The last few years, I have come to appreciate fall more than I ever have before. Instead of a few short weeks between the heat of summer and the first cold blast of winter, autumn in Virginia is a long gradual transition alternating between soggy days filled with rain and crisp sunny days where I can’t imagine more perfect weather.
After a long hot summer where every evening and weekend was a sprint to get projects done around the farm, our focus has changed to smaller projects and just getting things in shape for winter.
Although we aren’t getting consistently freezing temperatures at night, we have had a couple of nights with frost. I got the last of the tomatoes and peppers picked and Gator helped me get the garden pulled out.
Wait, is it really November and I’m still getting tomatoes?? Yes, it’s true – and not only that, I had intended to replant my begonias with pansies for fall but they still look so good, I don’t have the heart to tear them out.
We have a fig tree that has been damaged from the cold winters the past two years, but it has survived and we have figs that are ready to pick. I don’t really know what I’m going to do with them – I don’t have many (any) recipes for figs.
The tree has gotten pretty unruly – somehow I need to figure out how to prune it to get it back to looking like a tree again without killing it. The main trunk is dead and it has sent off shoots that have come up from the ground. Just one more thing to add to the list!
The two things I really don’t like about fall are the dealing with all of the leaves and the time change. The downside to having all of these lovely trees is that when the leaves fall, it creates a huge mess. There is no way I’m raking leaves out of the yard – the lawnmower does a great job of mulching them up. The patio and the driveway are something else, though. Those leaves have to be cleaned up. It got to the point that I couldn’t even go out the patio door without stepping in a big pile of leaves. And of course, they somehow attach to the dogs and end up in the house.
I finally ended up raking up all of the leaves from the driveway and patio and loaded them into the back of the truck and took them down to the compost pile – four times! Yep, four truckloads of leaves.
Nothing ever seems to be a small task around here.
Now lets talk about this whole time change thing. I mourn the loss of daylight savings. I understand that standard time is the “real” time and that daylight savings was Ben Franklin’s idea of a joke. I don’t care. I would happily give up that hour of daylight in the morning to get it back in the evening. As I get older, I notice I don’t make the transition as easily anymore either. It’s only an hour, it shouldn’t be such a big deal. Tell that to my animals. They sure don’t appreciate having to wait an extra hour to get fed!
Oh well, we are all managing to get used to standard time again and frankly, now that we are making the turn toward winter, maybe it’s not such a bad thing to wrap things up an hour earlier.