Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Indian Summer Has Come

Today was a beautiful indian summer type of fall day. The sky was crystal clear blue, the sun was warm, and the air temperature was in the low 60s. It was great!

As I walked cross town to a doctor appointment (I managed to wear a hole in the bottom of my foot and so need inlays for my walking shoes), I couldn't help but enjoy the newly fallen leaves from the cool weather last night. They are covering everything in their plenty. Can you spot the sidewalk  in this picture?
Yeah, it means someone is going to have to rake a bit this weekend.

Unfortunately, it was not a hard enough freeze to kill the grasshoppers. They were hopping in mass with every pile of leaves I kicked as I walked. Maybe later in the week. I can always hope.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Coming of the ...

It is time once more for the weather to turn cold. Last night was predicted to be the first freeze of the year, but once again the weather critters were off a bit. So maybe tonight? It is hard to predict since it was near 90 on Saturday but it hasn't been above 60 since and the night time cooling is going closer and closer to freezing. The date of first frost here on the plains has been a moving target over the past few decades. After years of stability in late September, it has now been marching later and later in the year. For the last few years, it has averaged around Oct. 10. This year it is going to be considerably later than that. Guess it goes along with the rest of the "non-existent" global climate changes.

I love this time of year. So many things are done for the year and/or nearing their end. I mowed the lawn last weekend for the last time this year (and it better be the last time since I am throwing away the mower in the city trash pickup next week; it has served well for a number of years but has reached the point where even I cannot apply enough baling wire to keep it operational and so it must go). I also turned off the water to the sprinkler systems here and at mom's house. I had already turned it off at the MIL's place preparatory to replacing a broken pipe. I guess you could say the early weatherization for winter is complete. Plants have entered into the slow part of their growth curve as the days shorten and cool.

I love the sense of fulfillment that comes with working in the cool and cold and then settling in in the warmth of the house in the evening this time of year. The joy of getting out of bed in the cold of morning and then warming up. The coming of the early nightfall and late morning sun. The turning of the leaves and the honking of the geese.

The best things about this time of year? They include the coming of Halloween and the pumpkin crop:

But the absolute best thing is that the bugs die off, including these lovely pests:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Wind and More Wind

The last several days have seen continuous 45 mph winds out here on the plains. A sure sign that the cooler weather of fall is on the way. In fact, the first frost might well happen this weekend. Which means an end to all the daily fresh melons and vegetables from the garden until next year. Just time to clean up and prepare for next spring and then batten down for the cold and snow of winter.
Other than all the branches and street lights and other things blown over and about, the worst part of the wind is the dust and sand. There are stories of the original settlers out here in sod houses being unable to stand the day after day beating of the wind and dust, to the point of giving up hope and just lying down and dying. The wind reminds me of the Santa Ana winds in southern California: the ionic charge in the air makes one literally feel bad. So needless to say I have not been in the most pleasant of moods. Of course, neither has anyone else, so we all have been ready to verbally spar at the drop of a hat. A good time to just hunker down and remain calm. At least the wind has died down a bit now as the cold and rain gets ready to settle in. But it still leaves my mind in a flipping and flopping state where seemingly random things connect to other things and then hook into something even further afield. For example ...

I love the fall weather once it gets here. There is that sense of drawing back into one's self for the coming days of winter, the slowing down of the pace of life. There is nothing that says job well done like the feeling of brisk air in the morning and the sound of geese circling the harvested corn fields.

The sound of geese as they migrate also reminds me of my grandfather. When he found out that he had inoperable metastatic cancer, he lived on with his steel will to see one more cycle of planting and growing. And when the fall and harvest came, he decided it was time and died. I remember slipping away from work, bundling the son in his infant carrier, and driving the 30 miles over to his farm to just to sit with him in his final weeks. And I remember the sound of the honking geese circling as I would leave to head back home.

That of course brings to mind how lucky I was growing up. I not only knew all my grandparents, but some of my great-grandparents. A consequence of being the oldest child of the oldest child on both sides of my family. In fact with the exception of L's grandfather, we had a complete set of grandparents on both sides when we were dating. So we both grew up with the presence of grandparents in our lives. It makes me sad to think of all the people who aren't so lucky.

Enough meandering, time to get back to work.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I saw this over on today:
and do know you what my first thought was? It was "Hasn't everyone?"

And my second thought? If you haven't, you are not living your life with enough passion. Time to get passionate.

So what was your first thought?
Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin