sedum poking through the earth on a cold February morning, discovering some purple beans that have been hiding out of sight in the middle of September, lifting a log to find the neat stacks of bright white slug eggs or stumbling across a complete skeleton leaf, for us, at least, it's something new, which makes us gasp with joy, jump up and just have to share - in person or through the lens.
It's easy to feel a sense of loss when Autumn comes, what with the weather turning, the nights drawing in, the leaves falling and the garden starting to look bare, not to mention cold beds at night and chilly wooden floors in the morning. I really enjoy Autumn in our garden - it's a chance to see just why our flowers have been looking so beautiful, in spite of the lack of sun, and smelling so sweet. The wild irises have gone from being a delicate strip of blue purple to producing the brightest pillar box red seeds in a sculptured pod that wouldn't look out of place at Origin, the acanthus flowers have transformed into a green humming bird with the longest tongue and the nasturtium seeds are as plump as a freshly stuffed pin cushion.
I love this photograph. It looks so fragile, yet the hydrangea is one of the longest flowering plants in our garden - and it needs to be, what with clumsy cats and boisterous fox cubs. I love finding skeleton leaves at this time of year. I used to hunt for them when I was small - so delicate and difficult to pick up without falling apart in my stubby little fingers. Finding them was always a thrill - a little like finding fools gold on the beach in the summer or that elusive four leaf clover. The holy grail was always a complete chinese lantern skeleton.