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Oh dear!

It's that dreaded time of year again.  Time to say goodbye to the superstars of the sky - the swallows, and martens.  They are beginning to gather, getting ready for their heroic journey to overwinter in South Africa.  I watch them darting around in tandem, flying at breathtaking speed over the tops of the unharvested crops and I never cease to marvel at the built-in programme these lovely birds are hard-wired to follow.  They know they have to head south for winter, and then they know exactly where to come back to next Spring.  They travel through western France, across the Pyrenees, down eastern Spain into Morocco and across the Sahara.  Some of their number follow the west coast of Africa avoiding the Sahara, which makes complete sense to me!  They are little miracles.  We haven't had the usual quota of swallows this year, which has saddened me.  I hope this isn't a continuing trend.
One of my aunts always used to say that once Wimbledon was over, it was downhill all the way to Christmas!  I have a different yardstick by which to measure the year's progress.  Brussel sprouts!
I have absolutely no interest in ornamental cabbages which are mixed in with window boxes and other container planting, but I do love proper cabbage family plants.  These photos are of young Brussel sprouts plants.  In East Lothian we are not short of cabbage fields growing lots of varieties, but my favourites are Savoy and red cabbage.  They make very handsome plants indeed.


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