The weather's twelve degrees above normal for this time of year, and at the Sacred Plot this morning it was too hot to do much other than leisurely pick a few raspberries and pull up some weeds. It feels more like the middle of July than the end of September, and the forecast is for more of the same over the next few days. The plants are confused; there's fruit on the strawberries again which should be ripe by the weekend, and the courgettes are still hanging on.
Some farmers are complaining that it's too arid to do anything, while others have had bumper harvests. The warm spring, disappointingly damp summer and dry September has produced an abundance of apples and other fruit, while the bushes in the gardens are weighed down by their berries. The birds are back; a great tit this morning was looking very pleased with himself, and the blackbirds are looking sleek and elegant again after their post-breeding moult. I saw a couple of greenfinches flitting around the cherry tree yesterday, the first ones I've seen for ages - their numbers have declined rapidly over the last few years due to a virus - and the jackdaws who live in a nearby chimney have been keeping us entertained.
We need to make the most of this; soon the clocks will be going back, the nights will be long, and this last hurrah of summer will be nothing more than a memory.