Summer, such as it has been, seems to have flown by. Now the tractors are up and down the lane from dawn till dark, carrying loads of straw and potatoes. Already the fields are being prepared for next year's harvest.
We cycled out spontaneously one morning, when the sun made a joyful appearance, and headed over to Venus Pool to see what was going on in the bird community.
Quite a lot, as it happened. We settled in one of the waterside hides.
The geese were gathering in numbers - flocks of them have been flying over the cottage regularly, heralding the end of summer with their haunting cries. There were the usual Canadian Geese and a crowd of Grey Geese. Keeping their distance, faraway, were three pairs of Cormorants. A dignified Grey Heron mingled in a rather aloof fashion.
I told Joe how Andy always referred to these birds as 'grey greasy fishermen', from the way they seem to slink and slide as they are hunting or flying.
There was one unexpected visitor, a Little White Egret.
Such a pretty thing, delicately picking its way past the waddling, guzzling geese.
It's on the amber list of birds, so this was a good 'spot'.
We headed over to the little woodland hide, where numerous bird feeders attract the smaller birds. Nothing unusual here (though I did once watch a rat squabbling with a pair of ducks). The birds do very well here, with plenty of peanuts provided for the Great Tits and suchlike.
One last glance at Venus Pool, with the Wrekin looming in the background, before heading home to beat the incoming rain.
Autumn is definitely on its way.
Joe spotted an old wasp nest in a muddy bank - I have to admit I walked right past it, thinking it was a disintegrating plastic bag.
Exquisite constructions; delicate paper palaces which will gradually dissipate over the season, leaving nothing but a few tiny, desiccated corpses.
We picked blackberries on the way home; our summer has been somewhat mixed and fruit in general is not great this year.
But we foraged enough for a crumble.
True to form, the British summer closed in and as we arrived home, the rain was tumbling in from Wales. This was the view from the garden...before taking cover.
After a good morning of wandering, and with calories to replace, there was home made trifle for lunch. This baby had my own lemon drizzle cake lining the bottom - which gives it a nice zingy cut though the sweetness of cream, jelly and custard. And, of course, hundreds and thousands.