Sunday, 28 September 2014

September's Bounty

I love the month of September when all the intensity of the sun mellows and the activity of sowing and growing crops, and watering, become less hectic and there is time to reflect and enjoy the time spent at the plot harvesting apples, squashes, the last of the beans and tomatoes.  

My golden hop has flowered for the first time.  To begin with I thought it was a male plant but then the flowers grew and the back, sides and roof of my shed became smothered in golden flowers which I will harvest for garlands for the Winter Solstices and Christmas.  Soon it will have to be cut down, I will heap manure on the root to feed  it for its new growth in spring.

For now I just enjoy sitting with Pops dog and enjoying its abundance and beauty against the blue of the shed and sky on lovely September evenings.

Early in September Pops and I went for a wander to a lovely Park full of mature trees some of which must now be a hundred years or more old, there is an yew with branches reaching to the ground and rooted into the soil to renew itself, There are Horse Chestnut trees that drop chestnuts for the children to collect and to play the games of conkers .  In the early evening there are children chattering and whooping as they find them in the grass under the trees, even adults pick them up partly, I suspect, from nostalgia for childhood games of conker, but this is rationalized  as being to deterring spiders from coming indoors.  I also love to collect conkers, some to put into my winter bowls of potpourri, but also because of the sheer beauty of the gleaming brown fruits. Also to remind me of happy memories of collecting conkers as a child..

While walking Pops to the park we turned to the East and there before us was the Harvest full moon, which this year was a a Super Moon.  It was hanging low in the sky as it orbits the earth. The Moon glowed golden in a blue sky and as the sunset it became flushed with pink.  As usual my camera was in my rucksack at home so I did not get a picture of it. However, here is a picture of the Super moon  over Blackheath by Mike Meynell. What a beautiful  picture. 

The Equinox on the twenty third of September marked the end of Summer and the beginning of Autumn and the drawing in of the days and the dark nights leading up to the Winter Solstice on the twenty first of December when the light begins to return. . Already I can feel an urgency growing in me to get jobs down at the allotment and in the garden  before the bad weather  comes and  much shorter days set in.  

On Monday it is the feast of Michaelmas  a Christian feast to celebrate Michael the Archangel and all the other Archangels.  It is traditional seen as the day that God ordered Michael to throw Lucifer out of heaven.  It is said that the devil fell into the middle of a blackberry thicket and his angry fiery breathe set them on fire. Lucifer surround by a ring of fire stamped on the blackberries and spat on them to quench the fire, or as the Celts say pissed on them to put out the fire..  That is why we shouldn't eat blackberries after that date. People say we do not eat them in October  because the sun is not strong enough to ripen them and misty, dampness of autumn turns them mouldy.  Some of us know the real reason!

Michaelmas is associate with eating certain foods just as there is a Traditional Christmas foods, At one time Michaelmas was a great feast day and the traditional meal was goose, with potatoes and carrots, and Blackberry pie or dumplings.  I will not be eating goose as I am a vegetarian. I have from my plot have some Picasso Potatoes and lovely rainbow carrots which I sowed at the end of July and are ready for harvesting now.  I will will also cook some blackberries and  James Grieve cooking apples and make some dumplings, These were also  harvested  from my allotment.

 In the last week Michaelmas daisies are beginning to flower on my plot and in my garden. They are actually an Aster first introduced into this country from America in 1633 by John Tradescant the  Younger a 17th Century plant hunter and gardener.  The plants became known as Michaelmas daisies because they bloom in late September at the time of the feast of Michaelmas.  I love their with vibrant colors which flower just as other flowers are fading. For a long while they seemed to go out of fashion, perhaps because they suffered badly from mildew but new breeding techniques seems to have overcome that problem.

Anyway I could write more but it is time for Pops walk so I will stop and take her out.  Look out for the full moon on the 8th of October it will be a blood moon. Those of you living in North America will get the best view of it  but you will have to get up early to see it.

With Reiki blessing to every one,