In fact, the ash first - we hear much of what will happen to our/my ash woodland but no one has yet mentioned that many of the hedges are predominantly ash. Around here some hedges are almost exclusively ash.
This is a nightmare for farmers trying to keep stock in fields. Invest in barbed wire!
Now to a tale of bats, or a bats tale or .... well. you decide.
The owner of this tale will remain firmly anonymous.
She hates bats.
She sleeps with her bedroom window open and, one night, she heard a fluttering in the house. (She lives alone.) A bat was at large!
The thought of one getting in her hair made her drape a towel over her head as she hurried to the computer and typed in, "How do you get rid of bats?"
She found the answer.
Take a tupperware bowl and a sheet of cardboard. Place the bowl over the bat and then slide the cardboard under the bowl being careful not to let the bat escape. Then take it somewhere and release it. This is best done at daybreak when the animals are torpid.
Being frightened (yet very brave) she stayed up all night and, as the first light appeared in the east, she put on her jeans and a wicker waste paper basket (over her head so the bat would not get in her hair)(and so she could see through the wickerwork).
She crept downstairs and there by a pot plant on a table was something resembling a dead leaf. Of course, as she had the basket on her head she could not wear her glasses but she thought it was the bat.
She placed the bowl over the thing and slid the cardboard into place. The thing moved. It was the bat.
Now what to do?
She opened the front door and, both hands occupied, set off down the road, the waste paper basket still on her head. It was a good thing it was very early in the morning.
Finally she found a garage door with a gap at the bottom and popped the bat inside.
Then she hurried home, forgetting to take the basket off her head till she had shut the door.
Now, I have asked the person in question for permission to publish this and she has reluctantly consented.
To move on - here is a siskin (I think) sheltering from the rain under the eaves of one of the sheds - even the birds are fed up with the weather.
At least it picked a place with plenty of food.
And autumn is done.
Winter has come in mid November. (And it will last until March.)
Wooly combinations on, wood burning stove lit, lumberjack cap with earflaps at the ready, gloves and Wellies by the back door.
Still loads to do in the garden.
I am getting my knees wet praying for a few dry days (for a change).
So, I know what I want for Christmas -