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Posts Tagged ‘autumn’

When it comes to life, I find autumn a reflective time of year.  The happy and sad memories run together, creating a painting of our lives. This painting is filled with the rich times, like red and orange leaves, and the sad time, like frost on the bare trees. Altogether, the picture is beautiful, but bit by bit, it is sad.
I am so thankful for the good times and the bad.  If not for the sad times, would I know how to appreciate the good times?
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more snow

100_6105 We awoke Saturday to snow on the ground and in the air. 

I have never seen snow in this area so early, and it does send a message of urgency!  We began to clean up all of the fall progects, just in case this one doesn’t melt off, but a little after breakfast the sun broke throughthe clouds and things began to melt.  By today, it was all gone.

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our squash harvest

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I had hoped to leave these on the vine for another month or so, but the sudden snow, and the cold temperatures that followed forced an emergency picking time.  Only one of them is of eating size, but the boys gathered everything!  Don’t you just love their enthusiasm?  I sure do.

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our first snow

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This morning we woke to the sound of rain on the roof.  So much for my plans of digging the garden!  As I fixed breakfast I wondered if the sun would come out and dry things up or if I would have to make new plans…

That is when Benjamin came in from his chores yelling, “Come look, everyone!  It is snowing!”

The boys all rushed the window, eager for a view of the first flakes… And I thought it was bad when the first snow fell at the end of October last year.

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The world is a big beautiful place, just begging to be explored!  Every where you look, there is something to be discovered.  Something to learn about. 

As the seasons allow, we spend time learning about the world around us.  In the spring, birdwatching takes priority, as many beautiful breeds migrate through the area.  Due to all the snow, our bird feeders draw a crowd.  We spend hours a day looking up different species and reading about them.

When the snow melts, we explore the new plant growth and examine the first bugs to emerge from the ground.  This is also the time of year when the boys notice the rocks and their varying features. 

Since it is too cold to begin gardening, we often hike on these muddy days.  The boys collect snail shells and identify footprints, keeping a look out for bears that have recently left hibernation, and for young strawberry plants.

When summer finally arrives, we begin gardening.  They love to dig in the warm soil and watch the new plants emerge.  They enjoy sneaking extra potato eyes into the garden, and ‘tricking’ me into thinking it is a wild potato.  They love to see how many things reseed themselves, and how they change from year to year.

Summer also brings bugs, worms and fishing.  The boys are wonderful little fly tiers, concentrating on making something that looks like a real bug.

As fall draws near, we begin harvesting.  The onions above are known as Egyptian Onions.  They produce sets, not seeds.  In November of 2006, I was given five tiny sets, and told to plant them somewhere where I could just leave them alone for a year or two.  I did, scraping through the snow to put them in the ground, and in the spring of 2007, five little scallions emerged.  This past fall, 2008, I decided it was time to collect the sets and replant them.

We carefully cut the tops of the onions off, brought them in, and counted them.  We had 580 new sets!   They ranged in size from a lentil to a quarter.  We planted them in rows, and are anticipating making pickled onions this spring.  The original five, which bunched into 20-30 new plants, are still in the ground, and will make us a supply of sets for next year.  I am guessing we will have a couple thousand!

Winter is a time for skiing and indoor study.  Sitting around the fireplace and reading novels.  Manny joins us for many of the activities, and chooses many books to share with his sons.  This winter, they are building an igloo.  They are learning so many things about snow, ice, insulation and heat.

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come on sunshine!

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When walking requires every toe, and moccasins are the only shoes you know, adjusting to winter weather can be quite a chore. 

Gideon loves to be outside.  He loves the hard ground, the warm sunshine and the soft grass; but lately, something has happened to all of those wonderful things.  The ground has become swishy, the sun is hard to find, and the grass is prickly.  Everyday I bundle him up, and let him go; within minutes, he is back at my side, wanting the boots, coat and hat off.  Outside is about freedom!

Today it rained, and then rained some more.  I took him out, during one of the dry spells, but we quickly came back in, the boots to stiff to walk in and the ground too cold for bare-feet.  He was happy to be free of the stifling clothing. Standing at the front door, with scolds and whimpers, he told me how miserable it was out there.  Then he heard his brothers playing, and after several tries, found his way to a window.  He cheered them on adding his voice to the fun and frolic.

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harvest

Yesterday afternoon, we began our fall harvest.  We dug our five potato hills, and careful not to disturb the roots too much, as they are still growing. I am very happy with this little crop, as it turned out very well.  This year I planted my sprouting potatoes (the ones I would otherwise have thrown to the compost) in trenches, and regularly covered them with more dirt.  I have tried several other methods of growing potatoes, but this is the best crop I have ever gotten. 

Next year I will have to try several varieties, as white potatoes are readily available for gleaning.  I am told, seed potatoes, ordered through a company like Guernsey’s produce even better.

The children had a blast, scraping away the dirt, with their little fingers, pulling out the potatoes, and comparing, to see who found the largest or weirdest shaped one, under each plant.  I could hardly keep up with them, as I went behind, found the last of the potatoes, and carefully replanted. 

When we finished that chore, we gathered the dry pea pods, for nest years planting, and them looked for squash, who’s vines had dried up.  Last night was another hard freeze, so we will be back out there today.  I don’t think my sprinkler saved all the plants from destruction.

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