Our dacha in St Petersburg region (aka Leningrad region) is one of those places for me, a city dweller, where I can get closer to the nature or at least follow the seasons that are much more distinct here than in St Petersburg. It’s a pity our dacha is a classical summer cottage type and we perform our dacha activities from somewhere in late April until early November, so I have never actually seen it in winter. But the transformation that the nature undergoes moving from summer to autumn for me always starts at our dacha – you can feel it in the air, in the light and even in the soil. In this post I would like to share with you just a glance of this transformation. Let’s start with…
Early July – this year it resembled early June as the nature was one month behind the ‘schedule’ (now it seems to have gone one month ahead). I was burning old leaves leftover from last year, cleaning our plot from the many useless things that normally constitute the ‘wealth’ of most old-school dachas.
Everything was very June-like green and very slow. Apart from the grass (read: moss) and the puddles – both grew pretty fast this summer.
Late July – the beginning of the end of summer, supposed to be the best days in terms of weather with the peak warmth. This July as I said was rather like June which means we were not that spoiled with sun but rather overloaded with rain.
I just adore that evening light…
In late July we finally reached that point where you get used to the summer and lose track of days (although this summer it was much easier to count sunny days than the rainy ones). This is the period that is hard to be defined as you just live through it, day by day.
Long days are nice when there’s sun – and in St Petersburg and its region we have the famous white nights – but with the interminable rain from dusk to dawn you don’t know what to do being stuck inside. One of the possible pastimes is baking potatoes 🙂
September – warm colours of early autumn, cozy time in jeans & sweater, a short Indian summer with a bit more sun that we did not get enough of during the actual summer.
The setting sun is the most magical:
I started this summer wearing this old 90s sweater and I finished our dacha period in it as well.
Some warm yellow after the rain:
The soil was so wet this summer that we harvested some Lactarius mushrooms that popped up here and there. I will also make a separate post on our mushroom and berry picking in the forests of the St Petersburg region.
This beard looks and feels pretty weird 🙂 The mushroom grows its beard when it gets old.
The fluffy Astilbe:
Astilbe in the backlight:
Our apple trees follow their own schedule – they give fruit every second year. And with every new second year they do it more and more assiduously, giving us more apples that we can possibly process ourselves. This year only the most broken tree with almost no roots (it fell down under the weight of 200 kilos of apples once) miraculously gave a couple of sweet apples (the much-suffering trunk of the tree is pictured in the 1st photo of this post).
October – gathering fallen leaves and getting warm through that; everything gets transparent and you can suddenly see much farther; cold graphics of autumn; nature becomes distant as if hiding from you and slipping through your fingers.
I think I’ve broken every record in gathering fallen leaves this autumn. My back says I’ve been a bit too zealous…
And yet I have my favourite leaves in autumn – the super-multi-coloured leaves of chockeberry tree (haha, what a name in English – but in fact pretty exact!). My Granddad used to make a sort of extra-tart wine from these berries – it leaves such an aftertaste in your mouth you can hardly get rid of.