Early Autumn

I've been reading Eleanor Parker's Winters in the World recently. It's a wonderful book which the author describes as "a journey through the Anglo-Saxon year". I'm reading according to the current season and am fascinated to learn that August was called Weodmoadd (Weedmonth) and that, in the Anglo-Saxon world haerfest (harvest) began in August, and August was considered the beginning of Autumn. August is "Waestmum hladen" laden with fruits, says the anonymous poet of The Menologium. This lovely poem is added to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and details the changing of the seasons and months of the year.

And after seven nights
Weodmoadd, brightened by summer, slips
Into the dwellings; everywhere August
Brings to peoples of the earth
Lammas Day. So harvest comes,
After that number of nights but one,
Bright, laden with fruits. plenty is revealed,
Beautiful upon the earth.

In the second poem added to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Maxims 11, the poet says:

Winter is coldest
Spring frostiest - it is the longest cold -
Summer sun-brightest, the sun is hottest,
Harvest most glory-blessed; it brings to men
The year's fruits, which God sends them.

On our recent walks we have noticed the wonderful fruits in the hedgerows: plump blackberries, ripe sloes, two types of apples; luscious quince and small mushrooms in the long grass. Such a wonderful time for nature's bounty and always a joy to pick these fruits and enjoy them in pies and crumbles.




Eating apples

Cooking apples