Saturday, October 27, 2007

Good to the First Frost.

This could be it. Monday morning when I wake up it may be the start of a whole new world.

NOAA says: "Sunday Night: Widespread frost after 2am. Otherwise, mostly clear, with a low around 32. North wind between 7 and 10 mph becoming calm." The forecast low for Tuesday morning is 30. Updated: Tuesday's low is now forecast at 27 degrees.

I can already feel my veins restricting and pulling my blood in towards my vital organs.

The winterizing chores have begun and all hoses and water lines were opened and drained today. We still need to wrap the wellhead with its electric heating coil.

The garden chachkis have begun to roll down the mountain towards the basement door of the house. I have put out the word to my siblings that garden chachkis are no longer acceptable gifts for the resident gardeners. I think we have passed the point of clutter. I am sure to be over ruled and out voted. When I mentioned the idea to the resident gardeners I was a presented a wish list of additional chachkis. I guess they will have to continue to expand the garden.

The winterizing experience will some how be transformed this year since the house will be occupied all winter. The places were things were once put, must now remain livable space. It is a tug between shirking the annual work load of winterizing, a joy, and protecting the vulnerable stuff, the work.

Somewhat delayed by the grading of a driveway, maybe just in the nick of time, a few Ox-Eye Daisy, Leucanthemum vulgare have regrown to the point of blooming. They looked so perky today. We will see just how cold tolerant they are.

One more section of wall framing was done before the cabin gets covered for winter. It was thought that doing all six now would make it more difficult to raise the walls in the spring with all the sections stacked on the floor. Instead we have moved on to framing the front porch and back stoop. I will be able to put in the floor joists and decking of that on my own.

There is also the matter of a stone wall and a CMU retaining wall for my basement level patio to build. I think I will be occupied quite well this winter after my contractor heads to warmer climes.

Another late bloomer on the road cut is this Saponaria officinalis, Soapwort or Bouncing Bet. I saw some of this much earlier in the summer.

Updated: Well I was close, in the right family of Caryophyllaceae, but the flower below is Silene armeria, Catchfly.

The trees have really begun to thin and go bare. Pockets of color persist and more begin to emerge. The Oaks are waiting, for what I don't know, but many of them are still green.

On Monday, the first light freeze may convince the oaks that it is indeed time for a change.


Carol said...

Yes, "button down the hatches" as they say, frost is coming. We knew it would eventually. And those oaks? Those leaves will gradually turn brown and then seem to hang on to the tree all winter, or as long as they can.

Good luck!
Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Christopher C. NC said...

You don't think I am behind schedule in my fall clean up do you Carol?

Really this scheduling stuff to seasons may be the most obnoxious transition I have to make.

Blackswamp_Girl said...

It's so strange to see the same forecast, from Carol in Indiana to you down in NC to me up here in Cleveland. And to know that we all still have green leaves, too. (Up here, it's not just oaks. Even the neighbor's beech tree, which is usually early to color up and drop, is only half green.) I may or may not get a frost on Sunday night--I'm close enough to Lake Erie that I will be in the "patchy frost" area instead of in the "deep freeze warning inland" area. We shall see.

Do you think that once you get past the "obnoxious transition" of reacclimating yourself to the seasons, you might actually begin to enjoy them? Did you enjoy them before you moved to the tropics?

Christopher C. NC said...

Kim my seasonal experience is limited at best. 23 years in North Florida where the seasons were mostly subtle, 6 years in Colorado where the open space and endless skies dwarfed the trees, Aspen was about it for fall color and cold and snow was a new and invigorating thing for a Florida boy and then 20 years in Hawaii.

I will say this thing called fall here in the mountains of North Carolina has been particularly glorious. I like it. It is the "you have to get this chore done before" scenario more than the weather itself that is troublesome. It crimps my efforts at procrastination.

bev said...

I like to think these seasonal chores put us more in tune with natural processes. The squirrel d___ well better put away his acorns before winter or he will not survive, the bear fatten up for hibernation, etc. We humans like to think we are above the rhythms of nature, but we are not.
At least in our area, this has not been the most colorful of autumns. I think you will enjoy future ones even more.

Pam said...

Well, I can break the trend here and say that a frost is not predicted for us in coastal South Carolina - but then we don't even come close to sharing the Autumn experience with any of you - although I still remember waking up in Michigan, after the first hard freeze, and walking out into a landscape that seemed to change 110% overnight - and I have a feeling that you are going to find winter cold but just as interesting and beautiful - yes, I'm one of those folks that lives in the south that misses a true winter! (And the break from mowing the lawn).

chuck b. said...

No frost in San Franicsco (maybe in February), but for tomorrow, the forecast says this: "A chance of light showers. A slight chance of an afternoon thunderstorm." I don't know about you, but I find that hard to take. Maybe a light shower. Maybe a thunderstorm. Otherwise clear and sunny!

Annie in Austin said...

Christopher, your photos have been so beautiful! Most of my life was spent where the colors changed and I do miss that part. As Carol notes, in Illinois the oak leaves sometimes hung on to the tree the entire winter, not leaving until pushed off by the new leaves emerging in spring.

We don't have many hatches to batten, but may once again be trying to eat in a kitchen stuffed with tropical plants.... something you might be doing in future, too.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose