And the very best bit of all this early morning shenanigans is picking an apple, fresh and crisp, straight from the tree. No other apple tastes anything like so good as one that's just been picked.
We still have loads of apples, ripe for the picking, hanging fom our trees. The different varieties ripen at different times, stretching the crop out through the season.
As I drive around the countryside hereabouts I'm amazed by how many apple trees, laden with fruit, are left to their own devices. I guess the upside is that all that bounty goes to the wild birds and woodland creatures.
The woodlands have lots of wild fruit of their own at the moment too.
There are rose-hips aplenty, where once we had festoons of fragrant pink flowers.
There are elderberries.
And lots of red berries on the hawthorne. Back in Ireland country folk used to believe that the hawthorne had magical properties. The fairies were supposed to dance around it, and many farmers held to the view that it was unlucky to cut them down.
And if you know where to look there's an abundance of sloes as well. Their dark colour tends to camouflage them in the shadows of the hedgerow. It's looking like it could be a good year for the sloe gin ... .
And there are still enough blackberries to be found for a pie or two. Although in the old days people thought that blackberries ought not to be picked after Michaelmas Day. They believed that the devil came around the hedgerows and polluted them after the Feast of Saint Michael and all the Angels.
All the best for now,