Bramble picking season is one of the signals of our shift into autumn and we are fortunate to have blackberries rambling through the hedgerows surrounding the allotment site.
There is a bountiful supply of the small, juicy fruit, at this time of year, to be picked if one can avoid the vicious thorns. There are over a hundred species of blackberries native to England but the cultivated varieties generally taste sweeter than wild blackberries.
Once again there is ample work to be done on the plot as the autumn clear-up and preparation for winter begins. The strawberry plants have thrown out runners with their young developing at intervals along the way, spreading randomly in all directions. These need to be planted up in good soil so that they have a chance to put down roots and establish themselves in order to produce fruit next summer.
A warm September day at the plot was enlivened by the presence and familiar squawking of the parakeets that have been surprisingly scarce throughout this soggy summer. I also spotted a pair of red damselflies fluttering above the pond. Damselflies are smaller and more delicate than dragonflies and rest with their wings together. I have only seen blue damsel flies before but the red damselfly is also very common to the British Isles.