Monday 25 November 2019

November In Paxton And The Borders

November (and late October) has brought some serious rainfall, dark afternoons and a big increase in leaf fall, many of which lie on the ground in bright shades of orange and red. The country roads have become extremely muddy and cycling brings the annual annoyance of a couple of punctures (one for each of us) from thorns lying in the ground from freshly cut back hedgerows. Thank goodness for the invention of self-sealing “slimed” inner-tubes!

The garden and hedgerows are now completely orange (they turned at the end of October) although the trees are now pretty bare. What is good about autumn up here in the Scottish Borders is that it is proper autumn - increasingly chilly with frosts on occasions as opposed to the South of England where we used to live where you often had a perpetual Indian Summer throughout October and mild temperatures in November. None of that here - heaters on, big jumpers on. Great stuff. 

The bird life has changed, many migratory species have left and for a fair few weeks, “V” formations of geese have passed over, honking continually and enthusiastically to each other as they leave us for another year. Last year, remarkably, we were briefly visited by a pair of bright green, red-billed Ring-Necked Parakeets. Apparently these tropical-looking birds have small colonies in Greater London and also here in our Scottish Borders. They stayed for one day and were gone.

This November has been one of the wettest for many a year. Fields are saturated but thankfully, we don’t get flooded here, but the nearby River Tweed is very high and the burns that flow Into it in the grounds of Paxton House are also at very high levels, running in fast torrents into the Tweed. 

After the rains, some much colder weather has taken over and mornings are white with frost, some of which is staying for the whole day. Cycling on the country roads is getting icy and more than a little hazardous at times. Probably best to leave it until spring. 

November is a dark, dull month wherever you are in the country and here is no different.

The Parakeets can be seen on the second photograph near the left hand bird feeder

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