Having fattened their bellies and preened their feathers in readiness.
I love this time of year (I love every time of year - let's face it) and it seems I am not alone in this - almost everyone I know has proclaimed at some point in the last few weeks that this is their favourite time of year: The soft September mornings, half hidden and only half awake.
The seemingly endless bounty of the hedgerows,
Mushroom gathering in the fields and woodlands and the still blazing sun of short but perfect afternoons.
Chanterelles, - I've never been lucky enough to find these for myself. These were a gift from a friend who guards the secret of their location so closely that apparently even his best friend will only be told of it upon the mushroom gatherer's death bed!
I have found lots of delicious Parasol Mushrooms and the usual Field and Horse Mushrooms.
We've even had our own figs - grown in a huge pot in the very sheltered yard behind our house.
Today is the Autumn Exquinox, the time of 'reckoning' they say. Time to tally the books, settle the accounts. Time to feel the balance of the year; half way between the light and the dark, between life and death, between the tick and the tock of the planetary clock.
Time also for our own migration, for turning inward. Time to stoke the fires, inner and outer, and to create: Art, stories, songs, anything. Time to count our blessings.