Thursday, October 13, 2016


The breath of autumn is now well upon us. It scatters the leaves as well as my mind, and puts the quick into my step. As in life and age, autumn has a way of shifting the unimportant away. In our cold clime that first freeze can be an icy slope. One descends from warmth to frozen in a day or two. No lollygag of a New York City autumn -there is terminus.

The paper wasps have finally crawled deeply into buildings and the ants have long left the work atop their mounds. There is a grasshopper on the garage wall, but no longer in the garden. Flies find their way in as do lady beetles and what remains of the mosquito swarm has descended into the basement stairwell.  A woolly bear and a large wood spider hastened from the unfinished studio. A week ago I heard the frog's last chirp.

Last week we had our first frost, and tonight, should the skies clear, we will have our first freeze. We can now accept bringing in plants, out of sympathy for them, as we do with our pets. Will the lantana come in? Will the begonia tubers be saved? Should I unearth the rosemary and pot it?

Despite better planning, the fall vegetables have not gone as hoped. Cauliflower was a wash, and the broccoli too. Green beans just a week or two too late and nibbled. Brussels sprouts have more leaf than sprout thus far. Spring planted broccoli continues to flourish. Eggplants always do better until they just can't and I have yet to harvest the majority of potatoes.

Although it is nearing winter (it comes earlier here), there are still several outdoor projects to complete. I need to replace a porch balustrade, cedar plank the utility room landing and replace several mossy and rotted plank ends on the porch. There is a window frame to repair -it should not go another winter, but it is on the second floor and I don't prefer ladders. A brick walkway has remained a gravel trench. The gutters continue to fill with leaves -this can wait, but not beyond snowfall. Warmer temperatures are required to apply a second coat of paint to the alcove where siding, sill, and door were replaced by the height of summer. The studio has much remaining, but there is now power and today the concrete contractor is placing the insulation foam. Progress. Should I call the mudjacker for the sidewalk that cants to the house? Is there time? Is there money?

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