At about 4.30 this morning, the girls were barking and had been doing so for about an hour. I couldn’t hear them growling, but they were persistent so I took myself out to scan the scene. They were way down in the bottom field by the road in the long grass and were skitting about in between barks. Unfortunately, as I stepped out towards the courtyard wall, the outside light flicked on, as it was still dark enough to be seen, the girls turned and saw a dark figure and headed towards me.
I started walking out to the near field, so they could see it was me and they caught up. I continued down with the excitable duo towards the bottom field and the area they were scouting. As I did so, I passed by some bramble which already had ripe fruit on it. I was surprised to see them, as I had noted from some bloggers in Scotland that they were already harvesting mushrooms and blackberries, but I though us too far south for such bounty to be in season.
I continued down towards the long grass and as I reached the edge, the girls took off over the mound and ran along the top as though chasing a car, only there wasn’t one. I haven’t seen Tess move so fast in months. Something had got their dander up, but whatever it was, it wasn’t threatening, unlike the clouds which were dark, grey and starting to release a bit of rain.
As the girls were otherise occupied, I moved off towards a tree where mushrooms have grown previously in case these, too, were growing. Alas, it was not to be. I ambled around the general area of the bottom field and watched the girls go about, but realised there was no threat, so headed back to the house and bed. On my way back and just over the boundary between the bottom field and near field, I encountered a half-eaten mushroom – of which variety I do not know and I did not have my camera with me – and a few steps on a gathering of shaggy manes just starting to grow. How they had avoided destruction by the mower over the weekend I don’t know.
If I get a chance over the next week, I will endeavour to take some photographs of the seasonal foods coming into season, if a little early. I do wonder though, if mushrooms are sprouting so early in the South, what will be left when my mushroom course rolls around on 22 September?