The leaves on the trees everywhere seem to be hanging on longer this year and the oak trees in particular, after having shed their wonderful acorn crop, are still almost in full leaf, some are even still green! This is quite unusual, especially now we have had a few frosty mornings. The delay is probably due to the hot summer and fairly mild autumn which means that the chlorophyll, which makes the leaves green, is still being produced. No doubt they will all fall quickly once they start and there will be more clearing up to do on the paths and patio in the garden.
If you can though, try to use the leaves for compost rather than burning them or adding to the garden recycling bins. To see how to turn them into free compost see here http://www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/basics/techniques/soil_makeleafmould1.shtml
Not only are the trees retaining their leaves , there are also some unseasonal blooms about, like these rhododendrons below, seen at Chilworthy last weekend, which would normally be out in May /June. Another odd feature of the weather or possibly climate change?
The birds are still not flocking to the garden feeders but there have been increasing numbers of starlings in the village this year which are chattering away to themselves high up in the lime trees which overhang our garden. After spending time "talking" amongst themselves they suddenly all take to the air, their wings making a sound like papers being riffled together, before coming back to rest on the topmost branches again.
There are also increasing numbers of field fare and redwing locally, the former announcing their presence with their football rattle like chuckle, the latter being almost silent.
As winter gets a hold, try to keep feeding the birds and remember, a source of clean water for them to both drink and bathe in are really helpful to our feathered friends