Where there was shade there was frost, this morning. Long shadows from a steadily lowering sun confirm the approach of year’s end, but the blue skies keep fresh the memory of summer. It’s a time of preparation – tarpaulins are dragged off piles of wood and the noise of the chain saw becomes as familiar as summer bird song. Warm fireside evenings are about to replace the ritual of sundowners in the garden. Stone houses take on a different nature as night time temperatures plummet. Their intrinsic nature of keeping one cool in the hot days of summer remains constant, though being kept cool in the freezing days of January and February is not an exciting prospect. So the wood burner glows in the evening and the smell of the paraffin heater scents the early mornings. The forest is on the cusp of changing colour. The reds, golds and russets are illuminated by the full sun that remains with us during these ever shortening days. There is a feeling of expectation throughout. The season is dead, long live the season.