Although it'll still be some time before the rain makes any major impression on the reserve's water levels and we end up with scenes such as the one below, it's at least re-dressing the balance out there and the effects of the drought are fast diminishing.
The one down side of that is the fact that it is now become increasingly arduous walking round as the cattle do a good job of turning bone dry gateways and tracks into areas of deep, clinging mud, it's amazing how quickly they can churn up areas of wet soil. Mind you, whilst mentioning the cattle, one of the regular topics of conversation just lately has been the speed at which the grazing marsh has become lush and green again. It's been some years since so much grass has been available to the stock at this time of year. The lawns at home have gone the same way, all of a sudden it's a job to keep up with the mowing - a couple of nice frosts would help slow things down.
And so autumn takes over and people get all lyrical about what a wonderful season that it is, and so it can be, with all the wonderful colours in the woods and mists and dewy cobwebs, etc. etc., but for me it is spoiled by the fact that it heralds in the winter. I really cannot enjoy the winter season for a number of reasons but paramount among them is the short days and the long hours of darkness. Sorry, but for me there is nothing in winter that can compete with being on the marsh at 5.00 on a summer's morning when everything is fresh, the birds are active and the sun is just starting to warm the day up. And of course those late summer's evenings sitting in the garden as it cools down, watching the sun sink low in the western sky, swifts screaming in large gathering overhead and seeing the bats as they start to hawk the twilight for their prey. Being pitch dark and very cold by tea-time for months on end really is a depressing thought each year, some animals really have cracked it by hibernating through the winter. Every October when I pack my tortoises away for the winter I really do envy them the fact that when they next wake up it will be the Spring again, how great is that!
The warm sun is failing, the bleak wind is wailing,
The bare boughs are sighing, the pale flowers are dying,
And the year
On the earth her deathbed, in a shroud of leaves dead,
Is lying........................Percy Bysshe Shelley