It's here

This past weekend has marked a definite shift. We had enjoyed a positively balmy October until now. Unseasonably warm. Golden sunshine warming golden leaves.
St. Stephen's Green
Hot dusty streets. Outerwear left behind to face stuffy bus rides, something rarely done, even in high Summer, in Ireland.
At the bus stop
Flocks of birds feasting on the bounty of unpicked fruit on our local trees. A banquet of elderberries and pears from the neighbours and our paltry offering of the seeds that grow on our pine tree.
High in the Pine Tree

Starlings in the Pear Tree
There have been simple Autumn pleasures and time spent out of doors to soak up the last of the warmth and the last of the brightness of the lighter half of the year.

How glad I am that we had those last gorgeous days of sun, because on Saturday we went for a drive in the countryside and I saw how the sky was suddenly grey and dim. The sun choked with thick cloud. I saw how the rain started to fall, whipped up by a northerly wind that quickly set about stripping the trees of their tenacious leaves, and I pulled my coat tighter around me.

All day Sunday that cold wind howled and drove the rain hard into the dripping trees. The wind retired today, exhausted by it's late night wuthering and howling, but the torrent has not ceased. The rain has poured steadily down all day today. A constant heavy soaking, cloaking us in a damp, misty cocoon. 

I have been concerned by the level of the river. I live high on a hill, but loved ones live in the valley that has flooded several times before.

Indeed, there are floods all over. Rivers in the city streets. Cars abandoned.

Early today we went to an indoor shopping centre to get Winter boots for the little ones.  

I'm glad we left early. The centre was evacuated this evening. Water, water everywhere.
Winter. It's here.

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