First Frosts


Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Sunday, 21st October, 2007

rabbitcrab applesWE’RE SORRY TO SEE that our resident rabbit has got myxomatosis. It hops up on the patio and blunders around. It’s eyes are swollen and its fur in rather poor condition, compared with its sleek appearance this summer.

The golden hornet crab apple is popular this morning; a blackbird and several starlings are pecking at the small yellow apples.

All the work that we put in this year reorganising and extending the raised beds of the vegetable garden have paid off. I cut the last three courgettes. The courgettes and squash plants have collapsed into felty drifts of ragged brownish leaves after the first overnight frosts. It cabbagetakes less than thirty minutes to clear the plants and the few weeds, put them on the compost heap and fork over the bed ready for the next crop – the Sutton dwarf broad bean, which won’t do much over the winter but will be all ready to get going in the spring and give us an early crop around Easter time.

On the Canvas

“Sorry! You didn’t sell anything,” says Bill Mutch as I arrive at the church to collect my paintings after the show, “but we did well; we sold 49 out of the 350 paintings.”

“But not my cabbages? I don’t understand it!”

“No, people don’t want cabbages, I’m afraid. What you should have done is put a little worm on it – I’m serious!”

As Bill always has a twinkle in his eye, you can never quite tell if he’s serious or not. Worms, eh? Why didn’t I think of that? But he would say that, he’s an angler.