Saturday, October 29, 2016

earlier in October

October feels like May going the opposite direction. At the beginning of May around here, spring is just really starting to show itself in leaf buds and uprising flower bulbs. By the end of May, everywhere you look is full on green, insects and birds are busy inspecting all this new growth and warm days have you putting away the heavy coats and sweaters.
Now, rewind all that and you get October. Still so much green turning yellow turning red and orange, but as the month creeps on, the colder temperatures shock the system into scrounging for warm clothes and hats and mittens. Then suddenly there are more leaves on the ground than on the trees and everywhere you walk, your path is softened by leaf litter, the best specimens tucked into many different books to keep flat as they dry and maybe even waxed later.
The frost dates become numbers on the roulette wheel as I take chances on frost warnings, covering carefully and faithfully and then that one night I forget or miss the weather report and find myself making tear water tea in the morning. 
Almost two weeks ago, I woke to find a heavy, heavy frost had settled so I grieved over the loss of my uncovered celery. I did not go out into garden for almost 48 hours and upon closer inspection of the celery leaves, I broke a stem in disbelief that my celery crop had been apparently spared. The week that followed brought very warm and comfortable temperatures and I made a date with the celery to harvest it in the rain this past Saturday. 
The carrots were harvested in stages as needed for the soup pot and by two little cousins playing in the garden on Thanksgiving weekend.

Is this post too long? I just mentioned Thanksgiving so I thought I would slip in some photos from that weekend.
Once I had the kitchen under control and the tablecloth kind of ironed, I took a few minutes to raid the garden for some floral centerpieces. The flowers are legit, zinnias and marigolds. It's the greens that look suspicious: celery leaves and carrot tops, thyme and oregano. Somehow it all seemed to work and the arrangements lasted for close to two weeks.
My husband is not big on centerpieces; he would prefer to not have to look through or over or around to see the food or his fellow diners. So I've learned to keep the table trinkets low-key and maneuverable.
The little girls' table also was given some attention this year, including a very exciting tea candle which was immediately the center of much attention as to when they would get to blow it out. It lasted a couple minutes after the last forkful of food had been consumed and then the candle was promptly extinguished. Ambiance appreciation comes with age, I think.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Into the forest

Ten minutes from our home and right off a busy road we use often is a very small parking area and a wide trail canopied in trees visible from the road. I've been noticing this trail becoming more golden each time we drove past.
With yesterday's cloudless sky and warm fall weather, it was the perfect day to go for a walk before heading to swimming classes and playground play.
I do not know why a plastic Bob the Builder Hammer was needed on this trip, but it made several appearances in our outing, including a Statue of Liberty pose.
We also heard a woodpecker a couple of times, but could not find the tree being pecked, likely because the suspected trees were towering so high over us and the leaf canopy provided much shelter. Seth had the idea to hug the tree we thought it was to see if he could feel the vibrations, but by then, the woodpecker had stopped his business, so general hilarity resumed.