This week has been glorious in Magura. Perfect autumn days, with the fire of turning leaves, diamond dust sparkling on the grass for brief moments in the morning sun before the frost melts in unusual warmth, animals enjoying the late sunny heat before the snow arrives…
I was back in summer clothes as long as I was in the sun. My volunteer Jesse was working in T-shirt and shorts, Not-my-dog Papi was to be found sunbathing and snoring, until the warmth got too much and he retired to the shade
The cats have been flying about, ambushing each other, leaping like hares in the sunshine. George was up to his armpit in a mole hole, reaching with one clawed paw for a sensibly retiring resident; the cat had to make do with late insects instead, although his twitching tail could be seen in the zarzin tree as he plotted the capture of a black redstart (failed).
Carina’s new foal is exactly the right colour for the time of her birth, and has had a deceptively beautiful start to life in these weeks of perfect autumn weather – but she’s a very late foal, and will have a trying winter if temperatures plummet to -20C or worse, and snow drifts to head height, as it can.
Humans wait for the start of winter, tidying gardens for the long wait till next spring, moving hanging baskets and potted plants back inside, cleaning and putting away spades and hoes, digging out the snow shovels and ice scrapers to be ready for Mr. Bruma’s icy patina on windows and car windscreens.
Bonfire Night in Britain – 5th November – is just another chilly evening in Romania, except in Brasov, where the Vel Pitar bread factory suffered a huge explosion and fireball – we wait for further news. Two fires in a week, the first finally causing the end of Victor Ponta’s disgraced time as Prime Minister, the second adding fuel to the angry political unrest on the streets of Romania.
Up in Magura, it feels a long way from explosive cities. Here, the fire is only in the last scarlet and gold leaves, and the smoke from bonfires of leaf litter and summer’s end.