Thursday, November 16, 2017

Moody Weather

Second week of the reversion to 'standard time' and I've not accomplished the reset of my internal clock. Evenings seem to begin shortly after noon and drag on for hours, while I tell myself that I am not sleepy.  I'm doing better with mornings--downstairs not long after six the past two mornings.
Jim has battled a cold/cough and is content to sleep in.
The cats have likewise not adjusted and begin begging for their 'tea' at the usual time. I could humor them, but I tell them 'soon' knowing they will accept the winter hours after a few more days have passed.
Morning temperatures have hovered around the freezing mark; most days have had a sunless start.
A hint of blue sky is worth recording.

Jim, bundled up against drizzling rain, tackled a dead tree at the edge of the woods. 

He brought it round to the wood shed and ran the chunks through the wood splitter.

Rain and wind have swept down the russet leaves of oak and hickory leaving the lane a bleak prospect on a gloomy day.

The view beyond the stable into the woods is now one of nearly bare branches rearing tipsily against the sky.

There was sunshine much of today.  The cats popped in and out whenever a door was opened.
The concrete retaining wall which faces the front of the house becomes a favorite vantage point for them--dry and sun-warmed when the long grass and weeds are damp and chilly.

Willis, mindful of his responsibilities, waits at the bend of the lane to escort me when I return from  walking to the mailbox.

When rain threatens or the wind blows cold, Willis appreciates his blanket lined basket on the sheltered back porch.

Bonny has been sorting the goats into winter pastures. 
These three girls are keeping company with Dandelion the senior buck.
When I walked past this afternoon he hooted loudly, asserting lordly dominance over the little group. 
The young does [born in the spring of 2016] are enjoying the companionship of a younger buck in a pasture behind the barn.

Seed heads still cling to the clematis vine, a collage of muted color.

In the sheltered corner near the side porch self-sown petunias straggle over the wall. 

One brave nasturtium, a remnant of summer, has thus far survived the frosty nights.

Being much indoors during the moody weather I've been sewing, reading.  The piano tuner  was here last week prompting me to spend a bit more time going over music--nothing very challenging.

Dashing outside on some errand means finding a jacket--soon I will want a scarf, gloves.

I am somewhat astonished to realize that this will be our 4th winter in the farmhouse.


  1. 4 years already? Gosh, that seems to have flown by. We had a Fair the weekend the clocks went back so have been thrown in at the deep end and it was sink or swim. We could have done with the extra hour the night of the Malvern Fair, but hey-ho. I wish they would stop messing around with time - really, it doesn't make the day any longer does it?!

    I still have some brave Nasturtiums too but really MUST oust the mass of frost-nipped leaves, stems and seeds left in what is meant to be a plot for small veg.

    You are really organized with regard to fallen trees etc. Keith's damaged arm means he can't yank the starter cord on his chainsaw so we have just bought him an electric one for Christmas - only it will arrive tomorrow so I doubt it will ever be wrapped. Splitting logs here is with a large axe!!

    1. Jennie; On a bright day garden clean-up isn't too daunting, but when the ground is cold and wet I give up rather quickly.
      Jim has settled on Stihl chainsaws as his brand of choice--he tells me there is one designed with such an easy 'pull' that I could start it.
      This time change each season makes me rather cross--I can't see what help it is, although my DIL says that she would rather have the daylight for her morning commute and drive home in the dark.
      With retirement its not as though we have time commitments to meet as a rule--we're just being grumpy!

  2. I can't believe you've been there 4 years, seems like you just moved there. We still have some flowers, but it hasn't really turned cold here yet.
    We're still struggling with the time change. You'd think with us being retired it wouldn't bother us as much, but it does.
    Our cat has become so much more active since the cooler weather has set in, she slept all summer and now she has things to do.

    1. Janet; Our cats who have indoor/outdoor privileges are amusing in their response to weather; they go out, come in because it is cold or rainy, then want to exit again, as though conditions might be more favorable.
      The flowering season here is definitely over. I cherished the last roses before frost.

  3. Love the bare trees against the sky and the sweet little cats. It does seem like we live in the dark this time of year. I had a rare, sunny morning today and went outside to sweep the walk and deck. It was nice to feel the sunshine, even if it was on the chilly side. It's amazing how some flowers keep blooming this time of year. Little faces to cheer the spirits. Hope your dear one is feeling better soon. xx K

    1. Karen; My dear Teasel-cat was feeling more herself by the next day, to my great relief. Thinking of the fog and clouds which are the norm for a north-west winter I shouldn't grumble over a few grey days. Some days I need to remind myself to bundle up and go out --as my mother used to say, 'to blow the cobwebs away.'

  4. Like you, our time has flown as well. We've been here at this farm for just short of six years. When I look around it seems truly astonishing that we have created a home, gardens and wildlife areas where there was nothing but untended pasture chock full of seedling White Pines, Multiflora Rose, Japanese Bittersweet and Thistle.
    Unlike you, any brave hangers on that we might have had have had their Swan Song. Now beckons the arrival of the long sleep here in Vermont. I must say that I welcome this time of open woods. I love these November colors and that I am able to see the 'bones' of the hillsides and ravines where the brooks rush down during a rainy spate.
    The kitchen range keeps our house remarkably cozy on these cold mornings; although we have no cats to appreciate it's warmth we do have a couple of Standard Poodles that think it is lit just for them.

    1. Mundi; Thank you for the status report of November in Vermont. Seeing the 'bones' of the landscape, the tracery of tree branches against the sky is indeed an aspect of winter to be noted and admired.
      I wonder--was there ever a homestead in the past where you have created yours? So many little hill farms were abandoned, the buildings sinking into stone cellarholes and the pastures growing up to sumac or 'pasture pine.' It sounds like you have made a welcoming and cozy home place.

  5. I think when the long dark days arrive we all have difficulty keeping awake in the dark hours, 21st December is the shortest day and then it starts to turn into the icy days of January - joy;). Lucy the dog also gets thrown by having her meal one hour late, we have compromised on the middle of the hour.

    1. Thelma; Isn't it amusing the way we humans accommodate our pets? I sometimes think the cats' mealtime is more structured than ours.
      The long evenings take a bit of adjustment each year before I settle into a routine of reading and sewing. Hopefully the coming week will see us sorted.