Nov 25

A Glass Half Full

I have mixed feel­ings about fall and the com­ing winter.

I wan­der the gar­den and yard look­ing at the car­pet of wet leaves. They would be a lot more beau­ti­ful if they would just vol­un­tar­ily hop right into those bags for com­post­ing. They have nearly all fallen now except the two zelko­vas, which stub­bornly hold on to the leaves until I have raked up all the oth­ers. Then those ras­cally zelko­vas drop them all the next day within about five minutes.

How do they know?

Trees have fallen in the fall as well, like giant pick-up sticks. More mess that will require a chain­saw. Chick­weed is creep­ing into the neglected beds.

I wake up in the dark. The days are so short now that the chick­ens go to roost at 3:30 in the afternoon.

I try to reframe my view of autumn.

The shorter days mean there is less time for frol­ick­ing with my rake and leaf bags. But I’m as happy suck­ing up books as a drunk at an open bar wed­ding reception.

The cucum­bers, pep­pers and toma­toes are gone. But I have a robust crop of Swiss chard. I have even man­aged to out­smart the deer by net­ting it. Let­tuce, spinach and arugula are thriv­ing in the cold frame. Cab­bages and Brus­sels sprouts will be ready for har­vest soon.  The salvia is bloom­ing. Chick­ens love chickweed.

With­out the leaves, I can see more of the majes­tic, sculp­tural beauty of the trees.

Yes, I have mixed feel­ings about the change of sea­sons. I will work on see­ing the glass half full.

(Click on the pho­tos to embiggen.)

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16 Responses to “A Glass Half Full”

  1. Leslie Says:

    Wise words, Robin. Thanks for the nudge to do the same. And lovely pho­tos by the way, the autumn sun makes things look so dif­fer­ent than summer.

  2. Lona Says:

    I for one do not look for­ward to win­ter every year.Fall can be a beau­ti­ful time of the year but I do not like those shorter day light hours at all. I will miss the flow­ers and play­ing around in the gar­den. I guess it is a good time to catch up on all of the indoor chores and deep clean­ing that gets neglected dur­ing the sum­mer. Lots of read­ing here to.
    Those leaves have radar or just know some way. LOL!
    Have a lovely weekend.

  3. Matt, Tao of Unfear Says:

    This time of year is always rough on me. This year, I’m try­ing to focus on stay­ing active, sun­light or no. Over the past year, I real­ize how grate­ful I truly was for those first blooms of spring though. Wouldn’t have that with­out a winter.

  4. Celia Says:

    Chick­weed is deli­cious for peo­ple, too! I love it in pesto or just for a nibble–has a cop­pery, mineral-y flavor.

  5. flower shop atlanta Says:

    Just about had to laugh about leaves jump­ing into bags — where are the magic gar­den munchkins when we need them? And Celias’ com­ment prompted me to find out that in the win­ter chick­ens actu­ally eat chick­weed — good to know! Your “bot­tle tree” is beau­ti­ful and a great idea — what do you use for the stems?

  6. Céline Says:

    lovely sun­lit pho­tos, I have had the feel­ing this year that we’ve had so much warmth and sun till now, that there is still a goog rea­son to be busy in the gar­den. And I have expe­ri­enced the same feel­ing with col­lect­ing leaves, only with gusts of wind !

  7. Beth Says:

    devour books like a drunk at a wed­ding recep­tion” …? I don’t get it!

  8. Céline Salisbury Says:

    You may have win­ter chas­ing you, but your gar­den looks like sum­mer has not left.
    plants still in leaf and veg­eta­bles look­ing fantastic.…do you have them under cover ?

  9. Robin Ripley Says:

    Beth — Humm. Yeah, some­thing went miss­ing there. How about “But I’m as happy suck­ing up books as a drunk at an open bar wed­ding reception?”

  10. Robin Ripley Says:

    Celine — I have a cold­frame with let­tuce, arugula and spinach. All the other plants are out­side fend­ing for them­selves. Thanks!

  11. Robin Ripley Says:

    FSA — The bot­tle tree is made from rebar. It’s a con­trap­tion I pur­chased on line a while back. Thanks!

  12. Says:

    Well this week win­ter has arrived where I live with a vengeance. Those shots of the fresh gar­den veg­gies look so good! I think I need to place an order with my local CSA. Thanks for sharing.


  13. Leanne Says:

    I love your posts, espe­cially your deligth­ful sto­ries involv­ing your chickens.

    Liv­ing in the city, I some­times wish I could have a rooster, but posts like this one snap me back into real­ity of why I can’t and shouldn’t. See­ing your photo of Tina Turner make me want a Pol­ish hen in my flock. I can see why Ricky was so enrap­tured with her; she is like a “Helen of Troy” of chick­ens. Don’t tell my Cochins I said that. :)


  14. David Says:

    Hi there!
    I just found your gar­den blog and its beau­ti­ful. I love that bot­tle tree shot.
    I’m always look­ing for another gar­dener with chick­ens since we have 4 of our own and its great to com­pare notes. Nice to ‘meet’ you through blotan­i­cals.
    David/ :-) Hous­ton, Texas

  15. Layanee Says:

    Books do beckon at this time of year. They sup­ply an end­less source of inspi­ra­tion for next year’s ‘per­fect’ gar­den. Lovely photos,Robin.

  16. David Says:

    I just fin­ished read­ing your Bal­lad of Ricky Ricardo post and I laughed so hard I was cry­ing. Oh my! And I thought I HAD good names for MY chick­ens.
    And.…Tina Turner stand­ing in that chair! Hilar­i­ous name but per­fect!
    I must show my wife all this. She thinks I’m the only one who writes sto­ries about chick­ens. Your gar­den blog is great!
    David/:0) Trop­i­cal Texana/

Garden and food writer Robin Ripley is co-author of Grocery Gardening. Her new book, Wisdom for Home Preservers, is now available from Taunton Press. Bumblebee is about her life in rural Maryland, her garden, cooking, dogs and pet chickens. She also blogs about food and chickens at Eggs & Chickens. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. Thank you for visiting.


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