☀ A short walk in the woods last week when the weather was warm and grey and we all just needed to be out of the house for a bit. We're so lucky to have this beautiful area of woodland within a short walking distance of home, I appreciate it very much. I loved the branches of this deceased tree which were completely covered in moss - the way the moss was back-lit somehow made the branches look like they were glowing.
☀ I was stunned to find these toadstools on our woodland walk, partly because I think this may be the first time I've ever seen picture-book red and white toadstools ever in my life, and partly because they screamed "AUTUMN" in a way that I am so not prepared for right now. It is still summer, and I am most definitely claiming this as a Summer Moment.
☀ But seriously, no matter what the season, these toadstools were spectacular in their shouty red-ness. I've just made a Google search and discovered that this is most likely a russula emetica, also known as "The Sickener", so definitely not something that can be pan fried in a little butter then. The Little People were in awe of them, well, they did look pretty impressive as toadstools go.
☀ I realise that pretty much every one of my Summer Moment posts contains a sleepy kitty, she has been a big part of our family life this holiday. She isn't always an easy animal to interact with as she is rather fiesty and very strong willed, but we love her to bits and adore having her around. She is never very far away from us, choosing to cope with our noise and constant comings and goings rather than hide herself away, and I love that.
☀ Last year our buddleia went into a state of extreme shock and not one stem grew after I pruned it back hard at completely the wrong time the year before. I was so sad and really missed the flowers last year, so it's been especially lovely to see it in full recovery this year with it's gorgeous purple flowers blooming in recent weeks.
☀ A bit like the Sickener toadstools, this image is really rather worryingly autumnal, but I'm overlooking this fact and concentrating on how lovely the colours are. I picked these leaves up from the pavement at the bottom of the hill, a little dismayed to see the first signs of Summer coming to a close, but crushing on these beautiful Autumn shades.
-+*` f7v........ [oh, that was a little cat message to you from Tilly as she walks across my keyboard!]
☀ Another day, and another moment of delight as not one but two butterflies were spotted dancing around on the buddleia bush. We don't see that many butterflies around our terraced streets, so it really is fab that our modest (and rather harshly treated) shrub can draw these beauties in.
☀ During this past week we've often had the best weather in the evenings. We are generally finished eating and clearing up around 6.30pm, so after I've done a few chores (laundry mostly) I've been heading up to the park around 7pm with the Little People. We are lucky to have a fabulous open space on our doorstep (well, five minutes walk away), and I am very thankful for it at all times of the year.
☀ Often when I go to the park with the LP I opt to plant my backside on one of the wooden benches at the top of the hill and simply sit still and take in the view. Being physically still is something that doesn't happen all that often when you are a busy Mum, but I can highly recommend seeking out a few minutes each day to just sit. It relaxes the body and focuses the mind on being In The Moment - practicing this type of very simple mindfulness feels so good. I watch the play of light and shadows across the distant hills, breathe in the scent of freshly cut summer grass, feel the last of the day's warm sunshine on my face, listen to the sound of children playing, watch the swallows dip and dive low over the ground as they swoop in search of insects, make a quiet, silent wish on the sliver of crescent moon in sky.
☀ I don't always just sit still and observe when I go to the park though...sometimes I like to have my mind and hands busy. I took my Summer Harmony blanket up to the park for the first time this week, oh it looked completely glorious spread out on the grass in the early evening sun. I sat quietly on top of all that yarny colour and knit a few rows of my sock while the Little People kicked a ball around and expended some energy. It was a super-lovely way to gently unwind at the end of the day.
☀ Summer evenings are so precious with that beautiful, glowing golden light and those enticingly loooooooong shadows to play around with. Goodness only knows what the three of us must have looked like to anyone else, but we did have some fun with our shadowy selves.
☀ Behold, our glorious allotment booty!! Oh we were so proud to harvest this modest handful of little tomatoes from our row of outdoor tomato plants. Little B was beside himself as tomatoes are his most favourite thing to eat, and he couldn't wait to try them. They were indeed utterly sweet and delicious and bursting with summer flavour.
☀ More blackberries from the untamed wild bit at the allotment, and some little cooking apples from the single tree that grows in my in-laws front garden. Isn't it some kind of wonderful when fresh fruit comes into your hands for free? I'm thinking these are summer fruits, wouldn't you say? Nothing Autumnal here, nope, not at all.
☀ I made an apple and blackberry Oaty Crumble using this crumble recipe (but leaving out the golden syrup). We unearthed a rather old tin of Birds custard from the depths of the kitchen store cupboard and oh-my-word, it was sooooo good. So so so good.
☀ 7.48pm....an early evening summer sky looking very lovely indeed as we made our way home from the park. I love being able to make the most of these summer days with the Little People, stretching them right out into the evenings whenever we can. Already our days are noticeably shortening and we are drawing our curtains at 8.30pm.
☀ The Little People go back to school next week, bringing our summer holiday to an end. We've had a very relaxing six weeks, it's been a pleasure to just mellow out and enjoy some quiet family time at home. Now, in my book it is still summer until 22nd September which is the Autumn Equinox, I had to have words with some of the ladies at the cafe who tried to tell me that it was the first day of Autumn today. We still have three more weeks of Summer my friends, and I intend to make the very most of it!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx