Getting Ready for Winter (Bah-humbug)

Mock Orange

Mock Orange

October 22 – The days are always so full of activities these days that sometimes it’s hard to remember what we actually did do during our time both inside the house and outside, the latter still being my favorite of the two!

We have been clearing up and pulling out and cutting off so much lately, getting ready for the cold days to come. And still, this kind of activity is far from finished. Right now the garden is completely bare except for the row of peppers which are continuing to bear quite lavishly. Our son-in-law, Harvey, counts those as one of his favorite vegetables and manages to put away all that we deliver to him as he sits in the chair across the way in his parents’ home. One of these days I hope to give a report on the tractor accident that left him with a badly broken leg and keeps him off it completely for another month or more. At least he can get from here to there using his walker or crutches now.

Jerusalem artichokes

Jerusalem artichokes

This month I cut off the six peony bushes we have out on the front lawn above the road, and though the place doesn’t look really great, I much prefer it to those once-tall and strong stems that gradually fell down to the ground. Next to them were the mock orange bushes and the dwarf spirea also in need of trimming.

Almost time to cut back the very tall artichoke plants, but since they are still looking as if they might not yet be ready for that operation, they continue to hear my question, “Dale, when can we cut down those messy things?” The answer is always the same. “When it’s time!”

Our bright golden sunflowers are showing a little wear from their blooming tasks, but will continue to be beautiful for sometime. Today while we were walking the pasture trails, I checked them out for pictures. I found the bees are really pleased to find lots of good food inside the blooms. All summer we have seen at least one black and gold garden spider content to stay in her web and nab the insects that arrive on the scene. Somehow or other, today, she was in such a position in the web, that I couldn’t get a good photo. Oh, well, I have so many more that I have taken.

A little note of interest here. As I was photographing the sunflowers, Dale moved on ahead towards the big pond. As I walked down the little slope, I saw our cat lying on the ground just before the creek crossing, not sure whether she wanted to wait for me, or go after Dale. I was surprised because I could count on one hand the times she has taken a walk with us. However, as I passed her by and stroked her fur, she started following. Up at the pond, she sat and waited for us to continue our walk. All told, she must have walked more than a quarter of a mile, stopping to smell the grasses, to move on into the woods to find out what might be there, and then to hurry back along the trail to catch up to us.

Taking a cat-nap

Taking a cat-nap

Right now she is lying flat out on the living room rug, half asleep and getting her energy back. As usual this morning, she was sitting quietly in the big bird feeder box, watching both the squirrels as they hopped around to make off with the sunflower seeds, and the birds that stayed on the ground to eat since she was in their box. Not a squirrel and not a bird seemed to care one bit that she was so near. They know that she has never made an attempt to catch them.

And to be honest, why should she? Her dish inside the back door is always filled with the cat food she enjoys! – CHRIS

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