Fall is starting to feel like winter

Juniper tree

Juniper tree

October 31 – I spent almost an hour walking around the pasture, the garden, and the trails this week taking photos to remind me of this fall season. In one pasture there are three beautifully-shaped juniper trees. When we first moved here, I mentioned to Dale how neat it would be if we could run some lines out from the house so we could put lights on those trees for Christmas. He was not keen on that idea, and when I thought more about it, I guess it wouldn’t be the best plan to have electric lights about 400 feet away, right in the middle of the pasture. Maybe a coyote or deer would come along and scorch his nose, trying to check out the new addition to the environment! All of those beautiful blue berries on the trees is decoration enough, anyway.

Greenbrier plants doing some tree climbing

Greenbrier plants doing some tree climbing

Back in the woods, the greenbriers with their leaves turning from bright green to gold at this time of ¬†year, were climbing the trees or just hitching themselves on to anything available that would hold them up. Doesn’t pay to grab right onto one of those vines when cleaning in the woods. I know, because I did when I first started cleaning out the area. Their thorny stems grabbed my attention! Years ago, we went to a Teachers’ Convention at Greenbrier in West Virginia. That was the first I had ever heard of a greenbrier. And here we are now, with hundreds of them in our woods. Tall wild rose bushes with their little red berries were thorny, as well. More than once have I tried to clip them off at the base, only to slip and end up in the middle of the plant. Not fun!

Our paths are more leaves than paths these days

Our paths are more leaves than paths these days

Farther along the trail that runs through the woods, I came to the huge old tree, tall and strong, that towers over that part of our woods. When our neighbors decided to move from the area, they wondered if we would like to buy an additional five acres from them, so nobody could build right next to us. Yes, of course, we would! Not that we don’t enjoy people, as we really do, but it’s nice to be by yourself sometimes, too.

While we were looking over the property, Patrick told us that the tree I just mentioned was one of the biggest and tallest in this area. Someone from the local conservation district came to take the measurements to make sure Patrick was correct. Of course, the tree is older now, and has some marks of imperfections, but I hope it will continue to stand tall above all the rest in that area.

With frost likely this weekend, the tomato portion of the garden also bears some review. Looking around at the basketsful of green ones still sitting there reminds me of something that happened about 50 years ago, back in the days in Pennsylvania when the kids were small. Having heard that we would have a very hard freeze one night, we decided to pick all of the green tomatoes, bushels of them. We laid them out on the ground, so it would be easy to pick out the ones too small to use. Planning on carrying them off to the garage before evening, we ate dinner, worked on the lawn, and took care of other tasks.

But guess what? The weatherman had not done a very good job of predicting. In the late afternoon, the skies darkened up, and the rains came down, hard! When it finally stopped, we went out to check on the tomatoes. My first thought was, ” Where are they?” That many tomatoes could not just disappear. Finally, as we walked down to the creek that ran across the garden, we found them, those that were still around. It had rained so hard that the tomatoes went sailing down the creek, way down the creek, and onto the back lawn of several of the families living on the road behind us! I can’t even remember if we picked up any of them! – CHRIS

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