The autumnal misty mornings and damp rising from the ground started almost over night. There had been hints in the last week of September but as we began the pruning of vine, apples, olives ,again no fruit due to local conditions of draught and our hard pruning to get them into proper shape. The deer had damaged two of the apple trees ripping a branch by twisting it completely off and stripping the bark from another. Hope they’ll recover next year.

The budliha arch was dead as a door nail, crisp and leaning almost sideways. The drought, gale and animals trying to dig it up saw to its demise. We hope that it might regenerate in the spring but don’t hold out much hope. That said 10 years ago we planted young pomegranates along the fence overlooking the olive grove but most died off or were strimmed, so I potted the survivors on and eventually returned 3 mature plants to the garden, keeping one in a pot which had 6 fruit this year. While repairing the fences, deer, porcupines ( collective noun of a group of porcupines is a prickle ) digging them up we were astonished to discover a 3” tall pomegranate plant hugging a post. It has been marked and hopefully it will survive. To our amazement the Medlar? flowered, the other has been cadged to stop the deer eating it but is stunted due to previous munching, but so late there will be no fruit, delighted as this like the pomegranates were grown from seed. Deep in the undergrowth we have a pumpkin lurking but it needed a lot of water and the cisterna dropped below the safe level to use the pump so had to lug water from the house to keep things going. Only had good rain 6 times this year, much like the post & despite heavy morning mists we still had no rain and it looks like we’ve lost 3 more olmo trees. Valentino thinks its the drought but the other oaks are fine so we think its a virus of some sort, they be cut in the spring The wood was ordered and delivered after Valentino had finished with the grape harvest, not many grapes but its going to be a good vintage. It took 10.5 hours to stack in 1.5 hour stints, we’re slowing down, and it cost 800 euros for 63 quintarli, the wood was dry and easy to handle.

We had been growing a pumpkin, in a raised bed 12” off the ground, for our Halloween lunch but something came and took it away in the night just a few days before. The pumpkin was as big as a foot ball but no trace was left of it. Trolls? Porcupines? Hunters?

The sunsets were spectacular this month.

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