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