“The best of times ….…..”

After the heat of summer and the seemingly endless shout of sunshine, the turning of the season into autumn is a huge relief. Mornings are foggy, fires have been lit and smoke rises up to the stars, that glitter on into the dark of morning.

The cat is reluctant to venture out . He hates wet dew on his paws, but eventually the sun creeps up, the world wakes and slowly he slinks out to start the autumn day.

The great clouds of martins and swallows have thinned to just a few birds catching up on the reverse migration back to Africa. The starlings have remembered the uncollected apples in the orchard behind the house and are wheezing their anticipation of a feast. Jays have appeared and are raucous in the tall trees.

Days of rain are forecast, but today the sun has climbed into a peerlessly clear sky and the michaelmas daisies are star burst bright with bees. A hornet patrols ceaselessly looking for a bee to catch and the late gate keeper butterfly keeps far away from it. Hummingbird hawk moths feed on September nectar and the morning glory winds up and up to the end of every stick.

The news of Russian mobilization of reluctant and unreluctant men is chilling I think of the unharvested vegetables ripening in the gardens of destroyed Ukrainian homes.

On a warm September day it seems the very best of times, but Dickens could always balance his opening sentences to linger in the mind.

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