The weather is always a favourite topic and this year there has been plenty to talk about. The long sunny spring with incredibly low rainfall led into a dull summer and although amounts of rainfall were not excessive it seemed as if it rained much of the time. A few fine days as we move into autumn are always welcome. Now, at the tail end of September we see temperatures soaring as high pressure becomes dominant over much of Europe. The only reminder that autumn is well and truly here is the typically misty start to the days and the changing colours of the trees and in the hedgerows.
One result of the fine spring weather is that all the trees are laden with fruits. Blossom set was perfect, hence the bumper crops of fruit and berries. It is often stated that a large berry crop means a hard winter to come but plants respond to weather conditions rather than predict them.
In the animals kingdom there will also be gains and losses. Some invertebrates have multiplied by the million this year, particularly seven-spot ladybirds and earwigs. Next year there may be very few. It very much depends on the weather conditions at any particular time of year. However, it will always be a good year for some species.
In spite of the fine weather thoughts are turning to the end of the grazing season. Little grass remains and the weather will eventually become unsuitable for livestock to be out on the riverside pastures.