My goodness, how autumn can accelerate. That same Silver Birch that was turning golden last week is now naked. I've taken as many photographs as possible, before the wind sends lots of autumn leaves plopping noisily down to earth, and everything loses everything, if you know what I mean.

 Beautiful colours.
Red Maple Tree Leaves

I've been slowly working away at my new enlarged Pond Paddock Garden - dumping mulch and clearing grass. There are so many tree roots that it takes ages to dig a half-decent planting hole. Now three Pittosporums and a Yellow Wave Phormium are in, and I've shifted and replanted some green Mondo grass clumps and some hostas.

 My grey cottage cat.


Poor Minimus, my grey cottage has been off colour, running at half speed. So yesterday we went to the vet. Phew. All is well, apart from five puncture wounds around her neck. Bites. Hmm. I wonder who the culprit was? A large rat? Certainly not Tiger the tortoiseshell, who is far too busy sleeping. And not the Fred catlets, who are far too jolly to get into a cat fight. Which leaves...

Black Buster!

Black Buster! My slinky, silent, spy-cat, Miss Buster. Miss 'Butter Wouldn't Melt In My Mouth' Buster. Perhaps she's developed a split personality disorder, and her dark cat-twin (whom I'm calling The Black Avenger) has been up to mischief. And the Black Avenger is sneaky - working in the Pond Paddock this afternoon I turned around, and there she was, sitting on Minimus's cottage verandah, oh so innocent. So I threw water from the watering can all over her - oh, so sorry, Buster, I didn't see you there. Hee hee.

 By the Hump.
Buster the Cat

Minimus, meanwhile, has lost her confidence, scampering underneath the cottage whenever a noisy wind gust blows. Though the catching of last night's midnight mouse cheered her up enormously. I got up, admired her offering, then sneakily threw the corpse in the pond (oops). She came back 'to bed' purring and smooching, relaxed into a ball, and went happily to sleep. So did I - with the window shut.

Dog diets...

Now some good news for dieting dogs - both have lost enough weight (slowly) with their fancy-pants vet's dog food, and are the weight that busy Border Collies should be. Winnie is noticeably more agile, and much more energetic in exercise. Must be worth all that money, right? Good health, you two dogs!

I'm liking the potential of the new Pond Paddock garden, but I need more stones for the edges, more compost, soil, and organic matter for the infill, and more brute strength and energy for the plantings. And quite possibly more plants! But patience is a gardening must-have, and I tell myself that working modularly always wins out in the end. It's not realistic to dedicate every minute of every hour to one gardening task. This afternoon I redirected myself to bonfiring for a couple of hours, and tomorrow we are log splitting all morning. Busy, busy!

It's a good time to reflect and enjoy the autumn photographs, I reckon! This year the bigger red Maples seem to be the most brilliantly coloured of all. I see them when I'm bonfiring. Nice! I honestly haven't tinkered with their colour. They're just doing the business this autumn, and when the light is right they're glorious.