up early today to take photos of the rust on the camper van (some honesty is required in this situation). the light was gorgeous, I should get up earlier and take better photos than these.

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a seemingly unending succession of starry nights and sunny mornings this September. it is wonderful to see the Milky Way strung out across the sky; Venus is huge, a lantern hanging in the pre-dawn east, and in the middle of the night Orion swaggers in plain view from east to west, his jewelled sword and belt glittering, and red Betelgeuse glowing on his shoulder.

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the sheep arrived back today. grass is in short supply in this lovely Indian summer we are having – the meadow has recovered somewhat over the last few weeks, and at least is green, though not much length on it. probably perfect for sheep. the rabbit plague is much abated; the myxomatosis has killed off most of them, but there are some survivors about.

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we walked in the late morning, in bright sun, occasional cloud and a sharp chilly breeze from the west. the hedgerows are full of blackberries, rosehip, hawthorn and in the lowest part of the road, guelder rose berries. I found that the blackberries taste salty along the Hindringham road; I suspect crop-spraying is the culprit, so I leave them be.

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the barley stubble from the earliest harvest is sporting a few flowers and weeds, like this Hawksbeard

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but mostly the dry weather leaves them ash blonde and sterile. buzzards from the patchy woodland sail and soar in the blue space above, and there are gulls, but hardly any small birds to be seen.

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autumn is arriving, some trees are changing colour already, like this small sycamore.

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I think this beech tree must have died, perhaps stressed by the drought, its leaves changed colour about a month ago and now its bare except for its mast.

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horse chestnuts are always the first to go, but there is a disease which is affecting some; I think the ones in the churchyard at Langham might be affected, they had brown edges to their leaves a few weeks ago. this one seems healthy enough, its the first of several in this garden to change.

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these two horses have been in the paddock next to the cemetery a few weeks now; they have eaten all the grass and are hungry. the chestnut on the right is looking very poor, and there’s no shine on his coat. its a shame, they should be getting supplementary hay, at least.

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