Thursday, November 26, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Thanksgiving blessings to all

The year has turned its circle,
the seasons come and go.
The harvest all is gathered in
and chilly north winds blow.
Orchards have shared their treasures,
the fields their yellow grain,
so open wide the doorway...
Thanksgiving comes again!

The wider the central brown band on a woolly bear 
caterpillar is, the milder the winter shall be.

When the trees their summer splendor
Change to raiment red and gold,
When the summer moon turns mellow,
And the nights are getting cold; 
When the squirrels hide their acorns, 
And the woodchucks disappear; 
Then we know that it is autumn, 
Loveliest season of the year.
Carol L. Riser 

the winter will be mild if the first
snow falls on unfrozen ground

My Sorrow, when she's here with me,
thinks these dark days of autumn rain
are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree.
She walks the sodden pasture lane.
Her pleasure will not let me stay. 

The beauties she so wryly sees,
she thinks I have no eye for these
the love of bare November days
but it were vain to tell her so,
before the coming of the snow,
and they are better for her praise.

She talks and I am fain to list.
She's glad the birds are gone away,
she's glad her simple worsted grady
is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,
the faded earth, the heavy sky,
the beauties she so wryly sees,
she thinks I have no eye for these
and vexes me for reason why.
Robert Frost

Expect a harsh winter if: 
onion and apple skins and cornhusks are thick and tough
wasp nests are high up in trees 
squirrel nests are big 
rabbits are fat in October and November 
geese migrate earlier 
squirrel tails are very bushy 
nuts and berries are plentiful
pigs gather lots of leaves and straw

How well I know what I mean to do
When the long dark autumn-evenings come:
And where, my soul, is thy pleasant hue?
With the music of all thy voices, dumb In life's November too!
I shall be found by the fire, suppose,
O'er a great wise book as beseemeth age,
While the shutters flap as the cross-wind blows
And I turn the page, and I turn the page,
Not verse now, only prose!
Robert Browning

Give me the end of the year an' its fun 
when most of the plannin' an' toilin' is done,
bring all the wanderers home to the nest,
let me sit down with the ones I love best.
Hear the old voices still ringin' with song,
see the old faces unblemished by wrong,
see the old table with all of its chairs
an' I'll put soul in my Thanksgivin' prayers.
Edgar Guest

A tingling, misty marvel blew hither in the night, 
and now the little peach-trees are clasped in frozen light. 
Upon the apple-branches an icy film is caught, 
with trailing threads of gossamer in pearly patterns wrought. 
The autumn sun, in wonder, is gayly peering through 
this silver-tissued network across the frosty blue. 
The weather-vane is fire-tipped, the honeysuckle shows 
a dazzling icy splendor, and crystal is the rose. 
Evaleen Stein 

Come, my boys, come
Your hay it is mow'd, and your corn is reap'd, 
Your barns will be full, and your hovels heap'd. 
Come, my boys, come 
John Dryden 

A feel of warmth in this place. 
In winter air, a scent of harvest. 
No form of prayer is needed, 
When by sudden grace attended. 
Naturally, we fall from grace. 
Mere humans, we forget what light 
Led us, lonely, to this place. 
John Montague 

Over the river, and through the wood Oh, how the wind doth blow!
It stings the toes and bites the nose as over the ground we go
.Lydia Maria Child 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

(My middle son bravely scaled the windmill with camera in hand to take these photographs while I kept my feet firmly attached to the ground)

 The mountains of Vermont, far off in the distance. 

 A bird's-eye view of the garden. I am so very grateful to my mom for all the help she's given me with weeding, mulching and composting over the past few weeks. It is a huge relief to head into winter knowing that the garden has been put to bed before the snow falls. (We are still working on mulching all the fallen leaves, but hope to be done this week)

Sunday, November 1, 2015

   November arrives, along with some rain. Though at first glance it appears damp and dreary out my window, the vibrant red and yellow leaves of oak and beech catch the eyes, and from there, they focus on the bleached amber of the new mown field. Brilliant color still remains along the woodline, appearing brighter on account of the dark black and umber skeletons of wet trees.
    Most of the gardens have been cut back and weeded, seeds have been saved for spring planting, the harvest has been stored. Seed and trees have been ordered for spring planting. Firewood and kindling are in and under cover. Extra bedding awaits to bank up the barn critters against the inevitable below-freezing temperatures that lurk just around the corner. I've stocked up on suet, birdseed, peanuts and grain. Yet there is still much to be done before the finality of snowfall puts to rest this season's work.
    There is still cutting back to do, and mulching, and leaves need composting and spreading on the gardens. There are still apples needing to be picked, and cider to be made. I noticed the other morning that the chickens have scratched up two grapevines I had put in a month or so ago, so that needs tending to. I still need to make about a dozen-and-a -half wire cages to wrap around the trunks of some young apple trees. (Last winter, the mice and rabbits wreaked havoc on a half-dozen fruit trees and several lilac bushes) The garden paths need to be mulched, as well. .
    The call of migrating geese, the scolding chatter of squirrels, crows and bluejays venturing closer to the house (and the birdfeeders), the deer and wild turkeys lingering longer in the fields, the lacy frost on the lawn and rooftops, all are signs of the slowing -down of things, a signal of drawing homeward, for coming back inside after months of being out about the gardens. The shortning of daylight hours will see to that! For me, it is a bittersweet time, yet I anticipate the lull of winter and the beauty of impending snowfall. There are piles of books waiting to be read, and projects I've neglected indoors now needing my attention. I have a bunch of furniture refinishing I am longing to start, and my pine floors need re-oiling too. And I can finally make that raspberry jalapeno jam I've been meaning to get to. (it is far too hot and humid to make jam when the raspberries are ripening; I've learned to pick and immediately freeze them, and wait for a cold winter day to can)
   And so, we are reminded yet again of nature's way and time with the march of seasons moving ever forward. May this season bring you blessings, and may you find time to accomplish what you can, yet be able to savor and appreciate what is at hand as well~

If it is true that one of the greatest pleasures of gardening lies in looking forward, then the planning of next year's beds and borders must be one of the most agreeable occupations in the gardener's calendar.  This should make October and November particularly pleasant months, for then we may begin to clear our borders, to cut down those sodden and untidy stalks, to dig up and increase our plants, and to move them to other positions where they will show up to greater effect.  People who are not gardeners always say that the bare beds of winter are uninteresting; gardeners know better, and take even a certain pleasure in the neatness of the newly dug, bare, brown earth.
Vita Sackville-West 

A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake and was treated to the crunch and rustle of leaves  with each step I made. The acoustics of this season are different and all sounds, no matter how hushed, are as crisp as autumn air.
 Eric Sloane