Explorer Beastie in Autumn

On the road again...

A couple of weeks ago, Explorer Beastie and I had a chance to head out West and enjoy a little quiet time. Autumn is far and away my favourite season, and I’d argue that the Irish countryside looks its best at this time of year. We definitely got more than our fair share of “mists and mellow fruitfulness”, as you will see! Our first discovery was a toadstool among the fallen leaves in the garden…
Explorer Beastie with Toadstool

Then we headed out into the fields to see what natural goodies we could harvest!
Exploring the Fields

I was particularly keeping an eye out for sloes on this expedition, but I needn’t have worried. The blackthorn trees were weighed down with these super-bitter berries, which, like a lot of us, become a lot mellower and nicer to be around with the addition of a little gin. My sloe gin stocks have been sorely depleted after two consecutive bad years, so I was pleased (or relieved) to see such a bumper crop! Picking the sloes is usually an arduous task, involving multiple scrapes and jabs from the vicious thorns that give the trees their name, so it was good to have a little extra help this time around.
Explorer Beastie Picking Sloes

We were also on the lookout for more immediately edible treats – blackberries! We took these home and used them to make miniature apple and blackberry pies…
Explorer Beastie finds Blackberries
… Once Explorer Beastie had finished gadding about in the brambles.
Explorer Beastie's Bramble Trapeze

There were plenty of other natural treats to be found along the way… unfortunately, I lack the equipment and expertise to make these beautiful hedgerow fruits into something tasty! Maybe next year…

After that, we had just enough time to say hello to the cows…
Explorer Beastie with Cows
… And take a few artsy shots of glistening mist-spangled spiderwebs…Spiderwebs in the Mist

…Before heading home to toast our toes by the fire!

How do you spend a perfect autumn day? Let me know in the comments!