|That was then…|
Autumn has arrived, and it came in on a blustery south-west wind. That means rain – and lots of it. Only a few weeks ago, the river level was almost down to the record low level of the famous drought year of 1976 – on the right is a snap of it as it was.
|… and this is now|
Now rain falling on the mountains of Wales is gradually draining into the Wye. Canoeists don’t have to worry about grounding on gravel banks anymore. They’re too busy fighting their way through torrents and rapids. The snap on the left was taken today and shows how the small island has disappeared.
As I type this, it’s impossible to see our neighbour’s house – the rain is so heavy, clouds have filled the valley. All the water-butts around the house and greenhouses are overflowing, and they were almost empty in September. The weather this year has been as good as last year was bad. This meant a great harvest of fruit, and now autumn has set the blueberry leaves on fire.
After losing all my bees, I was lucky enough to get a replacement colony via our local beekeepers’ club. It was late in the beekeeping season, but my new bees still managed to populate their hive. I shall have to be on my toes next spring, or their queen will think it’s time to lay a replacement and move out with a swarm of her followers. She’ll want to set up a new home somewhere else, leaving her daughter queen behind in my hive with a tiny nucleus of young bees. That means I’ll get no honey for the second year running! To avoid that happening, I’ll try and hang onto my existing queen by persuading her to move out, but only as far as one of my spare hives. That means I’ll be spending this autumn cleaning and repairing all my spare kit, ready for next spring. Like gardening, beekeeping needs you to think ahead.
I’m planning to issue my next newsletter soon, and this picture has been a great inspiration! I’ll be including my own recipe for Turkish delight in my newsletter, and you can sign up to be included on the mailing list here.