We have had clear star-filled nights here making it easy to see and admire the Harvest Moon. Consequently the mornings have been cold and bordering on frosty. I found a frozen dandelion clock on the allotment. I have needed a few more layers for my early morning bike rides too, but have been rewarded with some stunning dawns, the air alive with birdsong and steeped in golden mists. The birds do seem particularly chatty at the moment. I wondered if it was because they were busy stocking up for the cold months ahead but I like this idea from David Lack: autumn birdsong is a signal of a bird’s intention to stay the winter rather than migrate. I wonder if he is right. It is mostly sparrows, tits and robins I have seen chirruping away, all non-migratory birds. If birds had fingers I imagine then making rude gestures and yelling, “Yah! Get out of here you southern softies, us northerners will tough it out!” That would be mostly the sparrows I should think; just the sort of behaviour I would expect from sparrows.
At the weekend it poured here. We braved the rain to attend the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival. It sounds very highbrow (and it is) but we were aiming for an event called Fairy Tale Pets by Tracey Corderoy, which was not so highbrow but probably more fun. Little Owl has been a big fan of Tracey since my mother-in-law introduced her to the Hubble Bubble Granny Trouble series. Granny is a witch and a very mischievous one. You should hear what she gets up to in the Great Granny Bake Off! Anyway, Tracey’s event was about her book Fairy Tale Pets in which Bob decides he needs a job and he’s going to take in pets. Well you can imagine the chaos that ensues when the likes of Baby Bear, The Three Billy Goats Gruff and the Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs turn up. Tracey was absolutely fantastic: super nice and super fun. To her credit, she was also not at all fazed with Little Owl’s stack of books for her to sign, or the slightly squashed lemon biscuits Little Owl had made for her. She actually ate them too. Big Dreamer said this was because she is either very nice or was very hungry, but I happen to think Little Owl makes a pretty mean lemon biscuit, squashed or not.