Every now and again peace descends, when sky and sea stop squabbling about who may be brightest, best, biggest or bluest. At that time of harmony, where there is no work for the horizon to do, she is free to take time off and make a quick circuit round the globe. Lucky thing; she needs no mask, or permission slip and fears not for quarantine measures or vaccine, but does make sure she’s back to hold up the sky and keep back the sea before the bickering resumes, as it surely will. Those days of tranquillity are rare – silvery grey, no waves – and made early October all the better, as did the subsequent days of glorious sunshine which already feel so long ago.
It’s a month where autumn continues to slowly creep in, not too eager to let go of summer-like days….yet the longer, darker nights are undeniable, and temperatures gradually slip below 30oC……then lower as each week passes, eventually settling around 25oC for a daytime high….. a month of…
… changing colours in garden and countryside
… bushes bright with bulging berries
… olive branches bowing to the ground, heavy with their crop
… dancing leaves and fallen hairy chestnuts on the roadside
…oranges and lemons beginning to peek out from their camouflage
…happy birds, singing and resting before continuing migration
…leafless quince bushes with their fruits gripping firmly to branches, fearful that they were destined for my jam pot
…pomegranates swinging and bobbing in the autumn breeze, twinkling in the sunshine
…warm, swim friendly sea
…surprising fresh flushes of butterflies and dragonflies sprinkled through the air
…… or something that made me think of Triffids, and briefly wary when heading up to the fortress, or when watching shooting stars on the nightly walk. Please note the irreparable damage attributable to a 197?
O level English study of John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids. The inadvertently offending plants appeared during September, their presence struck me mostly in October when I was less busy and paying more attention to my surroundings. So many of them. They appeared all at once, tall and slender – ominous from a distance and beauties when looked at closely with all their little flowers (white with a pink vein) stuck to one long, elegant, single stem. And, like their appearance, simultaneously the flowers completed their time, dropped and the dried-up stems remained, redundant. Consulting my wild flower books I discovered they’re called Sea Squill, or Urginea Maritima for those who prefer Latin. No doubt by next year I’ll have forgotten the name; seems to become increasingly difficult to store new info, yet useless Triffid phobia sticks!
As October ended, clocks changed much to my dismay while temperatures remained pleasingly very decent. Occasional rain fell to satisfy new growth but not so much that might spoil holidaymakers’ beach days, and the richer, deeper colours of autumn proper settled in across the countryside. Our rooms were still reasonably busy considering the year it is, and, reaching the end of the season, thoughts turned to a relaxing November of balmy days …. Little did we know what rainfall was preparing to fall……what winds were building…..nor did we anticipate another period of lockdown, announced and implemented within 2 days……strict, requiring permission before leaving the house and only then for 1 of 6 reasons…..
Flora, 30th November 2020