Sunday, October 11, 2015

Golden glow then blow wind blow!

The green ash trees have been bright and gold with the sun shining through the leaves nearly making them transparent.  They are glowing, as Pom Pom puts it!  But after the glow, the west winds blow!  Today was a crazy west wind with gusts up to 50 mph they say.  The leaves went flying off to East Dakota as our Uncle Edwin used to say.  The shimmering golden Ash Tree of yesterday now stands disrobed and bare.  A few of the Cottonwood leaves remain, but many of them had to let go and fly away too.

The blackbirds are flocking like mad, making formations in the sky that almost looks like gray clouds.  They fly this way and that way and then land in the great Cottonwood Trees making all manner of noises and squawking.  I like them.  I'm seeing flocks of robins too and meadowlarks.  I hope they aren't planning their long journey south yet.  It's been so nice, I think they should stay a while longer.

The milkweed are letting go of their seeds just now too.  They have the silkiest seed cotton.  It's beautiful to watch the pods open and let their seeds go floating and landing -- the promise of new life  next spring.  I like to collect the remaining pods and use them in Christmas wreaths.

The pumpkins did a fine job of getting jolly and round and all have turned bright orange.  A few voles tried to chew into them and left little tooth scars on some of the pumpkins.  It just adds character.

Today I clipped the last little bit of oregano from the garden and dug up some of it to transplant to pots.  I'm hoping it might grow indoors this winter and give me some fresh herbage to cook with and to use for tea or infused oil.  I have been studying the benefits of oregano  for fighting all kinds of things:  colds, flu, ear infections, and skin infections among other things.  I just set a jar of fresh oregano and olive oil in a mason jar to infuse with hopes of using it to boost immunity through cold and flu season.  I've been chopping fresh oregano and putting it into little tea bags , making hot tea with it.  It seems to give me some relief from a head cold thing I've been fighting.  I must chop up some garlic to swallow too!

These past few October days have been so beautiful here.  The morning starts out cold and crisp and I need a light jacket for a few hours and then it warms up enough that by noon I change into my shorts, and by suppertime I am back to jeans and a jacket.  I want to soak up every last ounce of warmth and sunshine and birdsong because I know what's around the corner of autumn.  I can think of a number of things to do to be outdoors right now.  And if I can't find anything to do, taking a walk or just sitting in the sun works for me.  Have you noticed the boxelder bugs and wasps flying these sunny days?  I don't like that part of fall.

The chickens seem to go to bed earlier and earlier each night as the daylight is waning now.  I really seem to notice it with each evening that passes.  I must always be diligent to get the door on the coop shut before dark because the skunks and raccoons are out prowling about, looking for something to eat.  Most times when I've found them in the coop, they are looking for grain, but I've also lost chickens to raccoons.  Once they get the taste of chicken, they don't forget it and will be back night after night until they've eaten them all.  I remember the time when we had to screw on heavy metal screens over the windows to keep coons out.

Shorter days and longer nights means that the daily ranchwork ends a little earlier and the family comes together to eat supper at a regular "supper hour," and we have time to play games or watch a movie or do some handwork before bedtime. I like that part of fall. I hope you are enjoying the beauty that autumn brings too.

...I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house. So I have spent almost all the daylight hours in the open air. 
~Nathaniel Hawthorne, 10th October 1842


  1. Wonderful photos! How nice to have extra evening time!

  2. Hi Jody! Aw, it sounds VERY golden in your neck of the woods. I want the birds to stay longer, too. The one thing I know about oregano is that it remains longer in your bod than other herbs, so breaks from it are good.
    Maybe I'll plant my bulbs today so I can be out in the autumn air.
    Good Monday to you, friend.

  3. Ahhhh, it sounds like a perfect autumn on the prairie. Hang on to that beautiful Ash with all your might -- I miss all of our beautiful Ash trees at this time of year -- perhaps the wide open spaces of the prairie will keep that nasty borer away from you!

  4. The photo of the ash tree in front of the white fence could be a post card! We have very few ash trees in Louisiana ~ and very little fall foliage, so I love seeing photos of it! I always enjoy your blog!

  5. Oh! I've got tons of oregano, thanks for the tips!

  6. I love ideas for using herbs. I swear by honey, chamomile, and apple cider vinegar when I start feeling poorly. I will be trying your oregano. The hills are also golden. I love the rattle as the wind tickles the aspen leaves.

  7. Delicious autumn... you make me feel it.

    Reading about oregano makes me glad that I dug up a little plant that survived the excavation of my swimming pool. I found it growing in the middle of a barren waste, with no water. Now it is in a pot, and will go into the new garden eventually.

  8. I know I'm going to be earlier and earlier; even with a book, I'm still asleep early. Last night it was 7 p.m. but it was a frightfully hard day.
    This is the *perfect* October post...loved it totally!
    I'm overrun by skunks...I do believe they are living under nearly every building I've got! Someone said, "get rid of the grubs and you'll get rid of the skunks" and then didn't give any suggestions at all.
    sigh. maybe I'll learn to live with them.


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