Tuesday, October 31, 2023

deep into autumn


We moved to this home in southern New Brunswick in September of 2021, so that means this fall was the beginning of our third year here. Two years of almost daily appearances from the local deer population who eat whatever they fancy. Rudbeckia, hosta, geranium and chrysanthemum, but not daisy, boxwood, bridal spirea or fern. They really like bean plants, zucchini and carrot tops. Celery, they barely touch. They will jump over deer fence or run through it if pressed for time. They leave vast amounts of deer lumps behind in case you were sleeping when they stopped by for a nibble. If they ate your neighbor's landscape and grass, they will use yours as a resting place to sit down and chew the cud. A few run away if you show up to talk to them, most will stay and listen to what you have to say. If you meet them down at the bottom of the hill, they use the sidewalk and sometimes even cross the street using the crosswalk. While it's mostly does and their fawns, the bucks do drop in as well but so far not on our property. In town, they are treated with deference and only reduced with a nuisance permit on occasion. In the more rural areas, it's a bit different...

On the family homestead property that we share with my husband's brothers, I planted my third year of garlic this past weekend and Shane is using the cedar trunks we thinned last year along the laneway to build a proper fence around the garden plot. One more post hole to dig and then the wire fencing will be installed. The last two years I have used very primitive fencing low to the ground to protect the garlic beds and while it's been successful, my plans to add more vegetables next spring mean we need more sturdy protection.
The garden bed I did in our back yard worked out well for growing, but the deer fencing was a failure. So next spring we need to do something different here in town.

Soup is back on the menu after summer grilling and summer salads and summer fruits and vegetables. So far we've had cream of carrot, ham and potato, chicken rice, creamy broccoli, cauliflower and garden vegetable and beef stew. I often also make an enhanced ramen noodle dish for Shane's lunch by adding vegetables like sweet peppers, onion, fresh ginger and herbs. I buy a lot of fresh produce so that means I'm on the hook for using it up and not wasting it which means getting creative or freezing it to use later.  Sometimes I'm feeling quite pleased with my efforts and other times I add stuff to the compost pile in complete dejection. Managing the food in our house feels like an Olympic sport most of the time! In recent weeks, my friend Chantelle has had enough eggs from her hens to sell me a dozen every week or two. They are beautiful brown eggs and I love washing them and seeing the varying sizes and beautiful rich yolk color. 

The fall colors have been beautiful again this year, although in August I feel sad when I see the first leaves start to turn yellow. But by mid-September and the return to our lesson schedule, I start to lean and embrace it by decorating our home for autumn and hunting for pretty leaves to press and save.  In addition to foraging for leaves are the blooms off of my mother-in-law's hydrangea bush which turns the prettiest pink in October and she generously lets me forage whatever I like from it. She also gives away the iconic orange 'lanterns' from her Chinese Lantern plants. 

With November just a few hours away and the snowstorm we had yesterday, the last of the leaf color will fade and the beauty of the evergreens will carry us through to spring.


  1. What beautiful pictures! Autumn is looking good and the harvest bountiful up your way. Glory to God! I love the carrots still in the ground but ready to pull. I could say something similar about every view you share here.

    1. Thank you for your kind remarks and shared inspiration, GretchenJoanna!


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