End of the Season

LeAnn posted this blog on Monday, October 11th, 2010 at 12:01 am

End of the Season
The growing season here at Rural Route 2 came to an end a week ago Sunday morning when the temperature was in the mid-20s. Even with tarps and sheets, it was too cold to save anything.

The pumpkins are withered and dead. The pole beans are withered and dead. So are the tomatoes. And the pepper plants. And the cucumbers. And the “Pumpkins on a stick” — which were supposed to be an eggplant that grew fruit resembling tiny pumpkins. They never ever got any blossoms on them, much less “pumpkins on a stick.”

We were able to get a number of Jack Be Little pumpkins that one of the ladies from church took to decorate the tables for our annual pork dinner last Sunday. There are a few of those left in the garden, but the vines are completely gone now.

The only things that did not seem the least bit bothered by temperatures in the mid-20s are the beets and the carrots. I pulled most of the beets to make beet pickles, but I left a few in one row that were smaller. It will be interesting to see how much cold they will tolerate.

I know for a fact that carrots will tolerate quite cold temperatures before they are killed off. I dug my carrots last year in a snowstorm in November — and the tops were still green.

The chickens are going to be sad that they will not have more cucumbers. I have discovered that Laverne and Shirley and Betty White and Bluebell and Gingersnap just adore cucumbers. I slice them up and throw them in the chicken run and they dive at them and peck happily. It’s kind of ironic, really. I cannot eat the cucumbers because of my ragweed allergy. The protein in cucumbers is close to the protein in ragweed, and my body thinks I’ve been eating ragweed if I eat cucumbers. But the chickens eat cucumbers and absolutely adore them.

Most of the summer birds are gone now, too. Only the Bluebirds and the Robins are left. I can hear the Bluebirds twittering over the hayfield on a sunny day. And the Robins are still chirping and singing from the trees. But in time, they will leave too.  The geese have been flying over Rural Route 2 for a while now.

I love the way William Shakespeare described trees in late fall. . .
“Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet birds sang.”

LeAnn R. Ralph

Here are some fall scenes from Rural Route 2. . .

The box elder tree by the garden looks ghostly in the morning light with no leaves. (October 2010)

Even the little maple trees are brilliant with color. (October 2010)

White frost blankets the field as my old horse, Kajun, paces back and forth, waiting for his breakfast. (October 2010)

The trees are lovely in the colors with white frost in the foreground. Soon there will be snow and the leaves will all be gone. (October 2010)

Tuxedo Tom waits on the rock table, watching me to see what i am doing. If you look closely, you can see his sister, Goldie, the tortoiseshell, underneath the rock. (October 2010)

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