Sunrise and definitive proof of fall

Leaves on the ground.

A few days ago I posted a picture of the ash trees all dressed up in their orange and yellow leaves. Yesterday when we came home from school the leaves were all on the ground as the trees had emptied themselves for winter, I forgot to take a picture of the later until last evening just before is got too dark. I was upstairs in my room getting ready to sit down to watch the latest episode of the 13th season of The Voice, and I stepped outside to take this picture first. This would be a great weekend to have grandchildren over to the house, but instead we are all busy running one place or another. It is also getting harder and harder to just pack up either set of them and drag them to this place for a weekend. Hopefully by the time James and I are 81 and 80, it will be easier to transport them than us. We also have not made any headway in our efforts to move things around here to open up more room for overnight guests. Maybe this winter when we have nothing better to do in the dark of night. HA! I am sure by that time we will be baking something or canning something else or even putting out the seedlings for the garden next summer. This past week has been one of picking the rest of the garden and dragging everything inside to the house or garage or wherever it fits, which means the van gets to stand outside like an unloved child.

We made a little room on the table inside the house after when we did the last batch of tomatoes on Monday night. We started as soon as we got home and ended the evening fairly early–8:30 ish. The results were: 1 qt and 1 pint of juice, 4 qts. of spaghetti sauce and 3 qts. of soup, plus a 3/4 filled qt of each of those last two. Those have been put in the fridge and will have to go to the top of the menu real soon. I don’t understand quite how they happened. I measured out the spaghetti sauce into a quart jar before putting them into a kettle. Perhaps that reduces as you warm it. Learned something there. As for the soup, I wasn’t quite sure on that, and I should have known it would expand with the additions of butter, sugar (that always adds volume) and then the flour for thickening.

As I sit at the kitchen table to write this the sun is streaming through the east window nearly blinding me. I have been sneaking peeks at it rising almost like a space ship at lift off. It’s rays are so intense this morning they seem to blur in the cool fall morning. Interestingly, the winds came up with the sun. I was outside earlier to take these pictures of the pre-sunrise, and I don’t remember being bothered by a breeze. By the way they are in order as you see them from left to right.

Sunrise 10-11-17

Later I stepped out onto the east deck to snap the final shot (and the door closed and locked behind me, and I did not have on the large coat I wore earlier) I saw the branches moving on the trees then felt the wind as I ran around the house to get to the garage door and inside. All in all, it is a very pretty morning her in the northern part of South Dakota. I pray today for those recovering from the hurricanes, the earthquakes and now going through the horrors of the wildfires in California. May God see fit to bring them some rain to quench the demons racing through that area. I think we will be singing “Showers of Blessing” this Sunday in our way of asking God for some respite.

A little garden work on Sunday

Sunday we really had intended to take the day off from the garden. We picked all the tomatoes on Saturday and had a pile of rubbish in the wheelbarrow waiting to be taken away to the compost pile, and so we were just going to chill after we had lunch. Everyone was headed in different directions after church and so we went home to eat and rest. I sent a pint of the applesauce I made on Saturday home with Melissa for Carson. I told her to have him add some sugar because it is a little sour. He was busy working on a paper for school, so hopefully he was able to take a little time and have a treat.

Well, about 3 p.m. the time of rest at our place was over. James decided that we might get a freeze this week, and he wanted to make sure the onions were pulled because they could freeze in the ground as it is going to drop pretty low, or so the prediction seems to be indicating. The carrots and the beets were left in the ground because a good frost only makes them sweeter. I am guessing they come out on Thursday.

Sophia getting ready to be carried to the garden.

Today, we took the wagon, the potato fork and Sophia along with us to the garden. We closed the gate behind us and let Sophia run while we worked. She never is allowed outside unsupervised since she had the hypothyroidism diagnosis. She can’t take the pills and so is on a strict diet, which means she isn’t allow to eat any other cat food or human food or rodents. Of course since the neighbor cats hunt our area and the hawk frequents the back yard, there have not been any rodents. Hurrah!!

Pumpkins!!

So, much to our chagrin about the wagon to carry the plethora of onions we would dig out. There was barely a small basket of them to pick. The cosmos grew up and around them so intensely that most of the onions were smaller than the seed onions we planted to begin with. So much for that idea. We did, later, go back outside and cover the one remaining tomato plant, then we clipped and brought in the pumpkins. It was a good idea and they are quite ready to be picked. Now just to wash them and set them in the house as decoration. I am not putting them outside to freeze. I didn’t plant them and am quite happy to have them as volunteer produce. I don’t know why I would jeopardize keeping them. They are currently in the garage safe and sound under the table holding that vast array of onions (all 24 of them). That number is just a wild guess. We planted 100 each of white, yellow and purple. I guess in the future, I agree to pull the cosmos as if they are weeds when they are growing up between rows of vegetables of any kind. On the other hand, I have been getting a good crop of cosmos seeds. I wonder if those would be sellable???Hmmm. Who knows they might have a copyright on them. Of course, I have been taking my own seeds for so many years, I wonder if that still counts.

Light frost!

Garden in the morning.

So the first frost of this season hit overnight. It was not as bad as we expected but I am currently not home to check on the real damage. James had to recover all of the plants when he came back from his morning bike ride while we had expected. As he was going past the bank, he noticed the sign said 37 degrees F, but by the time he was filling gas in my van, it was 33. That was between 7 and 7:30 a.m.

Morning glories seemed hit even though James covered them.

I left the house a little after 9 a.m. because I had to stop at the bank. It was warmer then and the sun was shining, so I took some time to remove the cloths from the garden. I hung them all on the fence and the pictures show what I saw this morning. Ironically some of the covered plants looked frozen while some in the open looked fine. We will have to wait until later this afternoon to see the real results.

