Saturday, October 17, 2009

Change in the Weather

Another killing frost last night. Clear skies and a million stars this morning. Orion dominated the southern sky when I got up. The moon--which has been a slender crescent paired with Venus in the eastern sky these past few mornings--has vanished for now.

A thick layer of frost coats the back deck and the alder leaves glisten, reflecting the sunrise from rimed surfaces. My sweet peas lie defeated on the deck. I had only a couple of blooms from them before this killing frost. I love the fragrance of sweet peas but my growing season is too short for them. The relationship always ends with disappointment.

There are cat-tracks on the deck. Max? Probably not. The red cat seems to patrol here regularly and I haven't had a clear sighting of Max for weeks. We will know more when the snow comes and we have a chance to read the story of what goes on around here when we aren't looking.

As the sun melts the frost, the leaves begin to fall. The landscape is changing into winter.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hidden Beauties

Most of the lush vegetation of summer has lain down now, wilted by the first frosts and beaten down by rain and wind. No longer overshadowed by native plants, little clusters of "volunteer" violas--grown from seeds escaped from my potted flowers--have shown up in the ditches and the margins of the yard.

The hardy blooms are among the last to succumb to the cold and may last into November in sheltered locations. I have found several pockets of color in the gravel of the french drain that curves along the alders behind the house.

I capture the transient cheer of the little blossoms with my camera, preserving them before their brightness fades.

Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

--Thomas Grey

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Last Flowers of Summer

Despite wind storms and the first few frosts, my potted garden still sports a few hardy flowers, but I know their time is limited now and one clear night can wilt them down to frost-burned shards. So today I cut most of the remaining blooms to bring inside and enjoy before they are gone for good.

Summer was good this year and I have been very pleased with how my garden turned out.

I suppose transience is part of the beauty.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wild Sky

The fall storms are coming and as we went about the yard making loose objects secure, the splendor of the storm-tossed sky caught my eye.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A Year Ago

...we had our first snow on October 5th.

This year, it is sunny and warm (55F in the shade.)

I have a feeling our first snow isn't too far away. The peaks across the bay are snowing a snowline down to around two thousand feet, so another clear, cold night followed by a cold front may transform our autumn-bronzed landscape to white.