Autumn is upon us all of a sudden with the noticeable change in temperature and the high winds we had the other day. A proper gale is always exciting and refreshing although I will probably not be feeling the same way in the deepest darkest part of winter when the winds have relentlessly blown for months, but for now it is certainly a joy to feel the full force of the wind on my cheeks! The other noticeable signs of autumn is the bracken dying back leaving a golden colour to the hillside and allowing walks that just aren’t possible or pleasant in the summer unless you like being in amongst bracken towering over you and hundreds of ticks! The tree leaves are changing into the magnificant range of colours that is quite often a rarety to see the full range here due to them all being blown off well before the best colours show but makes a walk in the woods all the more exciting with the leaves to scuff and crunch through. The hazelnuts are pretty tasty just now but when you collect the fallen ones it is a bit hit or miss on the good ones. Various different theories include waiting until the first frost before collecting, or just until the temperature drops like now. If they fall out of their husks easily they are ready, or pick them whilst green and dry yourself in a cool, dry place. I could go on but I picked a huge bag of them last week from the ground and put them in a bowl of water. The ones that sink are guaranteed to be good and the floaters are empty or rotten, of course this isn’t always accurate as a very small percentage of the floaters are usually ok but 100% of all the sinkers are very tasty to eat or alternatively can be stored in sand/grit (securely stored away from wee beasties that would love to find a winter store of food!) that will eventually sprout into your very own wee trees! The last autumnal sign that I noticed this week has been the silage being cut and baled.
Programme of the week – Horizon, The death of the ocean’s? Sir David Attenborough reveals the findings of one of the most ambitious scientific studies of our time – an investigation into what is happening to our oceans. He looks at whether it is too late to save their remarkable biodiversity. Horizon travels from the cold waters of the North Atlantic to the tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef to meet the scientists who are transforming our understanding of this unique habitat. Attenborough explores some of the ways in which we are affecting marine life – from over-fishing to the acidification of sea water. The film also uncovers the disturbing story of how shipping noise is deafening whales and dolphins, affecting their survival in the future.
The programme was a bit gloomy with the feeling that it was all to late but the important thing to remember is stay optimistic and if it means that you only eat fish locally caught then that is a great help in itself. When presented with facts like from this programme it is very informative to understand the seriousness of the issue but I feel that it should have ended with practical advise that you in your home can do rather than such a huge problem that looked impossible to tackle. Think of what you can do under your own roof ,then locally within your community and then globally!