The temperatures have been cold these past few nights, but my marigolds and dianthus are still alive and kicking! I love the juxtaposition of pumpkins and summer annuals, similar coloring even though normally they inhabit different seasons. The leaves are falling at such a brisk pace, the strong winds over the past few days have laid out carpets of red, brown and yellow everywhere, on roads and front yards. The surrounding mountains are looking a bit naked, but the ground is very colorful. Autumn is definitely making a bold statement right now.
I love a fire, but I wish it wasn’t necessary already, I could use a few more weeks of warm weather. Today it was 55 degrees and rainy, chilly and wet, not a comfortable combination. Thank goodness for my mother’s soup!
The spectacular New England foliage drama is starting and the next few weeks will be delightful, driving to and fro from Blandford to New York and to Boston, I am going to be witness to the golds, reds, yellows and light greens, a splash of glorious colors boldly painted everywhere.
Today is the first day that I made the annual tour of my gardens, too early for anything except crocuses and snowdrops, these snowdrops are the only ones I have, but I think that they are precious. The other sprouts, I forget their names, but they are cousins to the crocus, they should bloom in the next week or so if the weather continues to hold in this pattern. I went over to my mother-in-law’s house and her crocuses were up, they were in a cluster of five, delicate in their tinyness just like my snowdrops. I think that it is just amazing that something so delicate can withstand the brutal freezing shocks that we had this past winter.
It’s only April and intellectually I know that it is way too soon to see anything happen, either in the front or the back, but still with the gorgeous day outside today, it’s hard not to wish for something to show its lovely green bud.
What needs to happen during the next several weeks is the annual spring cleanup, raking and uncovering the beds, giving everything lying below the ground some much needed air and access to sunlight. The carpet of dead leaves, which provided much needed insolation and protection, has done its job and its time for the leaves to be removed. It’s a big job but someone has to do it; that’s my cue to get busy.
I am writing from my iPhone as my iPad is experiencing huge technical difficulties. We are going back down to New York as a family for the weekend, the baby boy is driving and we even have Jack with us. Typing with only one finger, the index finger, isn’t very efficient I know but I have yet to master the dual thumbing of the youth. Since I’m in the passenger seat, I took the opportunity to take pictures. The sky was particularly beautiful in my opinion, such a bright blue contrasting with the waning colors of the leaves. My finger is getting cramped so I’m keeping this short and sweet.
For a small town like Blandford, we are very lucky to have such a lovely park as Watson Park. The Park’s benefactor was Doctor Watson who was a member of the Blandford Historical Society and left a sizable trust to the town designated solely for the upkeep and maintenance of the park for future generations. Our current groundskeeper, Doug, takes his duties very seriously and keeps the park very nicely groomed and trimmed.
I walked to the park to take pictures of what makes New England such a tourist lure, the changing foliage.
As I walked up the hill and to the gazebo, I was a little surprised that I got prettier pictures from midway up the hill, than the very top or even from the gazebo itself. It goes to show that I have a lot to learn with perspective and camera angles, the light was nice and I like the way the sun was hitting the colors, especially the golds and the reds. The air is starting to smell different as well, a certain crispness is developing and getting stronger day by day, it is very enjoyable because the temperatures are still on the warmish side. I have just been getting a hankering for apples and pears, the crisp air translates perfectly to apple and pear weather.
Today I was having the pool closed for winter, so this morning I was busy skimming it for the last time and then draining it just under the skim basket line. As I was walking back and forth, doing this and that and moving a few hoses, out of the corner of my eye, there was an odd color in the middle of the huge Lilac bush in the corner off of the pool. Lilacs are way out of season and now is the time when they start shedding their leaves, getting ready for winter dormancy, this is why I was puzzled by what my peripheral vision had seen.
I walked over to the bush and lo and behold there are new blooms in the interior of the bush, surrounded by the normal looking branches that are losing their leaves as they should. Did I mention that it has been chilly overnight these past three nights, it has registered a chilly 39 degrees, not conducive to Lilac blooming, it is so weird.
I am not complaining, seeing this new growth on something that is getting ready to say good night is very exciting and the expression of hope and life. I had just written a post “Nature always finds a way” speaking about a Bleeding Heart, another springtime plant, sprouting and blooming in my compost pile and now my Lilac bush is making new blooms. I love Mother Nature and this is exactly why I love gardening so much, you never know anything because whatever you think that you know, you experience something that is the opposite of what you knew or thought you knew.
My hubby and I were doing the New York-Massachusetts round trip today and as I was sitting looking out the window, I noticed that some of the leaves were already turning. I was surprised because it hasn’t been cold enough or wet enough. I had always been under the impression that leaves changed their colors after the first frost and we definitely haven’t had one just yet. The reason that I’m sure that we haven’t had a frost is because my bougainvillea, Mandeville and hibiscus are outside and still thriving.
Roundtrips are tiring and I am looking forward to some rest.
