Oh, sneaky, sneaky autumn! You're starting to colour up rather nicely. But oh so subtle are your changes, at this early stage. And no frosts as yet, so the dahlias bloom on. The Silver Birch by the cottage has gone golden. Leaves are starting to flutter down. I love autumn.

 This seemed to happen overnight...
Autumn Cottage

The autumn bonfire continues on merrily (the gardener not necessarily so merry about it). I'm now doing quite a bit of tree trimming and shrub pruning - seems sensible, when the mess can go straight to the burning heap. And lots of raking of gum leaves. The proper autumn leaves (particularly the oak ones) get bagged up to to turn themselves into leaf mould.

Tag Team Stinky Dogs...

My dogs are tag-teaming, getting up to something. First one disappears, and returns after some time with the stinkiest chest. They greet each other, and the second dog sniffs at this lovely fragrance. I turn around to drop more Phormium leaves on the bonfire, and crikey! The second dog has now gone. She returns some time later even stinkier than the first. We cannot go inside smelling like this, so we go over to the pond. I rub some gooey dog shampoo on them, wash it off, and there! We all smell nice again. Including me.

Me, stinky?

They've now done this three afternoons in a row. The smell obviously triggers the memory of the dead thing's location (aargh!) and the dog-pleasure of rolling thereon. Any stink you can stink I can stink stinkier. But how odd that they go off separately. Perhaps they think they both look the same, so I won't notice that one's missing. They are, after all, sisters...

 Careful, wee cat!
Black Fred by the Water

Boring for Dogs...

OK, I have to accept that my bonfire is boring for dogs. But not for the Fred cats - both love following the wheelbarrow around. And both are fascinated by water. Yesterday Black Fred 'fell in' the pond, misjudging his route, ending up soaked to his shoulders. Oops. I scooped him up in the dog towel, then he sat in the sun and washed himself dry.

Yesterday I burnt another trailer load of mess collected from the far fence-line. Out of sight is not necessarily out of mind in autumn. Today, trying something different, I've been trimming the overgrown Hypericum shrubs near the water race, adding these prunings to raked up gum tree leaves and fallen Cordyline leaves. The Freds have been climbing the Cordyline trunks, which are moderate in height and very easy to descend backwards. Luckily Red Fred has not repeated his performance of two weeks back, when he got stuck at the top of a tall pine tree, lost his nerve, and had to be rescued.

Now I'm off with my proper camera to try and capture the glowing colours of the autumn leaves. 'Try' is the word. Of course, this glowing is an illusion - the leaves are in fact dying off. Hmm. Autumn is definitely sneaky.