Showing posts with label Fall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fall. Show all posts

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Autumnal Reverie

This is my favorite time of year.  Days are cool enough for roast chicken dinners.  I harvested the last of the garden vegetables and the farmers market completes the rest.  I do not mind having the oven on for over two hours to let the big bird brown as the afternoon cools.  The fall rains have started and after our two-month drought, this is like champagne from the sky.

While I can no longer run outside barefoot across the wet grass to harvest the rosemary and sage for the chicken, I also do not have to avoid the hot sidewalk on the quick return.

I can no longer watch the moon rise in my Chinese pajamas (pink "silk" which my Princess granddaughter loves) because the evenings are most chilling now on the back deck, but I can still BBQ on the deck and enjoy the earlier sunsets through the flame red and yellow trees.

Perhaps I will also finally have time to search the back seat of my car and find the injured grasshopper which my grandson saved, wrapped carefully in a napkin, and then somehow lost on our trip back from the ice cream booth this past summer.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Odd Neighbors

Every neighborhood has someone strange living in it. That odd person that you pretend to be nice to, but you often wonder about them. They are just a little odd. Some idiosyncratic behavior of theirs makes you keep your distance. Perhaps they wander around in loud colored shorts or perhaps they peek at you through the drapes or perhaps they spend too much time washing that fancy car or perhaps they sit on the porch and pick their nose for what seems an endless amount of time. I am sure that sometimes my neighbor has second thoughts about asking me out to lunch as she did the other day. Her husband was out running a tractor, grading the roads to the farm they lease out, and she knew I had been alone for several weeks. So she offered a lunch date followed by a healthy walk around the island.

The reason I think she must have second thoughts about my stability is that she can now see me in my yard as the trees have become sparse of leaf cover. She can see Tabor walking up and down her driveway or standing out on her deck at all hours of the day with camera in hand. She sees me stop and then bend over peering into my camera with my butt out in the air like some freak flag flying and taking a picture of the driveway, or photographing the seat of my deck chair or even taking a picture of what at times looks like my feet!

I am sure she thinks I am a very strange bird. But I keep finding beautiful things as I walk around the yard that I need to photograph. I keep trying to stop time!

Do you blame me?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Working for the Soul

I have posted elsewhere (FB and emails) about my days of work recently. The cool fall weather, the dormancy of ticks, and the necessity of the size of weeds at summers end have motivated us to clear parts of the forest on either side of the long drive to the house. The wooded view as we drove in was no longer enticing and welcoming, but more like spooky and scary, and while appropriate for the Halloween season, it seems out of place when welcoming guests at other times of the year.

We have now cleared the leaning and/or dead trees that rested against each other and formed a sheltered structure for the wild roses that in turn learned to climb to the tops of the lovely and healthy maples, dogwood, and holly trees and shaded them from sun. I pruned limbs and prickly vines and then piled them beside the road in the clearing. We had piles of dead wood and piles of scratchy brush all of which was later gathered in our arms and placed in the old wooden trailer we use for hauling large amounts of 'stuff'. Hubby bravely climbed on top and did the elephant dance to smash it all down so that we could grab more armfuls and put on top once again.

Frequently the angry roses would grab our butts and legs refusing to be dumped. I still have a tiny thorn in my arm that will have to fester its way to the surface.

Hubby and I argued about what wood to take to the dump and what to cut into firewood. We have enough firewood to last through the winter of 2012, so I was inclined to get rid of much of the wood. (This will ensure that global climate cha
nge really will be global warming.) This photo is just one of the long piles we have waiting for the first cold weather. The problem is that some of this wood is old and some still too new for burning and in our dedicated rhythm we were not as careful in stacking as we should have been.

The wrens and the flickers were not happy that we took away so much dead wood, but eventually forgave us when they saw how may broken tree stumps we left behind for them to poke through. They will have a rich larder of wood insects through the coming snows. We also left enough small bush areas for the mice and other small animals to find shelter.

The free crepe myrtle that was planted at the end of my flower bed two years ago got moved with the help of Pedro. He works for a landscape company and knows exactly how to dig and move small trees. The shape of the crepe was not long and lean but more like an umbrella-shaped weeping willow, and therefore, taking up too much flower bed space. We (actually Pedro and hubby did the work) also joined the two flower beds and I now have a good sunny place to transplant my scattered roses this fall. (More work!)

This is the crepe myrtle shape I had hoped for!

My new rose bed.

After these past three days, the old joints ache with fatigue and overuse and my arms are scratched as if I had wrestled with a mountain cat, but soaking in my jacuzzi in the late afternoon before starting dinner was a reward enjoyed so much more because of my hard work. I am thankful that I do not hate hard work. I am thankful that the goal is its own reward for me. Besides, now I don't have to do any exercises this week!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Summer Flying By

(Here I am in the cold mountains of Colorado and yet able to post something to my blog! Cool!)

All of these beauties graced my front yard on the day I loaded my car with suitcases to leave on this trip. They danced and danced across the grass and with each other. They will probably not be here when I return, but knowing the transience of life, I am prepared for some new beauty in nature to tuck in for a while. (This should be on my other blog, I know.)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Too Much of a Good Thing--Again

(Photo above I took from the deck yesterday evening as the sun was setting across the river and my weary body was screaming for rest. Click on photo to see the details of the last of our fall beauty.)

I have taken dozens and dozens of pictures in the yard this fall as the season peaks. The variety of tree species complimented by the diverse fall colors have been most obvious this fall, and the peak beauty has been more exciting than I have noticed in the past.

Since all good things must come to an end, the prior night's wet winds brought millions of leaves to carpet everywhere. The weather yesterday was in the 70's and we knew we had to get the leaves off of the the driveway and the lawn before the coming front that would bring more leaves and more rain. We had to use our non-environmental leaf blower because the new lawn was still too wet and soft to walk on and rake and the gravel driveway does not lend itself to raking.

I created large snake-like drifts of leaves in places down the long winding driveway and these we captured and put into a metal garbage can. They were broken down with the weed eater into a wonderful rich nutrition that was added to the newly created raised garden beds that now await the birth of spring. Hubby is so excited about this humus rich black gold that we have created that he cannot walk down the driveway without stopping to enjoy the results of his many days of labor.

Since the ticks are dormant we can wade into the 'jungle' and clear the non-indigenous wild rose that strangles everything in its way climbing high into 30 foot trees. Even though I covered my body in loose clothing and wore jeans, the tiny tenacious thorns at the ends of the branches would fly over my head and bite me in the butt, pull off my cap, and tangle my hair as I pulled them away into the open areas. I also fought with the green briar (such a lovely name for such a nasty plant). I now look as though I had fought with a wild cat---so glad I do not care about that stuff.

The day before, we had created a large and very warm brush fire with all the downed limbs and weeds we had cleared. Yesterday flew by too fast for us to start on that project once again, but now the holly, dogwood, linden trees and other plants are free to breathe once again and we have space to put in our plastic net deer fence around the perimeter. The deer have mowed the mums and trimmed my pyracantha hedge and the low growth of the new hybrid dogwood. While I spray deer repellent it has become a careful dance between them and us as their fall food cache diminishes.

I awoke this morning to another carpet of leaves almost as dense as the one we cleared yesterday! Some times I think mother nature is too rich for me.