Saturday, September 29, 2012

Leaf Farmer

The maples are at peak and are dropping leaves in droves.

I am a leaf farmer.  I rake the leaves and put them into our compost bins.

Last year's compost is dark and rich.  Soon the last of it will be spread onto the garden beds.

The winds are predominantly from the north.  Our days barely hit 70 degF now, and we have to run the pellet stove to take the chill out of the house as we rise in the morning.

I hear the call of waterfowl.  Migrating mallards were down in the river today.

The scenery changes fast now.  I wonder what tomorrow will be like . . . 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Marvelous Maple Morning

The big maple in front of the house and the one by the barn are deep in their autumn colors.

A nice way to greet the morning!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Yard Pigs

Oops, I mean ground hogs.  We don't see them around the barn that often, but we will occasionally see one in the northwest corner of the property by the creek.

We do see them down the street by the river near the hay fields, and over by the museum.

They seem to stay out of the gardens, though the deer did a number on the green beans, the last of the tomatoes, and a few of the hostas.

Oh well.  Its the end of the season and the wildlife is looking to fatten up.  I guess it's not really a problem.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cool, Wet Weather

With the onset of autumn. we've had cool, wet weather.  The grass is growing like crazy, but there are other signs of the cool wet weather . . .

. . . mushrooms and . . .

. . . and dew-laden morning fog . . .


Saturday, September 22, 2012

First Day of Fall

Yesterday as I was driving home from work, I noticed the sumac were turning red.  Not just an isolated branch, but whole trees. This is my sign that fall is here (let's call it meteorological fall).

Today is the autumnal equinox - astronomical fall!

It's funny how we assign names and significance to such transient concepts as the first day of autumn, the new year, a birthday.  It must be one of those things that make us human.  We think about our future.  We stop to assess where we are and how we are doing.  We are thinking beings, but maybe its is better said that we are planners...

Time to start raking the leaves and put them in the compost bin for next fall's garden.  Time to finish canning, time to turn the garden beds over.  Time to collect seeds for next year.  Time to get the house and barn ready for winter.

The cycle continues...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Afternoon

A fine day it was.  It was a cool morning.  We had to run the pellet stove to take the chill out of the house.  As the sun rose in the sky, the fog burned off Spook Hill.  A fine day for a few errands (cleaning gutters, fixing some loose metal roofing panels, some shopping).  We spent quite a few hours in the kitchen this weekend canning beans, hot sauce, and salsa.

I took a short bicycle ride.  Autumn is just around the corner.  The last of the wildflowers are at their peak.  I expect they will wither in just a few weeks as the cool nights turn into cold ones.

The maples are starting to change.  They are not at peak, but the change is starting.  The sumac are also starting the change, but they won't be fully cloaked in scarlet for a few days.

The days are getting short.  As I completed my ride, the shadows grew long on the road.

We lit a fire by the creek and watched the sunset.  The sun sets so early now, and the days cool off quickly.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Changing Seasons

The leaves are starting to drop from the maples.  The mornings are much cooler, and the morning dew that much colder on bare feet.

A cold front pushed rapidly through at dusk.  You could see the clouds massing to the northwest.

The front pushed through quickly.  It brought a line of strong winds and rain.  We looked forward to the sound of the rain.

The winds came up and made the trees sway.  I'll look to see if we had any fallen branches for the woodpile.

In just a few minutes, the temperature fell a few degrees.  The setting sun and thickening clouds brought on the darkness very suddenly.

The sound of the wind and rain was relaxing.  I had a long week of travel for work.  It was soothing to be back home, safe, around familiar surroundings.

Looking forward to the change of seasons . . .

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Yellow and White

With the end of summer, the flowers are starting to fade.  The gardens are starting to die back.  Most of the flowers are white or yellow.

The rains have started to return.  The creek is up (one year ago the creek had overrun its banks!).

I like the jewelweed.

The knotweed is at the peak of its flowering!

Last week, the black-eyed susans were at peak.  They are starting to die back.  I'll be collecting the seeds soon.

The sedum are at peak.  This one is from a cutting that is nearly 100 years old.

The silver-lace clematis is at peak.  We like the looks of it on the arbor.

I was surprised to see some stella dora lilies flowering.  It was a very hot summer - these must have been lazier flowers!

Though they are not everyone's favorite, I like the goldenrod!

Soon the yellow and white will be replaced by the reds, yellows and golds of autumn!

Monday, September 3, 2012

End of Summer?

It's been a while since  posted anything. It's not that I haven't had anything to post, just the contrary!

The garden has been going great.  We must have put up over 30 pints of green beans, loads of tomatoes, potatoes, turnip, carrots, and kale.  I put the radicchio in a few weeks ago.  We harvested the basil and made about 60 ounces of pesto.  I am starting to pick hot peppers and make hot sauce.

The weather is slowly starting to cool.  We'll be able to get some late season spinach in.  I give the tomatoes only 4 weeks before they are spent.  The green beans are still flowering!  Looks like we'll be picking them well into October.

As I was mowing the grass this weekend I noticed the leaves starting to fall from the maple trees.  Autumn will start in three weeks.

The wife and I had a big family reunion this Labor Day weekend.  The weather was perfect!  Friends and family were able to come from near and far.  Quite a few of the people had not been to our property, and there were tours of the barn, gardens and the creek.  There were even tractor rides for the kids!

I still have some roofing repairs and trim painting to get done.  I also want to put a sump pump in the basement (it was just 1 year ago that this area suffered through epic flooding).

There is always a chore to do around here . . .