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Sunday, 4 September 2011

It’s seven forty-five and 43 degrees, which is even lower than the forecast.  But it’s a gorgeous day out there: clear blue sky, little wind, the sun climbing above the hills – and a gaggle of young turkeys just strolled into the yard, the first I’ve seen in a long time.


Clint was here most of the day yesterday, arriving before eight. As is always the case with these apparently simple jobs, it was the fiddly little details up on the roof that held us up. Note that I say ‘us’: I did help, in small ways, but mostly he worked on his own.


I busied myself with clearing away the last of my garden plot, levelling the ground and spreading the excess soil around the base of the house, which I have to say looks rather good. So here it is… the finished project.


 In fact, it’s nowhere near finished. I hope to paint some more windows around the sides. And the rest of the walls could do with a paint job, but that’s quite an undertaking and would require ladders. Somewhere amongst my thousands of stored images I must have one of what the place looked like before all the improvements, but I can’t seem to find one.

During our lunch-break, I showed Clint my pictures of the rattler that was killed last weekend – and explained why I hadn’t posted them on here. (I have one or two readers who would prefer not to see them.) I remarked that I hadn’t seen a snake since I bought those expensive boots, way back in June, apart from the one on the door-step that time. He said I might well see a few over the next few weeks. This time of year, he told me, they start moving. After being out and about all summer they head for their dens. I have been warned. Still, that busy time, when I saw eight snakes in as many days, has stood me in good stead: I really do watch the ground every yard of the way when I’m out in the hills. It has become a habit.

Watching the ground yesterday I saw what I would call Michaelmas daisies, but which the books call asters. I took three or four pictures, none of them in focus. I did, however, capture an image of a flax in flower – just. Their season should be over, but there are still a few moth-eaten blooms to be seen, and now that the grasses are fading

Their particular shade of blue really stands out. For a moment I thought I was looking at a gentian.


It’s got up to 54 degrees during the three-quarters of an hour I’ve been sitting here, and it still feels pretty nippy out there. Any more mornings like this and I shall declare the porridge season open.

Today’s excitement is the end of season party over at Ken Moreland’s place. I believe the trouble starts at two, as Mark Twain might have said. I need to shave, dig out a clean shirt and nip to town to buy some beer.