Another week in the books

Another attempt at the 24 seconds from my front door. The colors are changing, leaves dropping and nights cooler. The egg production is slowing, but still getting plenty of eggs from the hens.

Earlier this week when I released them and checked on food and water, I realized they had only a tiny bit of water. They followed me to the yard hydrant as I filled the bucket and jostled to all fit around the perimeter to get a sip. Once all had gotten a bit, I filled the tub in the run and refilled the bucket for the coop.

Our walks this week took us to a section of the Rails to Trails Huckleberry that we had not previously walked and back to the Pond, always a favorite, and up to the Conservancy which is probably my favorite hike. The pond was full of life this week.

An Egret looking for fish, ducks, and geese, so many, many geese.

This afternoon, I will dress in my re-enactment clothing, go to the Wilderness Road Regional Museum, and portray the spirit of Mary Draper Ingalls for the Spirit Trail wagon ride through the history of the region. This is a fun event and I understand that all of the slots for rides are booked. Hot cider, cookies, and crafts for the kids waiting with their parents for their turn on the ride are available. This will be the 3rd or 4th year I have been a spirit. If you were fortunate enough to get a seat, you will see me on the side porch with the village developer and shopkeeper, Henry Hance as he tries to sell his wares and calm my fears over the “indians” seen down the road. If you don’t know her story, Google it and read the Wiki article, it will give you an idea of why she was fearful. If the “indians” follow the wagon up on the last run, one is a blond, blue eyed child and I will call out to see if he is my “son.”

Our Daily Walk

Every day, we try to get in a brisk walk. Generally, we shoot for a graded or paved area. In the next county, where we do most of our shopping and dining on outdoor patios when we eat out, there is a Rails to Trails grade. This trail begins in one town, ends about 9 miles away in the next town, but in the past couple of years, it was also extended with a connector trail that goes another 7 or so miles still in the same county, but in our direction, terminating at the pond we frequently walk around. Our walks aren’t long, varying from about 2 1/3 miles to 2 2/3-3 miles. We also live a few miles down the mountain from Mountain Lake Conservancy where the hotel used in the movie Dirty Dancing was filmed and there are a number of trails and graded paths to be walked there. Some of the walks are nearly flat with only a few gradual ups and downs.

We do this to keep us strong and to improve our health as we are both well into our 70’s.

When I had my primary care physician visit after my hospitalization, I made the comment that I wasn’t your typical 70 something from this area and he whole heartedly agreed. Life has been hard on some of the residents here and many even a decade or more younger are much older physically than either of us.

Today, we decided to do a section of the Huckleberry we had never walked before, it is in the newest section. There is parking at a heritage farm park and the trail passes through it. We had wandered the paths in the park before the trail was put through. We started at the park and walked back towards town. It was a lovely section to walk with a wooden causeway over a wetlands and much more contour than the other sections we normally walk so a bit of a challenge. If we had walked one more mile, we would have been back in town.

Autumn is here…

at least this week, though it is going to warm up next week, not to summer temperatures but much warmer than this week. The winter squash were all harvested and some pumpkins and gourds purchased at the nursery along with a mum, just beginning to bloom. The fall decorations in storage were brought out.

A bit of fall decorating was done with the winter squash, some beeswax candles, and mum.

The past few mornings have been in the low 40’s f (4.5) c and we awaken to heavy fog and glistening dew.

The asparagus look frosted. A quick trip into Lowe’s for a tarp showed me small bundles of dried corn stalks from Canada, about 4 stalks for almost $10 each. I should go out and cut our stalks and bundle them to add to the decorations in front of the house or at the corner of the garden. I must have $100 worth out there.

Because of the chilly nights, the houseplants that spend the summer on the front porch are being brought inside after spraying the bugs and spiders off of them with a jet of water. The move back inside also resulted in some pruning and transplanting.

The two largest house plants and the two hanging spider plants still need to be sprayed and brought inside.

I went out to use the line trimmer this afternoon and it is missing the bump ring, so it wouldn’t function. I am going to have to purchase a new one. I want to repair the wood wheelbarrow that my Dad made for me about 2 decades ago and fill it with fall color.

A nice afternoon walk away from town today showed lots of fungi and greenery that benefitted from the rain this week.

I was happy to see several patches of running cedar (Diphasiastrum digitatum) or fan clubmoss growing in the woods. Though it lacks legal protection it is becoming more rare due to destruction of it’s habitat and over gathering.

This morning, I began the second test knit of the mitts. I went down a needle size and extended the cuff on this pair. The gray handspun yarn is showing off the design much better.

My knitting gauge must be much looser than the pattern designer.

It is nice to be beyond the hottest weather, but I’m not looking forward to the cold months ahead. Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons with the milder temperatures. The nursery today had fig plants and mine that I transplanted into a half barrel wasn’t looking very good. I had hoped to bring it in to the garage for the winter, but it was already so pot bound, that I dug it in to the walled garden below the southwest exposure of the stone retaining wall. I will shield it with heavy gauge plastic and mulch when freezing temperatures are expected. It formed about a dozen and a half figs this year, but none of them came to maturity. Maybe it will be happier in the ground in the sheltered location where it will get regular watering during the summer.

The hydroponic gardens are sprouting.