In which our Summer is over, but Winter hasn't started (quite) yet

"The woods are wet, the air is clear, and the Dragon is happy."

That's the message I sent with this picture last week

Finally, the rains have returned and the smoke is gone!

If smoke pollution is the "new normal", I want to be on record as "not a fan."

I haven't ridden much yet, post-smoke, but Fee and I did get out for 5.5 miles of walking--basically, out to Chanterelle Hill and back.  That put us over the 26 miles point in our Virtual Tevis journey.  

Because the smoke was so widespread and so long-lasting,
the Virtual Tevis deadline has been extended to the end of 2020.

The forecasters say the rain is temporary, and that "summer temps" will return next week, but it doesn't matter--once we've had a proper bucket-dump of water, the heat feels different and it isn't summer anymore.

I raced out between squalls and threw paint on the barn.

I love the blue, but I also love the purple "triangles" near the roof line.

I still need to put one more coat of blue on the west (uphill) side--maybe tomorrow?

Autumn weather definitely kicks my "prep for winter" habits into higher gear.  On my work-from-home days, I intersperse meetings and assignments with other stuff.

This batch is pear-applesauce with pears from Fish Creek Farm.
I'll deliver some jars back to them this week.

The summer gardens are beginning to close up shop for the season, but my work in there is not nearly finished.  

The corn is harvested (and cornstalks need to be yanked out) (UPDATE: I yanked the cornstalks out, it only took 3 hours...), the broccoli is bolting (and seeds need to be collected), the potatoes are dug out and seed potatoes re-planted.  

There are two dragons in this photo.  Do you see them both?*

There are enough butternut squashes out there still to feed us a squash or two each week when we are craving Vitamin B--we will harvest those after the first light frost.  There are also lots of Roo's favorite vegetable: turnips which we will leave in the ground and harvest through the winter.

This is a mixture of dragontongue, rattlesnake, purple, and green beans
that we will dry and use in soups all winter.

In Haenaheim, the beans and sunflowers are drying where they stand.  I pull out a big bucket of beans every few days to sort and save for winter eating--and to dry for seed next Spring.

The goats and the Dragon help with excess sunflower disposal.

Although she usually shares food happily with the goats, she will
chase them away from "her" sunflower stalks.

*a clearer picture of the "art dragon" now flying above the garden

The raspberries are all pruned, and the raspberry suckers (baby plants that show up in weird places) have been transplanted to the New Raspberry Row on the "yard" side of the Haenaheim fence.  

Basically, the garden is pretty much where I want it for mid-September.  There's still plenty that needs to happen between now and the beginning of Winter, but we are on-track, and the routine is familiar to me now.

By contrast, working at the library has never looked like this before.  

Curbside pickup at my library

I work in the building 2 days each week, and work from home 2 days.  

I like the part where I don't have to spend hours in traffic every day, but I miss seeing people.

Amaya's mom has a new baby, so I spent a few months of lockdown
crocheting a baby blanket as a gift--and a ticket to see the New Kid.
(I was two stairs down, and masked)

Here's a new work project:  recording a story each week to share with the special-needs classes at the middle school.  I tell the tales live for the Zoom classes, but I also record a rehearsed version to share with the rest of y'all. 

 If there are people in your life who need a story, feel free to share this one.

Coming soon:  wood splitting.  The hunkering has begun!

What do you do to prep for winter?  Any new routines this year?



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