Wednesday, October 5, 2011



I had a message from Hallie last night: “How are you? What are you doing?” Then she called. “It’s been a while since we had a new post,” she said.

Yes, my muse did leave. We went to town last Thursday. Chukar season opened Saturday (Oct. 1), and Mike, Ken, and Nellie were there! (On a sad note, Ken’s dog Duke battled cancer throughout the summer and passed away last week. We’re happy to report, though, that Ken is searching for his next dog.) They hunted Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday. Meetings were the prime objective of my time in town, and one of those required the completion of time-consuming “October” duties. It’s done now, though, and that’s a good feeling. And yes, we’re back at the homestead for a few days.

I don’t know much about weather patterns, but it seems like the whole year has been off by six weeks. A cold, wet spring lasted until after the Fourth of July. Summer temperatures were really moderate but the warmth continued through last weekend with no guarantee that it’s over yet. You know, I’m a little tire of watering the garden, but it just doesn’t quit producing. Here at the homestead, it has yet to frost. Week by week I have toyed with the idea of putting our raised beds to sleep for the winter, but yesterday I picked another zucchini and more zucchini and summer squash have set on -- practically unheard of in these parts where the growing season can be cut short by an August frost. In Lewiston yesterday I heard someone remark that he saw his neighbor tearing out his tomato plants while the speaker himself was still picking many tomatoes. What are the rules, he wanted to know.  I don’t think there are any. Perhaps the neighbor was just tired of gardening. The season has to come to an end sometime, don’t you think?

Tell you what else I’m tired of – wasps and grasshoppers and those odd stink bugs. Time for them to be gone. But then the mice will show up, I suppose. In fact, last week I awoke one morning about 5:30 to a rattling sound. Rattle-rattle . . . plunk . . . rattle . . . klunk . . . rattle rattle rattle. The picture that came to mind was of a mouse pushing a piece of Nellie’s chow across a rafter. So, I got up, crept downstairs, and peeked at her food dish. Empty – and I think it was empty at bedtime. Oh well, I thought, it could have been . . . something else. I made my hot chocolate and sat down to my laptop. Then I heard it again – rattle rattle rattle . . . plop – behind the open stair door. In the wall. Shudder. Oh well.

The only fall color visible in my yard is the artificial wreath I hung on the front door, and it looks out of place. The big maple tree is still dressed in green with hardly a hint of switching to autumn gold. Remember how we plowed through colored leaves at Halloween? I can still smell them. Well, they have 25 days to turn color and begin to fall. We’ll see . . . 

As you may recall, water stood in the fields last spring, keeping our farmer from his planting. The fields were fallow all summer, and I thought that was a little depressing. It was fun having access to the fields for hiking and 4-wheeling, but I missed watching the grain ripen and come to fruition in harvest. 


When we came in last night, though, Farmer Kyle was here and planting. I enjoyed watching him go round and round, and as dusk fell, he turned on his lights. The pictures aren’t great but I think they captured the idea. KW


Leah said...

Funny how we expect things to be the same each especially. After all, there are 4 seasons. I think the man in Lewiston who tore out his tomato plants had a list of things to do in the fall. Maybe had lots of other things to get done before cold weather set in. And it could be as simple as him being tired of tomatoes by October. Just because Mother Nature had her dates mixed up, he didn't and had to move on!

Hallie said...

Some leaves are starting to change here regardless of the weather. The weather barely changes around here so I guess the trees are just on a timer.

Camera must work--pictures look great!

Kathy said...

Yes, I suspect that man had a honey-do list and was completing tasks so that he could go hunting the next weekend. (LOL)

The photo of the north field was taken last week with our camera. The others were taken with yours. We outfitted it with batteries and the memory card. Cost to fix our camera is a minimum $140 - not feasible. We're still pondering our next steps. Meanwhile, thanks for sharing.

It's raining now -- also windy. Quite chilly.

drMolly, the BeanQueen said...

Yes, odd. I had to go out last night & pick up pieces of plastic - my "greenhouse" (made of plastic sheeting over PVC hoops on my raised bed) was torn apart by the wind. It had been broken down by the sunlight - usually it is gone by now due to the cold coming - instead of me taking it down. so the tomatoes & ground cherries are covered with row cover until they all get ripe of it does actually freeze. The rain does tell us though that it is approaching winter ahyway.

Leah said...

The night time photos of Farmer Kyle are a nice touch. Your pictures are a regular National Geographic tour of Idaho!

Chris said...

It's rainy, cold, and fall today! But you're correct--with most of the leaves still green, it's a little odd for certain.

I've decided not to iron any more of my summer blouses; I'm just hanging them in the off-season closet and digging out my sweaters and fleece. Dan has the stove lit downstairs and it's warmth is appreciated.

Kathy said...

Thank you, Leah.

Chris -- I'm so glad to hear someone else moves clothes from closet to closet. I've been doing the same thing -- switching summery things for warmer shirts and sweaters. And we also have a fire this afternoon. It's 45 here (almost 4:00 p.m.) and the wall furnace just wasn't doing it. It's good to put heat in the house before you get too cold.

Be cozy everyone!