It is the last day of August. There is dew on the ground, the morning air is cold and mist clings to the fens. May was intensely hot and the summer was wet between long bursts of sunshine. The fruit which survived the blast of late frost is early this year. The orchard is a teeming factory of small creatures. The new mulberry is all new shoots and leaves, having been left for dead by the frost. There was a single mulberry on it earlier, but some creature stole it. Beyond that the medlar which seemed to have ignored the frost, lost all its fruit later. There is a gala apple tree which I have saved from a cancrous stump, now beautifully shaped. Its fruit are bigger and cleaner than before. Beyond that the Old Laughing Lady is fat with plums. We can't reach it's upper branches even with our tallest ladder, so it mocks us. Dragonflies rattle about its branches and there is the first hint of how this place works. The Night Planted Orchard is thick with dragonflies. Great fat beasts who patrol the branches like little foremen, taking out the small insects that we can hardly see. They are the first hint of the source of the rude health of the orchard. Tucked inside a hedge is another, a box for a fat snuffling hedgehog. The hedges are trim and let in light and wind. We have dug a ditch to take away some of the water. A new pond is coming when I have the time and energy. I have reached the clay, the rest of the digging will be hard. There is a tribe of robins here, including one who has followed us day after day from the time it was fledged. It had no fear of us before it even grew its red feathers. 

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