Signs Of Autumn

As August comes to a close, the familiar signs of autumn are appearing in Beetley. The grass has stopped growing on the lawn, and the roses have all died off on the bushes. With the first strong breezes we have had for some time now, small branches and leaves are beginning to drop from the two oak trees that cover our front and back gardens.

Last night was the first time for days that I was able to sleep untroubled by unpleasant humidity, and there was even a light mist when I woke up this morning.

But by far the biggest sign is that the acorns are falling. They are falling in their hundreds, rattling off the various roof areas, outside furniture, and guttering. Our cars parked at the front are being bombarded with a noisy fusillade, and every flat surface is almost covered in the empty shells, acorn nuts, or both.

Shifting these things is an annual task. The only animals that eat acorns are pigs, and EU rules forbid feeding acorns to pigs now. So they have to be swept into piles, collected into a garden waste bin, and sent off to be used in compost. I cannot imagine how long it takes for the extremely hard shells of acorns to break down, but I suspect it is a long time indeed.

And as I carry out this collection, I have to be careful. Get hit by one, and it is just like being struck by a falling stone. And woe betide you tread on one with bare feet, as it is not unlike stepping on broken glass.

Once the wind gets up, a new kind of sleepless night arrives. One where the sound of falling acorns striking the windows and paths resembles gunfire, and makes it hard to sleep undisturbed.

But this is country living, as the seasons change.

54 thoughts on “Signs Of Autumn

  1. I love autumn! We went blackberry picking at the weekend and my boys came back with handfuls of acorns. We have planted them and they hope to see it grow…I believe they are very slow so no doubt if it does grow by the time we notice it we will have probably forgotten we even planted it haha! Out of interest, why the law on pigs and acorns?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Be careful with planting acorns. You should have a visible baby tree 5-8 inches high by next year, and the roots are very tenuous. They are very hard to dig up!
      Apparently, The EU banned acorn feeding because it could not be controlled and ‘standardised’.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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      1. Oh wow that’s quicker than I thought it would grow. We have planted it at the bottom of the drive so I hope it won’t cause too much of an issue if it does take…! Interesting on the feeding issue, who’d have thought acorns would need to be standardised haha πŸ™‚

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        1. I have to spend a great deal of time trying to find and uproot baby oak trees, Once they get established, their roots can be quite disruptive to property. But the 250 year-old tree in our back garden does look lovely! πŸ™‚

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  2. You’re right that there can be nocturnal disturbances in the country, Pete, but on balance, I definitely prefer living in the country (albeit just outside a town) to living in an urban setting: I love the wide open spaces and the fresh air! πŸ˜€

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  3. The leaves are falling here too, which seems odd as the temperatures are still in the 30’s(c)
    The deer eat the acorns around here, as well as the wild boar, so our big oak (about 100 meters away) is the place to hang out during the winter months when you need a high energy snack.

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    1. It is ‘ Untested and Unregulated’ and the ‘Quality cannot be consistently guaranteed’. According to my pig-farmer acquaintance. All European pigs have to be fed the same diet, to allow for unrestricted pork exports between the member countries.
      Naturally many countries ignore this rule, including Poland, and some other states in the East.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. They can eat them, they are just not allowed to, by the EU.
      Apparently, acorns are not an ‘EU approved foodstuff’.
      Small wonder why we want to get out of the EU ‘Wonderland’?
      You cannot begin to imagine all the ‘rules’ foisted upon us by France and Germany, Elizabeth.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is the dominant tree here, plus two very big ones front and back of the house.
      Beetley got it’s name from the wooden hammers and mallets, made from Oak by the Anglo-Saxons who settled here. They were called Betels, hence ‘Beetley’.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You are fortunate…we have very little Autumn…we go from hot to cool we have Water Oaks they drop damn acorns year around…I know when Winter is here my Cypress tree loses its fronds and my Red Oak turns red…then I smile for about 4 months before the heat returns. chuq

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      1. We have tropical climate so Autumn does not exist in most of India. Various trees choose the time of their own choice to shed leaves. The old Neem tree next to my house shed leaves in March 😁. Another tree across the house does that in October.

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      1. That’s crazy and just a shame, Pete…I will be posting soon about a meal in Paris where the chickens are raised exactly as they were a hundred years ago…traditions the restaurant is trying to maintain amid a slew of restrictions

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      1. I checked online, and it seems squirrels do eat acorns, but not all types of acorns. “To a squirrel, the acorn is a package of energy that can be easily opened and eaten in less than half the time needed for other, harder nuts or stored for use months later.” (Peter Smallwood, Univ. of Richmond)

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            1. I actually carried some acorns across to Beetley Meadows, in 2012. I spread them around the bottom of the trees where the squirrels hang out, and they were still there weeks later. One of the older dog-walking ladies laughed at my efforts, and she told me that they don’t eat acorns. πŸ™‚

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