Recommended Reading: on blogging
Tunes for a Monday Morning

Leaf-blown fairies by day, Jack Frost by night. . .

Devon Trees

We've had a magical autumn over the last couple of months, full of deep blue skies and crisp, clear nights and trees blazing with an intensity of color rarely seen on Dartmoor. Despite the amount of time I spend outdoors with Tilly, I somehow never managed to have my camera with me when the weather and the trees were in their prime -- but even now, at season's end, when most of the leaves have fallen and the sky is "a whiter shade of pearl," the woods and fields are still full of colors that I ache to translate into stories and paintings. In some ways perhaps I even prefer the muted palette of late November, its subtle tones turning all the land around me into a Rackham illustration.

Autumn fairies by Arthur Rackham

Tilly's paw has healed (to everyone's relief) and she's allowed out on long walks once again. . . through wood and water, over stones and styles, into the hills and hedgerows that she loves so well.

Tilly in an autumn wood

Tilly November 2010

Tilly in autumn

The secret door

As for Howard and me, we've been laid low by a touch of flu, so we're not straying far from home ourselves. Many thanks to Rima, Tom, and their dog Macha, for taking our girl out for a ramble this morning, which she absolutely loved. . . and needed!

Rima Staines & Tom Hirons with Tilly & Macha

Macha and Tilly

Winter seems to be approaching fast. Yesterday we had our first snowfall of the season -- just a light little flurry that has dusted the surrounding hills like powdered sugar on a cake. Howard has got our old rayburn stove up and running, feeding it logs and coals to keep us all toasty warm. It's time to get my long wool coat out of the attic and finally admit that winter is here...and here to stay.

First snowfall

The warm kitchen hearth