Months; What to look out for in October

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Months; What to look out for in October

Chilly evenings, morning mists, first leaves falling.   The goats can't wait to be let out in the morning:  they gallop down the slope to shovel up the first leaves..............they then go back to bed, and don't get up properly until about 10:00.

It has been a funny year.   There should, by now, be little spiders' nests in the grass and the hedgerows, flocks of Canada geese flying "south" for the winter - though they mostly just go as far as Leeds Castle.   There should be lots of different types of mushrooms,particularly the Yellow Staining Mushroom, which looks very much like a shop mushroom or field mushroom until you scratch its surface with a fingernail.   Then it stains sulphur yellow; it is poisonous.   There should be lots of late wasps making a nuisance of themselves, and ladybirds hibernating.   What there shouldn't be is peacock butterflies, cabbage white butterflies and columns of tiny flies spinning around in circles in columns.  It's been a funny year.

A while ago I kept a nature diary - earliest frost on 8 October................I was either moaning about the lack of rain or complaining that it never stopped raining.  I have a note from 2010 about 30 swallows gathering on the electricity wires in Barn Meadow.   Well, the electricity wires are gone now, and so are the swallows.

What I have found is three mushrooms from the Boletus family.   There are 27 species of Boletus in my book; two are poisonious, 24 are tasteless, and the other, Boletus edulis, is the Porcine or Cep mushroom, which retails fresh for up to £80/kg.   Unfortunately, I don't know which of the 27 species I have, so having photographed one of the three, I very reluctantly threw it in the bin.