Roger watching me leave

Hope you all have a great day!

Weekend Woes

Today’s picks

So much for my “to do” list for this weekend. I have been plotting and planning for several days all the things we will accomplish and even more so when I found out Paulina was coming home. Well Robert Burns in his poem, “To a Mouse” was right when he noted (please be aware that I am paraphrasing) that the best laid plans of mice and men often get thwarted.

My moss roses

My knees have not been cooperating with the idea of work as of late. I don’t know if it is my diet, the weather or just old age. My right knee has a pinch in it that seems to move around at random, and my left knee the past two days just keeps getting bigger and bigger. This evening is much better than this morning was. I thought I was hobbling on a couple of stumps. I have also been having some swelling in my fingers and so perhaps I need to seriously look at what I am eating. On the other hand, the chiropractor suggested it might be the amount of time I have been spending in the car lately. I personally think it is the cold and damp weather we have been having.

Morning glories in the cucumbers

Anyway, my point was not to complain, but just to say that I wanted to do all these wonderful things, but got to none of them. About the only thing that I did get accomplished was a little picking in the garden, which really for all points and purposes except for the tomatoes could just as well be pulled up. I may just start doing that this week. OK, so I won’t. I can’t ever seem to so that. I have this list that says: prune raspberries, cut off dead holly hocks, replant shrubs, plant mums, repot geraniums and none of it is getting down. Maybe I will remember to take in the poinsettias tomorrow. Hopefully I do that before we start on the tomatoes…It never ends around here, and then the knees hurt and I don’t get out of the chair. Maybe that would be a good time to work on the needle work… I promise to quit complaining and share my pictures. At least they are a little cheerier than I am.

New season

Brave sunflowers in the wind

Today the seasons change. The sun crosses the equator from north to south and here in the north we start the season of fall. As much as I love fall, I am not really loving the cold and wet that we have today. I know we need the rain, and the cooler air feels better than the heat of yesterday. BUT…. today my joints are screaming in pain and I was really hoping to sit outside watching the football game then maybe have a firepit when we get home. It would be fun because Paulina will be home and tomorrow is Saturday so that means not having to get out of bed so early, though knowing Roger she will want outside by 5 a.m.

Bee on cosmos

Grasshopper damage on tomato

I am typing this on my iPad so I will cut it short. I have a few pictures from this week in the garden to share. Hope to have a better update tomorrow.

Smoke from a distant fire

sunrise 9-13-17

We have been having these awesome sunrises and sunsets because of the smoke in the air from the wild fires in Montana and Canada. Today it was a bit much. The smoke was so bad you could taste it. We are in the northern part of South Dakota so sometimes we get in on these things, but consider it comes all the way through North Dakota before it gets to us. Victoria said that Dickinson, ND was so bad that all sports were called off for the day. We also heard that in Bismarck the children were not allowed outside for recess because of the smoke and some particles in the air. Here is was acrid and hazy as you can see from the pictures scattered through this post.

For those of you not familiar with the area here is how to explain our states. North and South Dakota are somewhat rectangles. Say in proportion about a 4 high by 8 long. If you fold it in half side to side that is the place we live just inside the South Dakota border on the east side of the fold. Now take the North Dakota rectangle and fold or divide it in thirds top to bottom and draw a line on that bottom fold, that is Interstate 94. Make that line like a time line and in the middle where the zero is, that is Bismarck, so if it is 8 from one end to the other that makes Jamestown at positive 2 and Dickinson at -2, anyway that is my short geography lesson for today.

Haze today

This is all I know for now. It was a long day at church with Ministerial meeting this morning and quilting this evening. I managed a trip to the Health Care Center which was good. I also saw the chiropractor before I left town. She adjusted my hip, knees and ankles and told me to drink more water and walk more to remove the toxins from my joints. Hurrah!! Just what I want to do in this heat and smoky air. At least the water sounds like a good idea, maybe I will get started now. Take care and stay out of the haze!!

Fall produce and pests

Pick of the day

Not much to say, just want to show off a few of my pictures including today’s picks from the garden, a cosmos with a bee on it and the damage of made by the squirrels. Also just a bit of area weather information. The temperature here was over 90 F and it is very dry again. The bugs are everywhere and the grass feels more like spikes in some places. Here are shots I have gotten in the past few days.

Cosmos with bee

Mess around the Russian olive trees

The culprit!!

To the far left is a cosmos with a bee trying to get the rest of the pollen from it. To the close left is the grass around one of my Russian Olive trees. We could not figure out what was causing it to drop its leaves with no wind during that time. Well, the picture to the right shows the bushy-tailed culprit in action. I came outside one day to find two squirrels one larger and one smaller. The larger, apparently older one ran screaming down the tree and across the yard to the north when I appeared. The smaller and must be younger one stayed in the tree and stared at me not knowing what to do. The next day, I was trying to pick up something that had fallen into our pond. I was so intent on the object that I didn’t realize that a squirrel was sitting at the edge of the pond trying to get a drink. As I reached, I almost touched the squirrel, we saw each other for the first time just as I was reaching for the object in the water and we both jumped. I screamed and jumped back and the squirrel jumped off the edge of the pool and ran across the street chattering the whole way and for about 15 minutes afterwards. It has been a buggy and a squirrely week to say the least!!

Just a note that as much as we are dry and hot at this time, we in this area understand how well off we are and have been keeping all of our neighbors in the path of the hurricanes and wildfires in our thoughts and prayers. May God be with you at this very difficult time, and may you not be burdened with more challenges than you are able to handle.

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