While coming home last Monday through Snoqualmie Pass, we were treated to a ‘fire-storm’ of Autumn colors. There was snow higher up, dusting the trees. It was a lovely drive.
We have had several nights below freezing; from summer to winter in one short week! Yesterday we rolled up the hoses, blew out the sprinkler system, removed all of the deck furniture to the garden shed and picked all of the remaining vegetables and herbs in the yard. It is a sad sight to see the deck empty, but it certainly helps when we have to shovel snow.
We distributed lettuce to family and friends to ensure it got eaten – we had enough to feed a small army. The string beans were, although petite, were very sweet and tasty, as was the spinach. I am taking my chances and leaving the carrots and beets in the ground for a bit longer. I cut the fennel back to nubs; there are lots of seeds and fronds to dry and use now. Maybe fennel cookies… or muffins with this hint of licorice… chicken and vegetables roasted with fennel – getting hungry thinking this way, I have to stop.
The bird feeders were cleaned out and filled. Right away the finch, sparrows and quail discovered them and I had to fill them again two days later. I did bring in the clay bird bath so it wouldn’t crack in the cold; there are no water sources for them here in the yard. While we were outside working there was a Variegated Thrush, ‘he’ wasn’t flustered by our presence at all. There is a pair of ring neck doves and some red-winged flickers also regularly present. Of late, we have seen a Magpie hanging around too. Last spring there was a young prairie falcon in the yard, probably practicing on the songbirds. He had a lot to learn… oh, we also had Cedar Waxwings.
My husband purchased a fantastic wreath, made by a local artisan, a week ago. It is perfect in the living room with its dried roses and hops. The small nest on one side alluding to the presence of birds. He knows me so well, has wonderful taste and is so thoughtful, I was working, so didn’t have an opportunity to see this artist’s pieces.
My dining table is covered in ceramic pumpkins, most made by my son, and leaves. The entry table is likewise covered and there are black cats on the nook table. My five year old black cat seems to think going out at 10 PM and carousing all night is the thing to do now. Hopefully he will be useful and keep the mice in control now that the birds are not around for him to chase in the early morning.