Overnight rain had desisted by this morning, leaving the roads once more waterlogged, yet there was no frost and we were treated to cotton clouds scudding speedily across cerulean skies while splashing our way to Ferndene Farm Shop to buy provisions and a Christmas tree for which Jackie had to return later because there was not room for both me and a seven foot tree in the car.
From Ferndene we continued into the forest via Beckley Common Road.
A trio of ponies dozed unblinking on the verge of Forest Road, further along which the winterbourne stream has filled up again, bearing grasses and reflections on it surface. The low sun lit hummocks and cast shadows across the opposite verges.
Off the Thorney Hill bend of the road,
a few fine fungi had pierced a layer of fallen autumn leaves at the wooded corner of Valley Lane.
The sun penetrated the cover of leafless branches occasionally lighting the foliage yet to fall among the browned bracken, and printed reflections on muddy pools.
During the afternoon the rain beat down once more and the winds shook the garden foliage.
The day was warmer than of late. Could autumn have returned?
This afternoon we dined on pork/apple and pork/chives sausages; creamy mashed potatoes of the the white and the sweet varieties, fried onions, crunchy carrots, tender runner beans and meaty gravy with which Jackie drank more of the Pinot Grigio and I drank Le P’tite Pierre red wine 2022.