The thermometer on the front porch is sheltered under roof and protected from the wind. The sensor indoors indicates it is 47ºf outside this morning, but tonight’s forecast is for our first frost. A frost tonight would be right in the average.
Yesterday’s high on the porch was 62, today’s is predicted to be about the same, but the nights are getting progressively colder until Monday night when they will warm slightly. It is the season. We will have some warmer days, some milder nights before true cold weather sets in, but it is time to pull out the heavier quilt and replace the summer quilt on the bed. Last night my feet were cold.
A frost will mean the end of the garden. This is always a time of mixed emotions, glad to be done with it for the year, sad that there won’t be more goodness from it. It could be extended if I covered the peppers and lettuce tonight, but the tunnel that was purchased this summer to cover the fall veggies deteriorated very quickly. The cabbages will be okay tonight. The lettuce will be picked once my hands rewarm. After feeding the chickens and setting them to roam for the day, two baskets were filled with jalapeños, seranos, and Anaheims. The baskets would hold no more, though there are many peppers still on the plants, and my fingers were numb.
All of the Anaheims were harvested, all of the red seranos and red jalapeños as a batch of homemade Sriracha sauce has been planned since they were planted last spring. The large fat green jalapeños were picked to pickle another jar or two, maybe try Cowboy Candy with a jar or two. Hubby would hate it and likely it wouldn’t appeal to me, but son the elder loves hot peppers and pickles and would probably like it. It was cold harvesting them, colder than the thermometer registered, windy and damp. Later more will be harvested, the rest still on the plants will go into the chicken run for them to peck, along with the tomato plants and the last of the bean plants after mature beans are picked to dry for next year’s seed. The barriers will be relocated around the cabbages and the chickens will have the run of the garden for the winter, scratching for bugs, weed seed, and turning the soil as they dig.
This fall’s hay never got cut due to the rain. The hay man said he would brush hog it with his 10′ mower and larger tractor. Though he can’t go everywhere that our smaller tractor and 5′ mower can go, it will save a couple dozen hours of mowing for us. The driveway needs to be regraded, again after all the rain, then the brush hog put back on the tractor so that the parts he can’t get, can be mowed before winter. The brush hog will then be stored, the blade reattached to the tractor to plow us out if we have deep snow.
The neighbor’s cows have serenaded us for the past couple of days. She may have separated out the young ones to wean before market time, but they are calling back and forth. That is one of the pleasures of living out away from towns, hearing the cows, turkeys, screech owls, watching the deer and the occasional bear or fox. The coywolf/coydog howls are interesting, but unwanted. There are too many with no real predators and they are predators of chickens, calves, fawns, barn cats.
The days are shortening, the nights are chilling. Soon it will be time for fires in the fireplace and woodstove to take the chill off and for the ambiance of sitting mesmerized by the flickering flames and close enough for the warmth. Sitting with a good book or knitting, a cup of hot tea, and a warm sweater. The season of more leisure.
Peace and calm until next time.