The End Result

Last night, according to the indoor/outdoor thermometer didn’t reach low enough for frost. I was lazy and slept in until it was fully light out, so I can’t attest to whether there was or wasn’t any frost on the grass, but the windshields were clear. The covers were all removed from the garden and the fig. The inside of the fig shelter was like the inside of a tropical greenhouse and it looks great. I might get those figs yet.

Because I lacked enough clear plastic, the larger Jalapenos were covered with garbage bags, black ones. I probably should have removed them yesterday and put them back on last night because the very top leaves are “sunburned.” Though it never got above the mid 50’s yesterday, the sun was out. Those peppers will keep maturing for the next couple of weeks and more harvested.

The peas and other peppers had a single 10 foot wide sheet of heavy mil translucent plastic over them and they look great. The ground cherries are a semi tropical plant, they were covered with a single sheet of thinner of clearer plastic and they don’t look so good. All of the tops are badly burned, the lower leaves look ok. They will be watched for a day or two, but maybe just cut my losses, harvest the immature fruit and plant them earlier next year, the extended season I was hoping for didn’t happen this year, instead we got an early frost.

With nearly two weeks of mild weather and relatively warm nights, there is hope for the peas and more peppers.

The sweater gift is coming along. Only about 2 more inches until I need to make sleeves and move on up to the upper body. If I spent more time knitting and less spinning, I could get it wrapped up in a week.

But alas, I like spinning more than knitting, so this …

The full 4 ounce braid of the Shenandoah colorway of Falklands that I ordered from the virtual fiber festival was spun in just over 2 weeks with two 5+ gram samples, some Moorit Shetland, and some Jacob thrown in for good measure. That bowlful are all my favorite tools, photographed for my third challenge update of the month with 17 days worth of spinning. The Shenandoah will sit until after the final challenge post and I decide if I want to ply it as the gradient or use half of the singles in order and mix up the other half.

After a beautiful day yesterday, my timing to go lock up the hens for the night was perfect, just as the huge red sun was slowly dropping behind the hill to the west, dotted with the neighbor’s cows. You can barely see a couple just to the left and below the setting sun.

Two more weekends and I will have to adjust my bio clock again, that gets more difficult every year, and adjust to the new norm for locking up hens, preparing dinner, and other routine events. I still think Daylight Saving time is worthless.

It survived

After dinner last night, we got a walk in just before it got dark. It was getting quite chilly by the time we returned to the car. Instead of the nearly road wide path to the pond that we usually take, we went the opposite direction down a winding path used for bicycles and horses. Much narrower, more contour, and I feel, a nicer walk through the woods. We only encountered two mountain bikers headed back up to the parking lot until we got to the pond where there were too many unmasked people as we did a single loop and back up the wider path to the car, so a huge loop instead of in and out the same path. The pond had dozens of geese and a few ducks. The geese must be the ones that overwinter in the pond because they don’t even move off the path when you walk by them, so they are used to people. I guess we will see them regularly through the winter walks.

We ended our walk with a stop at the local village store for ice cream. There is one employee who refuses to wear a mask, an older man. His paper mask, probably the same one every day is under his chin, never, ever on. Last night he got a call requesting if they had an item and he came out from behind their plastic shower curtain shield, still unmasked, got right in my face, made a joking comment, laughed and walked on to check for the item. This morning, on our way to the Farmer’s Market pickup, we stopped there for a newspaper and the proprietor, his young employee, and the sole customer were all unmasked. This is after a week where our tiny county has had a surge of about 15 cases and 2 more hospitalizations. I know we live in a Trump dominated county, but if he would be honest about the virus and support mask wearing, I would feel safer.

When we got up this morning, the hunters were here, so the pups had to be let out on leashes, the grass was crystalline and crunchy, the indoor/outdoor thermometer showed it was cold.

As happens, the temperature dropped one more degree before it started warming up. The trip to the Farmer’s Market required window scraping.

When we returned home with our week’s supply of veggies, butter, cheese, and a bit of meat and it had warmed to comfortable in a light jacket, I checked on the garden. Everything I covered survived nicely, except the branch I apparently broke off of the big Serrano pepper. Even the uncovered bush beans don’t seem to have been badly burned and it didn’t bother the marigolds. They will remain covered until it warms tomorrow, then I will put the covers away and let nature take it’s course. It is supposed to warm back up for about 10 days, then the peppers will be done. I may continue to cover the ground cherries and peas at night when the night temps stay in the upper 30’s and see if they produce enough to harvest. After checking on it, the walled garden was in need of light weeding, there are deer tracks through out the garden and several plants have been nibbled to the ground. This garden is right up against the house and deck. I need to get a solar motion sensor light to keep them out if I plan to use it for herbs, dye garden, and flowers.

Being a gorgeous day, and living in a heavenly part of the state, we ventured a few thousand feet elevation farther up the mountain and took a walk in the woods. It was peaceful, serene, and unpopulated.

More photos from the day on my Instagram account.

Oh Fun!

As we were finishing lunch and tonight’s chili was being prepped, I spotted the hens charging across the yard from their free ranging. Once the chili was in the slow cooker, I went out to see what was going on. A Red Tailed Hawk, smaller than any of the hens was sitting in the Forsythia, 9 hens huddled under the thick foliage. The hawk flew off, the hens were too frightened to follow me back to the secure run and coop. It took lures, long poles to poke around under the shrubs, the hose on full jet being sprayed under to get them out. They were finally herded into security. Have you ever herded chickens, like herding cats, but they are secure again.

While doing that, I realized that the temperature is dropping rapidly and it is raining lightly so I hauled the plastic sheeting, the mylar sheet, and stakes out to the garden. The wind made putting plastic over the surviving plants like wrestling an octopus, very challenging. The fig was closed in, the peppers, except for the two branches I broke off one of the Serranos, the peas, and the ground cherries were all covered.

Again, planning ahead for next year would allow me to make a tunnel over a long 3 or 4 foot wide bed with the wide sheet of plastic. I think I will note this in my gardening journal and put the plants that might still be producing in October in one bed.

That basket filled and the green ones were pickled in a half gallon jar for hubby to enjoy over the winter. There are 3 half gallon jars and 1 quart jar of them in the refrigerator and that won’t get him through the winter until next season.

The sunflower heads that were dried in the garage, need to be contained. I have found two of them on the floor mostly eaten, so there must be a very fat mouse in the garage or able to get in the garage.