stepping stones of truth

A journey along the path of life - the stones can be rough, smooth or even wobbly!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

First frosts and last fruits

Well, not fruits exactly - walnuts. There are many traditions in Dorset about helping walnut trees bear fruit abundantly :-
" A woman, a rose and a walnut tree -
The more you beat 'em , the better they'm be!"

I am glad to say that The Husband does none of those things, and was up the ladder in the sharp wind, harvesting rather than beating (pronounced "be-atting" in the old Dorset diaclect) But we do know that you have to wait years and years for the trees to provide walnuts. It was well over twenty years ago when we planted it as a small sapling.

Since then it had been pruned by our hungry horse several times. The sheep can't reach over the fencing but Timothy was very interested in them. Although, after smelling it and "lipping" at it several times, he declined my offer.

Last night we had the first frost of the season, inevitable as the clear skies of the days continue into the night. The moon looked sharp enough to cut through the black velvet sky last night. All was very crisp. I knew we had something interesting going on - as I stepped out of the door this morning I could hear it. A persistent gentle thud, almost too quiet to hear. The sycamore tree had been frosted, and had given up holding on to its leaves. As it does every year, it lets them all go in a matter of hours. Fascinating to watch, but I had to get to work so couldn't stand around watching the whole tree turn to a skeleton in front of my eyes in the now still air.

I was hoping we would get some cold weather before I go to Japan, so as I could feel the benefit of the temperature difference. So its all my fault. Luckily the heating at work starts on 1st November. Just in time!

Even the lowliest nettles were trimmed with silver.


At 12:54 pm, Blogger Tabor said...

A trip to Japan. Sound like fun and more photos will be coming!

At 6:31 pm, Blogger Kerri said...

It looks cold up on that ladder! How long do the walnuts take to cure? Not sure if that's the correct term, but you know what I mean. Perhaps if you shelled it for the curious sheep he might find it more appealing :)


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