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As the vibrant greens fade back, allowing rustic tones to begin changing the landscape around me with autumnal colours spreading over the trees, shrubs and grasses, berries seeds and nuts are on offer to birds and animals.

This is my favourite time of year. The nights are closing in and I love that feeling when all my family and animals are fed, the fire’s on and we're settled in for the night. It does make me wonder if all is well outside though. Are the wild rabbits tucked in too? Is Mr Fox out on the prowl? I hear the owls calling to each other and wonder if badger is busy digging in my garden. It’s getting to that time of year where the temperature starts dropping, nights are long and wild, and foraging for food can only get tougher as we head into late Autumn then Winter.

For now I will enjoy the splendour of the fungi displays, the autumnal colours around me, discovering berries and brambles, nuts and seeds, walking through the woods seeing trees drop their leaves as they shut down for the winter ahead. Trying to catch one as they fall.

I'm hoping there's not many more grass cutting sessions to do in my garden. I feel like I'm ready to put the mower away for the Winter. I do keep a large area free from the strimmer and mower as I love the wildlife to thrive in my garden, however I keep the front a bit tidier. It’s a place to relax, have our tea outside, obviously do cartwheels with my daughter and roll down the banking. There's something really nice about walking barefoot in grass, that is until you step on a thistle! Recently at Wildlife Club, a long awaited activity finally happened. We had a beautiful sunny dry calm afternoon which was exactly what we needed. Members have been really keen to sit and sketch nature, so last Friday everyone was given pencil and paper. I set out lots of books, magazines, charts, and even our very own taxidermy red squirrel to inspire their drawings, or they were free to just draw what they could see.

Some chose to sit alone, others in pairs or in groups, quietly chatting and drawing, some creating full landscapes, others working on a single leaf, or their very own magical place with trees, squirrels, owls and butterflies. Some chose to use colour pencil too.

I was about to pull everyone in so we'd have time to play a woodland game, but decided not to as they were all were so engaged and so relaxed. I felt so proud of them all, and the beautiful drawings they produced.

There's something truly magically about just using a pencil and paper. Things to spot * Elderberries * Brambles * Hazelnuts * Autumnal colours * Fly agaric

Remember to report your red and grey squirrel sightings. Go to Saving Scotland's Red Squirrels, click on ‘Report a sighting’ and it will help you through the process of recording your findings .

THANK YOU for helping x


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