Monday, October 31, 2005

Coo. We went of to the Winkworth Arboretum yesterday to see the various maples and other trees in their autumnal leaves, and they did not disappoint. The range of colours - intense reds and yellows and pinks and purples - against a backdrop of grey-green Cedars and darker oaks and so on was really rather spectacular.

But what on earth has happened to Autumn more generally? Last week we went for a walk over the South Downs, and at one point passed along the edge of an arable field that still had flowering Cornflower, some poppies, and a member of the pea family that I couldn't identify. At Winkworth yesterday, in their new wetland zone, there were specimens of Monk's Hood in flower - four months later than they should be - together with Red Campion in the woods!

It is, of course, dangerous to extrapolate too much from a few isolated incidents, but they are consistent with a pattern that becomes increasingly alarming. If the plants get out of step with the seasons it is going to make life very tough on the organisms that depend upon them, and ultimately ourselves.

Meanwhile we can all get used to having the times of day messed about with as we revert to 'daylight saving time' - at least that's what I think it's supposed to be when the clocks go back an hour. Why do we indulge in this craziness? I gather it was invented as a ruse to enable factory workers to be able to go to work in the light in the winter. But since few people work in factories anymore for whom this was originally cooked up, and in any event the rules of employment are a little less draconian than in 1914, I can't see the point.

Willem is due to go to some Halloween party tonight, so I had better get the shopping and stuff doner. What is this Halloween, and why does everyone now insist on spending so much money on the tat that appears to accompany it? Suckered by the Americans again, I imagine. What a load of old nonsense.

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