So Saturday did turn out to be our last trip of the year on the lake. A beautiful gift of a day, so unpredictable - I was going to say at this time of year but the way things have been at any time of year. We brought my parents up the lake from Dromaan, planning to leave Winter Solstice in Portumna for Eamonn Egan to lift out.
It's a few years since my parents were on the boat - she was in the north Shannon last, year, and before that on the Erne. Now in their mid-eighties they're not as agile as they were (to put it mildly) so we had quite an operation to get them on board. Winter Solstice is not a stroll-on type of craft. You have to step down onto the cockpit seat from the aft deck, then another big step down to floor level. Previously we've used a small set of steps (bought for the purpose) to get them from floor to seat. This time the steps were necessary for the seat to aft deck bit too. And once in that was it. No getting out until the journey's end.
So why the last trip when this weekend is so lovely? Several reasons, but the main one turned out to be the phone call from Eamonn this morning to say Winter Solstice was safely in his big shed. We'd thoughts of a mooch about the lake, then through the bridge to Connacht Harbour, but no worries. The garden is in need of work and there's no better place to be than the Hollow on a day like this. Even better than the lake.... or maybe not. A close call.
Another glorious place to be in autumn is Coole Park. I was hoping the swans would be there making their raucous noise but no sign or sound of them. There were deer though, the stags in their full regalia.
Our own deer have been rutting. Making their own raucous racket in the woods around here. One big fellow was at it all day (do they get a sore throat?), and appeared in the field below the Haggard at dusk still roaring. Several females were keeping close, and they all ran off together towards the river.
The garden harvest continues. Here's a little and large moment:
Off down the garden again now. Joe's gone up to Eamonn Egan's yard to retrieve bedding, cushions, wooden spoons and tea cosy from the boat. We won't be needing to put on the winter covers this year.