beauty :)

Bimbimbie said...

Stunning sunsets WG, just letting you know I'm taking a break from blogging - wanting to spend more time outdoors and away from the computer ... for the time being anyway ;) Smiles*!*

Catherine said...

Hello Wildlife Gardener! Another fantastic post~full of breath taking images! Where did October go..where did Summer go?!
I love Michaelmas Daisies~any blue fower really :) love you're captures of them also! The lily leaf in pond, & the lichens on the log also favs!
Hope you are having a beautiful weekend!!

Shirley said...

Good Morning Wildlife Gardener,guessing there will be a lovely blue sky sunny on with you too :-D

You know I’m a fan of using video… congrats on such a wonderful production!! An absolute delightful way to sip a morning cuppa with… you beautifully captured both the season and your garden… very nice :-D

Congrats too on your Award… well deserved. Great nominations from yourself with some I am familiar with but its great to discover new ones… Kitty’s caught my eye there :-)

I caught video of the red admiral too although just a snippet and that has been the last we have seen of butterflies for this year… or is it? Perhaps we’ll get some late visits but with our first frost last night I doubt it.

I did admire your Iceberg rose, I’m not a rose person as such but I do like the idea of it flowering into January… I am guessing it’s in a frost free pocket in your garden.

Ah… but fav garden shot and garden planting idea has to be your Potentilla hedge… now… I do like that idea :-D

Wishing you a good November…. See you at the end of the month :-D

A wildlife gardener said...

A warm Monday Morning Welcome to One and All :)

* Great to see you, Bimbimbie...and I'm glad you liked the sunsets. I can understand you wanting to take a break from blogging, especially as it's your Summer with wall-to-wall sunshine to enjoy. Have a great Summer...and see you afterwards :)

* Lovely to have your company, dear Cat..and I agree, where does time go?...especially when we're having fun! Thank you for all your generous comments...I am so glad you enjoyed your visit :)

* It's wonderful to see you here again, Shirl :)

Thank you for your kind comments about the video...coming from an expert, as you are, it's praise indeed. :)

Kitty's blog is well worth a visit. We met at the Botanics in Edinburgh :)

I very much enjoyed your video of the red admirals...such close proximity :)

The Iceberg Rose grows against a south-facing wall...hence its longevity :)

The potentilla hedge gives shelter to our front garden and is such a boon both to the garden and to the wildlife :)

Thanks for all your generosity..see you soon :)

Duxbury Ramblers said...

Another wonderful blog I could say I love this time of year the best but each season has it's own beauty.
I think the Joseph's Rock Rowan is stunning, I have never seen this one.


Kathleen said...

Hello (at long last) Wildlife Gardener. I have not visited for a while so I need to catch up on your past posts. It's great you're having gorgeous fall weather to make up for the dismal summer. We had a wet, cool summer too but then Mother Nature did a double whammy on us and gave us a cold, snowy fall. Everything turned brown in early Oct. Hardly any foliage colors at all. Maybe next year will be different? The lichen covered log is beautiful. So sad to read about the baby hedgehogs you found. I always hate to see any kind of wildlife dead on the road but especially in spring when you know they are probably feeding their young. I hope your new cat works out ~ will you be posting his picture on the blog soon? He sounds handsome. Enjoy your lovely days and I will enjoy your photos and writings.

A wildlife gardener said...

A warm welcome to our little corner of paradise on this blustery Saturday in November :)

* Great to see you again, Duxbury Ramblers...I agree, every season has its merits and the secret is to enjoy each one :)

We love our Joseph's Rock Rowan, especially in Autumn with its red coat :)

* Lovely to have your company once more, Kathleen...I've missed you :)

It is unfortunate when the leaves fall too quickly and deprive us of Autumn's beauty...but, a snowfall is exciting :)

So far, the long-legged dark handsome puss prefers to scurry away when we are near...but, in time, I think he'll come around...:)

Thank you for all your encouraging comments and for your precious time :)

轉角吃早午餐 said...

Good article
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