Wednesday, 26 September 2012

September's End

Autumn Air

After the heat of the summer September month brought us the long needed moisture for the land. Rain however came in torrents instead of trickles, causing flooding in towns near water shed areas. We have a water shed area at the bottom of our acreage along the road. Almost everyone along here catches the mountain run off along the level road area. Tall grasses and bullrushes and a variety of wetland plants line the road. There are lowland marsh in the lower flat lands behind or between some of the houses. A river runs in back of the other side of the road. We can’t see it but know from he line of trees running along the banks where it flows. During two heavy rain falls the river overflowed the banks trapping some cows and their calfs and some of the horses at the barn. They were rescued by the farmer and the horse owner and brought off their little island sanctuaries of grass through the water. The horses remained in the upper fields near the barn for some days to allow for the drainage. I didn’t know that the water was bad for their hooves and one had soften feet but will be okay. 
Driveway wash out

The second rains came the next week and the same scene happened again. For us, it meant a wash out on the long drive way in two areas. The brook handling the upper field drainage overflowed at the culvert and the low wet lands on both side of the road were awash like a pond. The water caught up with the ditch on the right side bringing the water almost up to road level. The ditches were very deep there fortunately as this is where our drainage brook becomes a stream and runs under the road eventually to the river. We called our neighbour whom landscaped with the purpose of running off the water from our house. It has been successful except in those conditions. When we heard how others had fared, we were feeling somewhat fortunate. Our water drained off sufficiently fast afterwards to give us back out driveway in little time. However our neighbour will run another drain on the other side to catch some overflow when torrential rain hits again. It was stated on the news that the extra dry soil could not absorb the huge amount of rain, due to the long dry summer. The power of the weather is evident in the meandering deep ditches the water cut where the rain traffic was directed and are deep enough, although narrow, to reach down to the stones underneath. The stones have gathered with the rush and formed cascading falls all along the ditches. When walking down the lane you are accompanied by the trickling sound of water.

Another change is the deer accumulating in our fields. Where we had bush hogged to cut the hay and weeds it is coming back and now about two feet high. We do plan to cut again when the ground dries so that we head into winter with a close cropped field. Meanwhile the deer are enjoying grazing the fresh growth around the house. They were coming here and there individually all summer, but now with autumn upon us, they have formed a herd of six or seven members and move together. The fawns have lost their spots but are still small to the adults. In the mornings as I walk my grandson to the bus we have encountered a few flocks of geese in the “v” formation.   The trees are changing to brown while others are thinning in leaves. We haven’t had a night frost yet what with all the wet weather, but once it hits, the brilliant colours of fall will appear. We have been told several times of how beautiful it is in the area during the fall colours.

The garden is looking worn and dry. We did get another bunch of beans last week but everything but the tomatoes are done now. The rain did a job on the tomatoes where several are on the ground. However we are still picking some red ones off the bushes. The last remaining crop is the pumpkins now. We have brought one already to the deck. A perfect orange shape for the jack o lantern. There are about five other good size ones turning to that matte orange in the garden and will be the filling for pumpkin pies. With the wet we couldn’t reach the few apple trees on our property side so we waited a week and went out in boots yesterday to collect what was left of the apples. We got some lovely small yellow green apples that taste sweet and tart at the same time. There was a crab apple tree next to it and got a few unspoiled ones there. Then we walked down the perimeter searching for more trees. There is an entry to the neighbours trees where she invited us to walk the paths in the abandoned orchard. Very near the line was a tree with large red apples, many of which were on the ground. We felt she wouldn’t mind us picking some from the branches to salvage the fruit. They are beautiful indeed. My daughter plans next year to plant a small orchard near our present apple trees to aid in the pollination. Grapes are also on the horizon for the spring. Meanwhile we contemplate the four months and the summer we have lived here and feel good about our move. It is time now to prepare for our first winter in the area and in our new house. 

Apple pie on the way
This blog chapter is dedicated to our neighbour Rose whose visits and local stories and garden advice we thoroughly enjoyed. Her tenacity and strength of spirit is an inspiration.

Big spider web

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