Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The trees are bare

 Autumn starts to chill the air
Until the trees look sad and bear,
Time for fireside tales,you know,
Underneath the lamplight's glow.
Makes you feel you want to sigh,
Now the summer's stolen by.

The abnormally warm temperatures have now passed us by.  I finally lit a fire a week ago Monday and our first frost hit us ending my raspberry harvest

 That Wednesday we had an afternoon sleet shower which only lasted a few minutes, just a prelude of things to come.

While the mountain ridge on the other side of the river looks like this… 

Our side looks like this…

Almost all the trees are bare…

The exception being the oak trees which will hold their leaves for a long while still…


 It has been an odd fall.  Everyone is commenting on the amount of wooly bear caterpillars.  I have never seen so many and for the first time they all look alike.  This year they all have equal rows of black and brown followed by one row of black.  For all the abundance in the garden and nature I noticed the barberry bushes on the way to the barn are almost empty and the squirrels are making short work of the winterberry already. 

I have finished canning for the year.  I have put everything away.  I still have Brussels sprouts and broccoli in the garden  which we will either eat as they come or freeze. I also saved a bucket of green tomatoes that will ripen over time. 

So canning time has now become log splitting and leaf blowing time.  The screens came off the windows and the screen doors were taken down till Spring.  I love looking out the windows without the screens…now to just get them cleaned.  I guess it’s fall cleaning time also.

I have been knitting.  Most of it is for the grandsons but at least I am back to it.  I made a pumpkin hat for Baby B along with two different bee hive (skep) hats for him to wear for Halloween.  He is going as a pot of honey.  I also whipped up this shark hat for Toddler O…

I didn't take pictures but I also made a tea cozy and a pair of mittens for me.  Now I am looking through designs for a stocking for Baby B.

There is never a dull moment.  One season just quickly turns into the next.  They need to slow down so I can keep up.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Autumn bounty keeping me busy

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stain’d
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may’st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.
~ William Blake

I thought Summer was lingering last weekend when it was 85 degrees while we picking pumpkins with the grandsons at the Pumpkinfest near Philly.

(Toddler O's self portrait.  Large mouth from father's side of the family!!!)

Regardless of the heat, it was a nice break since I have been up to my eyebrows in apples. 

 Rare pumpkin tree!!!

The night before we left for Philly I decided to take a break and walk around the yard. The chipmunk and squirrel were fighting.  Walking past the hazel nut tree I decided to gather them so that I could enjoy some instead of the chipmunk and squirrel. 

I entered the garden sort of melancholy, another year’s growth come and gone.  I grabbed a container and picked raspberries.  After I gathered a quart I checked on the beans and picked about a quart of them.  I grabbed the tomatoes that are still producing, some broccoli and came back inside appreciating this late bounty. 

I roasted the tomatoes then froze them for later use.  I washed, dried and froze the raspberries.  I was going to bring the broccoli and beans to #1 daughter but forgot so we got to enjoy them! Tuesday I went out and picked four pounds of broccoli!

Last week we dug the potatoes and got approximately 150 pounds not counting what we have already consumed.  The cabbage is grated, salted and fermenting its way to sauerkraut.

Wednesday I took a neighbor to the farmers market and scored some concord grapes which I turned into 13 quarts of grape juice for the grandsons. I will continue to gather whatever still produces.  The corn stalks will come down soon for decorating.  The celery and peppers are patiently waiting on my attention, which might be a while as we went apple picking again.  The trees are so loaded and I hate to see it wasted so I keep picking and using them or pawning them off on other people who I know will make use of them.  But is is getting to the point that they now slam the door and make believe they aren’t home when they see me coming!!!  It is horrible but I tend to get this doomsday “must save” “must can” feeling every fall, my hunter/gatherer inner caveman comes out.  Dare I say I am waiting on a frost hat would at least kill everything off and stop this out of control behavior so I can start a fire and sit in my chair and spin or knit?

My fiber arts have been sadly neglected.  I did make myself a pair of socks and a pair of slipper socks.  I crocheted two minion hats for a friends grandson and finished the monster hats for my own grandsons.  At the end of a long canning day all I want to do is sit but hopefully that will change soon.