There is not yet the scent of cold and woodsmoke in the air that marks the official turn of the season. There has been no frost. But this morning there was a heavy dew, so that when I went out to walk the dogs the whole landscape glittered and shimmered in the thick yellow Italianate sun. (There is a quality to the light here that is very different to that of the south; it is denser, somehow; it feels like ancient Roman light.) Most of the country is still green, but the first leaves are starting to turn. The trees are putting out berries; the elders are heavy with black fruit; the roses have magically turned themselves into hard scarlet hips. It is at times like this that I wish I were one of those women who knows about preserving and making jams. My mother, who could do domestic goddess when the mood was in her, used to make a special delicious jam out of tomatoes when I was a child; I have a vague memory that she did this while wearing pearls, although this might be a fantasy. Personally I think one should wear jewels whilst jam-making.
Anyway, here are some pictures for you, to celebrate the greatest season of all.
The marjoram, putting out its final flowers.