Wednesday, October 26, 2022

A Change of Weather: Journal

Tuesday morning's sunrise, fiery molten streaks against a boiling background of lavender-tinged grey.
The sun came out in a half-hearted manner, playing behind clouds all day.
A light but persistent wind tugged more leaves loose from the trees.
There was a restless feel to the day: a weather breeder. 

J. had an errand in town after a buyer arrived to collect a tractor purchase; since I wasn't settling to anything in particular I opted to ride along with the notion of delivering a box of antique dishes to Gina who is happily arranging items in a large glass-doored hutch recently acquired.
Predictably, J. decided we would eat in town. Although I wasn't enthused, the meal was better than I expected.
Back home the evening drew in quickly with rain beginning at 7 p.m.
It was a gentle rain, but fairly steady through the night.
In attempts to foil the entrance of more Asian lady beetles, I've been opening the north window near the head of my bed, rather than the usual west window.
I woke at 5 with a damp chill wind surging in.
I was well insulated by adoring felines, so didn't go round the bed to pull down the window.

The sun has been invisible today.
The black walnut trees at the bend of the lane are nearly leafless and the verge which runs the length of the grass-grown drive is thick with leaves--tulip poplar, sycamore, ash, maple, others whose identity eludes me. 

The grass of dooryard and meadow usually needs mowing well into November. This autumn's prolonged drought has left us with an expanse of ground that is dull and browned beneath the leaf cover.

Tending the every morning chore of cleaning litter boxes I noted that the carpet of leaves was much deeper today than the day before.

On Monday afternoon I began moving bedraggled planters to winter quarters.
The mums and daisies, a bright front door welcome for several weeks were sheared back, removed from their nursery pots and tucked into one of the big planting bins that parallel the greenhouse. Foxglove, hyssop, and a few other oddments intended for the back garden were settled in around them.
The two remaining pots of signet marigolds are shabby but still a spot of sunny color.
The pumpkin was donated last week by son-in-law M. one of many he acquired at the local produce auction.

As part of the front door clean-up, I cut back all the Michaelmas daisies, blue prairie flax, and achillea which spilled out of this bed, leaving only the blackberry lily stalks in place.
Seed-raised plants took hold in this raised bed with a vengeance, leaning out, smothering several thyme plants that I set in for edging.
The asters are exuberant late summer color, but it wasn't my intention that they take over the spot.
Renovation will be needed in spring.

'Burning Bush'/Euonymus grows wild here on the edges of the south ravine. If [very big "if"] I can do as I planned in the back garden I'd like to transplant some there. Without judicious pruning it can become untidy, but the late fall color is welcome.

Fallen leaves will lose color and distinction quickly as cold weather arrives, becoming a subdued layer of brown.

This is the second late bloom of clematis 'Samaritan Jo'.
Note the slender bud. If frost holds off it may have a chance.

J. started the wood fire this morning to chase away the gloom; today's high temp outside was 50 F, but it quickly became uncomfortably warm indoors. I had the oven on to bake 4 loaves of bread and 3 trays of chocolate chip cookies, while a big pot of applesauce simmered. 
40 F. outdoors now at 9:15 p.m. and an unnecessary 80 F. inside with the fire ebbed out, door into the sunroom open and several windows raised.
Changes come quickly as we move toward November



  1. It continues quite warm here too - which is good from the heating oil point of view. Autumn has a proper grip now with leaves finally changing colour and recent winds encouraging a good few trees to start losing them. Still spots of colour around the garden and things which declined to bloom in the summer due to the heat are flowering now, or some having a second blooming.

    You had a big bake-up - I assume you make bread for the week and then freeze? Chocolate chip cookies - I've not made those in an age. May do some today as Tam and Jon coming at the weekend.

    1. I make bread about once a week, freezing what we don't immediately need. I usually have a spare loaf or two stashed to give away or pull out to add to a meal if we have unexpected company.
      Re cookies: J. has become rather selective, preferring a particular recipe of molasses cookie. I sometimes want something different in the cookie jar! I allow myself one mug of 'half caff' in the morning and like a cookie or two with it--I know--bad sugary start to the day!

  2. Our chimney sweep guy, with tall top hat and long black tailcoat, will be here the middle of next week to do his annual chimney clean out, after which we will start our first fire of the season. In the meantime, we shiver and shake these early cool mornings as we go about our daily routines.
    Having no greenhouse, I am not sure how the foxglove plants that are now about eight inches tall can be saved. I left them out last winter, protected, I thought, by mounds of leaves heaped around them, but to no avail. They all perished.
    I don't do sugary snacks, but some days I almost go wild wanting just a taste of sweetness. I remember the good old days when we used to drag Main sipping a soda fountain from the Diamond Drive In... My favorite drink of all was "coke" in one of those small glass bottles, into which I sometimes mixed one of those little bags of roasted peanuts.

    1. Re Foxglove: I've been experimenting with varieties since we've lived in KY. The ones that have wintered for me have been labeled as 'perennial,' all grown from seed. They tend to range in shades of pink unlike some of the more exotic colors which disappeared after a season of bloom.
      Sweets: I went through a phase years ago of craving dark chocolate--I seem to be over that. Cookies--home made--are my treat of choice.

  3. The transition towards winter this time of year is beautifully captured in this post. Love the scenes of sky, trees and home, and the garden being put to bed for winter. The seed pods of the blackberry lily are especially pretty and the wild euonymus bush would be worth bringing into the garden. I had to laugh at the image of being surrounded by sleeping cats and not willing to disturb them to shut the window. The scents of bread and cookie baking, along with applesauce bubbling on the stove must have been wonderful. It is breezy and gray today and you've inspired me to find something to bake. x K

    1. Karen; I've been missing your posts! This transition season has me a bit restless--not quite ready to head into winter. I love to bake and have to remind myself that there are only two of us in the household now. Half a batch of cookies freezes well and can be taken out and thawed with no loss of flavor and texture. I form bread dough into two rounds for each pan--half loaves when baked.
      Seed pods are interesting and the blackberry lilies are exuberant in their production of new plants each spring.