Saturday, October 28, 2006

Autumn Color

We are at the height (or just slightly past) of autumn color on the leaves. Wind has blown some trees "naked" already, but the majority of the woods I'm viewing from my desk this morning are in full, glorious reds, oranges, and yellows.

There are black walnuts on the ground. They need to be harvested and put out on the driveway for hull removal when the truck drives over them. I don't know if that will happen to any great extent this year, but I'll work on it a little. If not hulled quickly, little worms invade the hard outer shell and the nuts are ruined.

I haven't seen any shagbark hickories this year. 'Good thing I shelled and froze some last year.

As I looked out the window this morning, I thought my eyes were "seeing things" as the white fog bank between the dark mountains and the bright line of trees was moving fast downward. Careful watching revealed that the fog is actually rolling down the valleys, over the ridges, and into the next valley from North to South, quickly as the sun rises. It rained yesterday and last night, so there must be a lot of moisture that is burning off. It was totally foggy up here on the hill for a few minutes, and then totally clear as the fog migrated down to the lower part of our farm. It must be interesting to observe this from airplanes in the early morning.

Right now, the wind is moving the fog bank from West to East, creating occasional high plumes of cloud. It is like a moving river quickly exiting the valley as morning progresses.

Renovations on the greenhouse are progressing. Glass-paned doors are now installed between greenhouse sections so that we can maintain heat zones. We need to replace the broken furnace this coming week before the colder weather comes in. Slightly below freezing nights have made little impact on the plants inside, but soon we'll need some heat to keep the plants alive through the winter nights.

On today's agenda: continue cleaning out the vegetable garden so that it can be tilled sometime during the winter. Start putting the "storm windows" in the chicken house. We'll have a warmer week coming up but it wouldn't be wise to slack off on winter preparations.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Full Harvest Moon

We didn't get to see the full harvest moon last night. It is gray, cloudy, cold, and rainy. I covered most of the brooder top with plastic and a beach towel, so that the babies are basking in 90 degrees out in the chicken house, despite the fact that it is in the 50s today.

There is one tiny quail chick in with the baby quail and chickens. It hatched out extra early and was the only quail to survive. You'd think it would be trampled by the much larger chicks, but they seem to be pretty considerate and it seems to think it is much bigger than it actually is! They are all beginning to grow feathers, which will help them deal with the cold.

We "wasted" this morning picking up building supplies for the interior of the greenhouse re-vamp and going to the Fall Festival in a nearby town. Carhart clothing, which many farmers around here wear regularly, was on sale at the clothing store in town. Live bluegrass music is a part of this festival. The bands were playing inside the tiny movie theater because of the cold. Normally, they'd be out in the midst of the crowds. We sat down in the last row for a few sets to get out of the wind. Speakers were set up to be heard in the street, where we looked at wares set out by intrepid local vendors.

This is bluegrass music country, for sure. There are so many very good groups, which include young and older musicians. It always amazes me how precise the playing is and how the players seem to enjoy themselves. This is still a unique American art/craft.

Two parties of bow hunters have been out in our woods today, the first day of hunting season.

We have about 500 square bales put up in the barn loft, thank goodness, and will cut more if the weather permits.