One of my least favorite chores, the disposal of fall leaves. I never mind the raking, the exercise is such that I am never cold while I’m raking and it builds a nice little appetite that I like to indulge as a result of my hard work. It is the bagging that really annoys me because for some reason once you pull out a lawn and leaf bag, the winds come out to play and the leaves scatter away while you are battling the rake, the leaves and the bag all at once.
I used to love the piles of leaves in Astoria Park when I was little, I never had to rake them and bag them back in Astoria, I don’t think anyone did. I remember having as an assignment for at least two years, I think in first and second grade, having to find as many different leaves and sticking them on colored paper to bring to school. That was fun, running after the leaves before the wind did its job and swept them away somewhere else. It is when we moved up here to Blandford that I was introduced to the whole raking and bagging leaf thing.
Supposedly the reason behind the disposal of fall leaves is that if you leave the leaves where they are, when the snows come, the carpet of leaves will kill the grass because the grass will have been suffocated by the layering of the leaves and the snow. It makes sense so in a day or two I will start to make some piles and perhaps start the bagging process. We are only in October and we do live in tree country, many trees still have their leaves attached so I don’t know how early I want to start my least favorite chore.
As I was walking Rex and Jack and noticing that with everyday passing, the leaves are changing into the beautiful fall foliage that we in the Northeast are famous for, I know that we aren’t the only ones to have spectacular fall colors, but it is pretty nice to live right smack in the middle of it all. I thought that this would be perfect to capture with my cell phone to write about and share.
The leaves are accumulating everywhere in my front yard and in the back. Soon I will be outside raking them up and putting them into plastic leaf bags, one of my least favorite things to do. I tell myself to get through the onerous task, that it is burning calories and I am ashamed to admit it, but that logic is all I need to get me out there raking and stuffing bags.
While I was walking the boys I was thinking about this coming winter and what to do about Rex’s need to go out in the middle of the night. My mind was wondering to the thought of a doggie door, my Tonton had one installed for his German Shepard and his Labrado,r but Rex is much bigger than your average Lab or German Shepard. We would need a door that opens in half, while the top is closed the bottom opens or when the bottom is closed the top opens. I forget the name for those types of doors.The only problem is that having a half door open during the night in winter will send our heating bill though the roof.
Actually it isn’t that bad waking up in the middle of the night to put the boys out for ten minutes or so, I fall back asleep fairly quickly. I’m getting at least three hours of sleep at each stretch so cumulatively it works out to about eight or nine hours. Go to bed at midnight , get up at three, get up again at six and then back up again around nine. Thank goodness I am a stay at home wife and mother. I would be fried if I had to work outside the home only because at work you normally can’t set your own pace whereas no matter how much I have planned to do, I can go as quickly or slowly as I feel because I am the boss.
I am most definitely lamenting the loss of heat, here in my neck of the woods, the nights have go down to the low forties and the days in the low seventies. I know that I shouldn’t complain but it is not as if the thermometer is going to go up from here. It is only going to continue on the downward progression into cooler and cooler temperatures until I can officially call it cold. Not happy. The days are getting shorter, it is not getting dark at seven, it is much too early for it to be dark. Can’t it stay light until eight for just a little while longer? I am not ready for this change of seasons, not yet!
This week I’ve been laid up by this bout of pneumonia, so I haven’t been doing much of anything except for walking Rex and Jack because Rex has to be walked or else his joints stiffen up quite badly and since he has now been on his new anti-inflammatory medicines and his pain pills, it is very important to strengthen the muscles surrounding his joints. I figure it probably does me some good as well, get me out of the house and away from depressing thoughts. However when I see the leaves falling all around us as we traverse the park, it has put me in a gloomier mood. All that came into mind as I was walking them just before is “Oh, just wonderful, after the leaves, then the snow and I am going to exhaust myself making pathways so that my arthritic old man dog can walk in the park and the little baby boy Jack can happily follow without getting lost in all the snow”. And I don’t even know if we are going to have snow in the first place because if I take last winter as an example, we didn’t have any, aside from the big snowstorm of last October.
I used to look forward to the fall season when I was younger. I remember going through the huge fall fashion magazines in France such as Elle and Vogue, even Marie Claire and see all the newest clothes and dream of dressing like that back in the States. This year I didn’t even bother looking at the magazines because the economy was so bad that the stores hadn’t even put out their fall fashions, they were still running sales on their summer lines.
This season also carries the promise of fall stews, apple pies, pear tart tatins and warm hearty soups but now with the baby girl gone and the baby boy busy with school and his job, all this promise of fall cooking with no one to cook for is depressing. Empty nest syndrome in its first stages, how to adjust to cooking for one without sadness.
Boy do I feel ill, I usually never sink this low into a dark mood. I have been thinking of sweet things to eat but I know that when your body is ill the last thing in the world it needs is sugar because that is a huge inflammatory agent and my lungs are inflamed enough with the pneumonia bug. What my brain wants is the endorphin/serotonin buzz and it is not going to get it through exercise, so it is calling for sweets but I will stay strong and say NO.
Tomorrow is another day and another day where I will feel better and my mood will lighten and after typing all of this I do feel a little better. So I say au revoir because adieu is too final.