Sunday, October 14, 2012

Signs of winter

It's October and the middle of autumn, but winter has already made its presence felt.

Snow fell yesterday for the first time this season, dotting our plants:

No accumulation of substance appeared, but for the thinnest layers visible on receptive surfaces:

The ground froze overnight, and was firm under foot in the morning.  We waited until after noon for things to warm up enough for last harvesting: potatoes pried lose from the suddenly dry earth.

As I write this I'm overwhelmed by autumnal melancholy.  Night has just fallen (a little earlier each evening), and the dark sky is more apparent through the leafless trees.  My heart swells with sadness.  I am painfully aware of how much we didn't get done this summer: not enough potato plants, corn in later than it should have been, no greenhouse built, stone walls which should have gone further.  The night presses down on my brow, urging my eyes to close in sleep - needed, certainly, but not what I should be doing before 7 pm.

There's a sense of termination and death all around.  My potato plants have dessicated into wispy strands above the earth, feebly grasping into the soil.  Proud corn plants have skewed or toppled over.  The grass doesn't need cutting, and lies prone under repeated onslaughts of leaves.  So much green life is ending all around!

One bright spot: this is a boom time for compost.  All of that verdure is pile fodder.

What kind of winter are we likely to get?  One federal agency expects a cold one, with ordinary temperatures.  That's compared to last year's, which was weirdly mild.

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