Thursday, October 26, 2006

When the Frost...

We all know that it is *that* time of year... and last night, we got our first frost of the season. The weather forecasters had been threatening it for the last two weeks, but it finally hit last night, leaving the cars frosted over this morning when DH left for work.
AS I look out of the window, the sky is that beautiful cerulean blue I love to see at this time of year.
I can hear some birds hiding in the trees, and if I am lucky, I might see the bright flash of a cardinal, or the quick scamper of a squirrel as they search for food.
It is time for us to brave the brazen bird feeder bandit and place the food out for our feathered friends.
Usually there is plenty of food in the garden, I let most of my plants go to seed for the joy of seeing the goldfinches picking at them, but with our recent garden tidy-ups I think it is time to bring out the seed again.
I am not the only one with autumn and cold weather on my mind...
Cay, at Cajun Cottage, has a wonderful post and ode to autumn there.
Alice at Cottage Blessings, posted this wonderful post by her daughter to her garden spot.
Dawn at By Sun and Candlelight, has a great article about one of my seasonal favourites, EGG NOGG!

But I'll leave you with a very seasonal poem by James Whitcomb Riley. 1853–1916

When the Frost is on the Punkin

WHEN the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,
And the clackin' of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it's then the time a feller is a-feelin' at his best,
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

They's something kindo' harty-like about the atmusfere
When the heat of summer's over and the coolin' fall is here—
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin'-birds and buzzin' of the bees;
But the air's so appetizin'; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur' that no painter has the colorin' to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin' of the tangled leaves as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries—kindo' lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin' sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover overhead!—
O, it sets my hart a-clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
Is poured around the cellar-floor in red and yaller heaps;
And your cider-makin's over, and your wimmern-folks is through
With theyr mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and sausage too!...
I don't know how to tell it—but ef such a thing could be
As the angels wantin' boardin', and they'd call around on me—
I'd want to 'commodate 'em—all the whole-indurin' flock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Beauty of Autumn

Saturday was beautiful... the sky was that clear blue you can only see in the autumn or spring... the air was warm... with a little chill in the shade.
As I sat in the shade debating whether I should put on a jacket, I looked up. A tiny spider was trying to throw a line of webbing... and failing because of the breeze.

I looked around... many of the trees had begun to turn colour... the poison ivy on our sweetgum is a brilliant red, surrounded by the burnished browns and golds of sweetgum leaves and pods.
The maple tree outside my bedroom window, has some red leaves beginning, and as you walk through the front garden, there is the seasonal scent of pine as you crush the needles beneath your feet.
There are still flowers in the garden. Marigolds hanging on for dear life,

the moss rose pleasing us with it's scent and small blooms- but there are two stars in the garden. The morning glory, which now shows off it's stunning blue bloom all day,

and the pineapple sage... a splash of red amidst the browns and greens of the garden.

The gardens were definitely interesting to the family.
DD was caught nibbling the mint, and both she and her big brother, took great deal of pleasure in hunting for the prettiest of the autumn leaves that lay around the garden, down on the ground.

Hidden in the tomato plants were a few late season tomatoes... which will probably end up as either fodder for the birds or fried green tomatoes!

And who says you can't grow oranges in Virginia? WE can! Admittedly, they are a variety of Hardy Orange... called the Trifoliate Orange. The bushes are hugely thorny... and legend has it that they were the bush from which the crown of thorns was made... or at least one of the bushes it is said was used :)

The roses have produced copious amounts of rosehips... now if only I had a recipe for rosehip jam or something I can use them with!

Our garden has seen it's best days... too many days of rain and too few of sun, have left it to the weeds... and although this picture looks good, you can see the weeds in the path...
So why not weed in the rain? You'll double the problem!

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Autumn Cleanup

It has been a while since I got much done in the garden. Autumn has arrived, and with it, the rain.
The hummingbirds have gone, the flowers mostly dead, and the veggies are harvested.
The garden is just about put to bed.

And I?

Well, I have discovered that Walmart carries everything... even for the little birds ;) For there in the bird seed aisle was a sparrow!

The beaver, heron and fish are all doing well... the beaver making a few appearances recently, much to our relief as we feared he might be dead when we saw a number of them beside the road.

And I have a new herb book... the China Bayles book of Days... worth the read and loads of fun to do it :)