Mellow September

Autumn 22 by Hannah Foley. All rights reserved (

I love this time of year – the freshness of the mornings, giving way to mild, sunny afternoons, low mists lying across the water meadows by the river, the sculptural forms of seed heads and drying stems. I gathered up poppy pods to put in a jug on the kitchen windowsill. I find the way nature perfectly marries form with function especially beautiful – the frilly caps stop the tiny, full-stop seeds from tipping out before they’re ready to be carried on the wind to fresh ground.

A sinuous trail of silver-topped mushrooms appeared in the garden at work – a fairy path across the dew-tipped grass. It has been a relief to have the rain back. I stood beneath the fig tree in our garden listening to the tap, tap, tap of falling drops one mellow evening, The thick, waxy leaves create wonderful acoustics. I’d gathered a handful to take in to make an apple and cucumber raita to accompany pumpkin parathas – such a delightfully seasonal meal! Did you know fig leaves smell of coconut? Neither did I until I tried this recipe – you soak them in warmed milk. I stood with my head among the rain-dancing branches and inhaled the mild coconut scent of the sun-warmed leaves cooling in the shower.

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