September moved seamlessly into October with lovely, not-quite-cold mornings. Dot the Dog and I watched a crow flying low over the field behind Henbury Rise and William's Way. It turned neatly into the breeze and at a height of about a foot contrived to stall, dropping perfectly on its feet. It strode off in typically jaunty covid fashion.
More overnight rain meant that the main flood had increased in size and a new skein of geese (50 or more) were able to swim as well as sunbathe by the edge. By the end of the afternoon they were on their way to pastures new. More gulls appeared and perched on the wire fence between "us" and the building site.
As one lot of geese-in-transit left, another came in – sometimes only a few, sometimes several tens. The flood spread rapidly with the rainy nights as if to accommodate them. Some ducks returned too, steaming line ahead and often in inverted "V" formation.
Small reddish-brown toadstools popped up all over the fields – my 1982 Collins Gem Guide to Mushrooms and Toadstools suggests they are panaeolus rickenii (no common name, inedible). If anyone can properly identify them I would love to hear.
The first Hallowe'en decorations appeared – weeks before the event.
After a series of lovely autumn days (albeit with rainy nights) daytime rain came – the sort of fine persistent rain that eventually penetrates even the best waterproofs. Dot the Dog and I walked the fields in the afternoon (no fairweather dog walkers to be seen). The field-flood had gained more ground and forty or more ducks had come in including a white one. I had a vision of a day outing of ducks from Redesmere but they were still there the following morning – perhaps a staycation.
Then a fraught morning walk with DtD along Anderton's Lane – 12 vehicles and a skip lorry(!) overtook us heading towards Whirley Road, presumably trying to avoid the Broken Cross chaos.
Next morning more geese – several flights totalling a hundred or more. Neither DtD nor I could count them accurately. They kept coming for days, honking loudly, heading either for Redesmere or Capesthorne lake – winter quarters presumably.
To the Millennium Green to help thin the trees and gather wood for the bonfire on November 5th. Sadly one or two more of the ash trees that were part of the original planting had succumbed to ash dieback and had to be sacrificed – but the timber will burn well...
Then off for a few days in north Norfolk – saw an amazing number of red kites, quite recently said to be endangered. I don't think they have yet reached Cheshire – but it won't be long.
And so, back to the routine of home/dog life. DtD insisted on inspecting the fields minutely to check for any irregularities. We were watched by a raven – its attitude suggested a degree of amusement at Dot's antics and my attempts to maintain control...
To the Millennium Green to help build the bonfire. It should be a good one again. It's amazing to think that the original planting of the Green happened 23 years ago (so that it was ready for the Millennium midnight), and now it provides all the wood for the bonfire. DtD was most annoyed when I put my "Dog-Togs" on as work clothes but dogs are not allowed on the Green so she had to stay at home.
Clocks to change – extra hour in bed in theory – but unfortunately DtD works on a 24 hour cycle and will take a while to adjust. She and I compromised and had half an hour each.
Horrid of Henbury