Nov 25
2011

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.)

Robin

Garden and food writer Robin Ripley is co-author of Grocery Gardening. Her new book, Wisdom for Home Preservers, will be released later in 2014 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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