SUMMER SUCCESSES: The small coleus and impatiens in pots under the shade area were truly gorgeous. So were the flowers in the cement block planters (including the happiest of all my dozen snow in summer plants). Wild sunflowers and morning glories--crazy wild enthusiastic rangy beauty. Gloria's onions! Otherwise, for all our work and watering, not a huge success. The grass patch, after struggling and looking thready all summer, looked terrific the week after our torrential rains. No secret what IT loves.
We had a hard freeze scare Monday night, Oct 9th. I blasted home and put up the window glass and clear plastic roofing panels to keep the wind off the hens. Then we covered some of the zinnias & most of the tomatoes. I believe we dodged a bullet. It was 33 when I got up at 6, sagged to 32 for about an hour as the sun was coming up. Sweet potatoes got burned. Think everything else is okay.
BLACK LOCUST SEED PODS
R and K Reproductive strategies, right? The black locust is LOADED with seed pods this year. And since we are increasingly worried that using them as a mulch in that bed is killing off everything else, I've been spending a fair amount of time and energy gathering them up and relocating them along the top of the ditch where the dirt is bare. The tree guy told Gloria he didn't think they were poisonous, just that the mulch was too thick in the bed. (Note to self: research that at some point.)
SMALL SIGNS OF LIFE
Fall is so bittersweet, with the days getting shorter and shorter, the nights progressively colder, pill bugs and spiders sneaking into the house in flock, looking for a safe place to overwinter. Starting to worry about the overnight lows... you know the killing frost will come. But we are hoping it will be in November and give us one last spell of warmth, a few more weeks before it happens. Sorrow. Loss. Growing darkness.
I was hauling some water over to pour on my spindly onion crop, and bent to look at the skeletal remains of my two pitiful spring chard plants. OMG--they are FULL of tiny new green leaves: a couple of plants that looked dead, quietly coming back to life. (I missed having them to eat over the long hot summer).
Not pictured -- the dozen garlic cloves I asked G if I could plant in the bed where her onions were this spring (they were gorgeous). When I came back about a week later and crouched down, you could see them poking up! Also, I disturbed the soil in that spot--there was a dense mat of onion seedling (like spring grass).
Miscellaneous news: a new roll of 5' fencing in an attempt to contain Earheart. She scared the crap out of us, sailing over into yard. Gloria went out to do something, dogs blasting out with her to keep her company. She saw a chicken blur go by and shrieked. (Sunny doesn't have a collar!) We were able to grab them both and toss them into the house. By the time we found her, Miss E. was reconsidering her choice--pacing back and forth by the gate, obviously interested in retreating to safety, but not having gotten up the motivation or momentum to fly back over. :( That must have been Saturday morning (Oct 17). After taking Abuelo for lunch, we stopped at Lowe's for fence. Went home and put it up immediately.
Photo: new taller fence. Also pictured, the straw bale I gave them they are happily dismantling. Makes the yard look cozy somehow. What is it about bald, cracked, dry dirt... :(