There is a decided nip in the air these mornings. The sun hauls itself out of bed just like I have to and, just like me, it takes a couple of hours to warm up and really get going.
I generally wake up at about 6 and let the alarm snooze me for 10 minutes or so. I put on my slippers (I am allowed to have slippers, I’m over sixty). I go outside in the half light and gather some dry gum leaves and twigs off the ground near the house to start the fire. The birds are out in force, a natural alarm clock for the sun, urging it to rise and get on with its days work. Once it is up and about they are much less vocal.
The rooster is always in fine voice.
The last few mornings the dew has been so heavy that everything on the ground was damp and useless for fire lighting. Now I collect my kindling the evening before while it is dry and leave it in a box near the front door. I drop a few pine cones on the flames and, once the fire is going well, finish off with a log. As the fire takes hold I watch the smoke drift by the window where I sit and I sometimes catch the smell of the burning gum leaves and pine needles as it passes by.
After the fire is going I boil the kettle and make a pot of tea, read for a while and enjoy the quietness before the children and Liadhan wake up, by which time the house is nice and warm.
Quietness gone, morning greetings finished and pot of tea empty I go to do my morning chores of greeting, feeding and watering the animals and watering the vegetable gardens. Early morning, particularly if there is a breeze, I wear a jumper as I walk around the property. At the far end of one of the paddocks there is a sheltered spot where the sun hits first. As I walk out of the shadow of the trees and through that place the warmth of the sun caresses away the Autumn chill.
During the middle of the day the sun is quite warm and the sky a crisp azure blue providing a perfect backdrop for silhouetting the dark green pine trees and the stringy barks. I take note of the spikey balls forming on the chestnut tree and picture myself and the children cooking them over an open fire in the winter time. The figs are ripe and I pluck one or two off the tree as I pass by, enjoying the soft sweet fruit.
The onset of the cooler weather has caused me to take stock of our winter wood supply. Over the last six months or so I have been cutting wood at various places on the property and leaving it in piles or just as I cut it. I have begun to gather it in, separating the seasoned from the unseasoned, and pile it up in the woodshed. It is gratifying to see the ute loaded up with wood and the pile rising up from the woodshed floor, it gives me a sort of cosy feeling.
Autumn is a wonderful time of year at Wildflowers. The strength of summer is waning and winter stretches forth its arm, but its fingers but have not yet got a grip on the landscape.