Our surroundings are stunning. Sitting here writing this, the sun is streaming through the windows on every side of the cottage. It has been a great summer and throughout the seasons, our view of the Rila mountains from the farm is a constantly changing scene of brilliant blue sky and amazing sunlight; giant cloudscapes; crackling electrical storms all along the mountain range; even the glistening snow is beautiful when it comes. At night, the stars are myriad and bright - the moon looks huge. We sat outside watching the Perseids, spotting the constellations and the Milky Way. A tremendous thunder storm here a few weeks ago produced some dramatic and unusual clouds (and a distinct lack of electricity for several hours!) The place is teeming with amazing wildlife - birds, insects...even tiny frogs, one of whom paid us a visit in the dining room last night! How fantastic it is to see and discover new things like this so regularly and to feel so in tune with nature and the seasons in this beautiful country.
This late-summer time of plenty is such a contrast to early spring, when the farm is empty and bare, but full of the nutrients from our compost heaps, waiting to nurture the next planting of seeds for the coming summer. This August, the Goldfinches have been visiting to eat the seeds from my Cosmos and Sunflowers; the goats’ fur is glossy and perfect after months of grazing up in the pastures; the little water voles are happy along the river bank; the plums are turning beautiful pinks, oranges, purples and yellows; the chillies, corn and tomatoes are ripening every day; the Jerusalem Artichokes are growing taller before our eyes and will flower soon; we are still overgrown with courgettes and pumpkins; the basil still thrives. It’s extremely satisfying, and humbling, after all the hard work.
The next couple of months will be a time of plenty – harvesting, seed-saving and preserving – before we turn full circle again.