I've often been asked which is my favourite season, and the truth is that I cannot ever pick one season over the other. Each has her own beauties, with the result that as soon as the new season arrives, I am immediately smitten. So at the time of typing, I am relishing the kaleidoscope of colours that abound in woodlands and hedgerows, munching Victoria plums to my heart's content and opening conker shells with the excited anticipation of a five-year-old.
The only aspect of autumn that I dread is the selling of this year's crop of lambs. But before you ask the inevitable question ("What about Pickle?"), let me reassure you...
Being a farmer's daughter, I should be resilient, nay impervious, to the annual partings inherent in rearing livestock. However, there are sometimes exceptional situations when one has to break the rules. And Pickle is one of those "exceptions".
Having fed him in the wee sma' hours for weeks, watched him trotting round the kitchen while I prepared his bottle and become accustomed to hearing his unique, high-pitched bleat bellowing from the field every time I venture into the garden, there is simply no way that I can load him into the wagon and send him off to market, and nor can HunterGatherer.
So Pickle will stay – most likely as a winter companion to FatHorse, a summer companion to our new tup Ivan (of whom more another time...) and, most importantly, a year-round companion to Yours Truly.
As you'll see from the photos below, our wee woolly warrior has grown somewhat from the early days. And here he is in all his autumnal glory...
Pickle is not the only living thing that's been thriving here at the Sparrowholding: there have been rich autumn pickings from Victoria our plum tree, who has excelled herself this year. Meanwhile, in the polytunnel, various other veggy goodies have been growing and Vinny the vine has been hard at work creating myriad bunches of tiny green grapes... Ah yes, there is much to love about autumn!