Monthly Archives: October 2016

my chickens

long ago

long ago

As autumn tries (and fails) so persistently to arrive here in the Deep South, I have made a barnyard discovery, I think. It is about my rooster. He came after me today, an actual attack (scary). I suppose the abrupt hostility of the rooster, one I have had since he was 1 day old, must have something to do with mating and maturation. I don’t know this, just observing his possessiveness and aggression towards any threat to his flock. It’s all good, I totally respect him and the job he was born to do but I will have to be more careful when I am near the hens. He seems to prefer the sneak attack and the backs of my legs are his target. Also happening in the “barnyard” … my Americana finally laid her first beautiful blue egg. Keeping chickens is so educational…I am not kidding. blue-egg

The little red garden shed continues to “go away”. It is a bit difficult for someone like me to dismember the years this little building has served me. The butterfly nets from long ago still hang on the pegboard and the little fish bowl still sits on the shelf.

shed

now

 

“Two sounds of autumn are unmistakable…the hurrying rustle of crisp leaves blown along the street…by a gusty wind, and the gabble of a flock of migrating geese.”  Hal Borland

I am waiting for both…

b u

p s

 

mismatched

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I have solved a mystery of the universe. I know now why women “of a certain age” sometimes wear mismatched clothes; I know because I am doing it. When I was younger, I took notice of this phenomena and wondered why these women did not match? I would notice that some older women would wear cute little print blouses with another pattern on their skirts, thrown together with even yet another print sweater, hmmm?

I now think it is a very cute look and actually don’t care much for “matching”. If you, however, choose to match, I think that’s a great thing for you, but for me, not so great. I love the difference, I love the contrast.

oct-rose

October Rose…it is white in the morning and pink in the afternoon.

The “incompatible” clothes thing is something I had to evolve into, it was not planned and is not contrived, it just came from convenience and a dismissive attitude, it came with age. It began as a favorite sleeveless shirt on a hot day and the first pair of capris I grabbed from a dark closet, and then in fall and winter it was a short sleeve printed blouse and jeans I put on in the morning with a pok – a – dot sweater to take off at noon and 2 mismatched Betsy Johnson socks I snatched in the sock basket in the laundry room. It was so mindless and easy, so began the entry into the mismatched stage of my life.

 

 

 

I do admit, I am a bit premature or preconscious even, for I am not yet the age where several prints and patterns should be part of my “wardrobe”  but it works for me now so I’m going with it. Perhaps it is my subconscious working after taking note of this fashion phenomenon all of my life, throughout my youth when I was very probing and observant, maybe it is all of those random curious thoughts that just came together in my early sixties and gave me this new sense of freedom.

Who knows, who cares…

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persimmons and peace

persimmons

There was a small moment this morning where I felt, what I imagine to be, complete peace, on a superficial level perhaps, but I took it. I was on my bike, my fat tire Schwinn, peddling to a neighbor’s house, a beautiful woman down the street from me who, each October , offers persimmons and in November and December, oranges from her trees. I brought Elizabeth’s small heart bag from long ago and filled it with bright orange/coral persimmons as I found empty bird’s nests tucked within the branches that vividly reminded me of the passage of life from spring to summer to fall as I loosely thought of what I would do with these autumnal fruits. I decided on trying them in a new recipe for persimmon cookies, it includes their pulp and a lot of spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and I will freeze some for sweetness in my morning smoothies and of course, eat a few fresh. It was a wonderful moment…I hope to find another as the day unfolds and again, when I am standing in the field by my soon to be tilled  garden this evening watching the Hunter’s Moon rise.

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“The Hunter’s Moon is the full moon immediately following the Harvest Moon – closest full moon to the autumnal equinox. These moons are celebrated for ushering the year’s grandest procession of moonlit nights…

So watch the moon rise in the deepening dusk on October 16. This pumpkin-colored orb will dazzle you, if your sky is clear. It’ll be even better if you treat yourself to a lovely setting to watch the moonrise.

Bottom line: The Harvest and Hunter’s Moons faithfully provide a few to several nights of dusk-until-dawn moonlight. They help make up for autumn’s waning daylight. This bonanza of moonlight remains the legacy of autumn full moons!”earthsky.orgmoon

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seeds

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I plant seeds. I have summed up my life, my purpose, just today with these 3 words. I am ok with them.

There are the tiny seeds in my garden, a place I have kept since I was 15, that amaze me each season.

There are transient seeds  in my thoughts that sometimes become words, words that are only simple and not to be dignified or applauded but may, now and then, connect to another human being.

There are the most important seeds that are scattered in the minds of my children, seeds put there with intent and hope that they will be cultivated into their own thoughts and opinions.

And finally, there are the soulful and spiritual seeds I continually sow, seeds that never reach maturity for, they are not meant to.

shedThe weather, although still quiet warm, is beginning to change. I spent an hour or so outside yesterday evening helping my husband begin the dismantle of our old garden shed. It is somewhat sad for me because it was built one hot summer many years ago by someone who is no longer here, an old friend of my dad’s, Harry Romero. He sat under the Ash tree that was so small then for a bit of shade. That  tree has reached maturity by now and towers over the little red shed and would have, now, given Harry and his son much shade. Each time I look at that tree, I think of Harry – I do not exaggerate this statement Each time, he is in my thoughts. It was well built and stout but lightning struck it one day and because we did not repair the hit, so began its demise….

.ivy

Nature has reclaimed it

nestI found a tiny bird’s nest within the rotten rafters. I set it next to an egg I gathered to show you how small it is.

 

 

 

We will rebuild the little red shed, perhaps a little wider and hopefully, we can incorporate my chicken coop within the new structure, but it will remain the garden shed that Harry built that summer long ago besides the ash tree.

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October

mormgloryIt is October…a wonderful month filled with leaves and pumpkins and spice and coziness… the season has slipped into another one night while I was sleeping I suppose, just like that, the bloom of summer faded and the hint of fall took its place. Every year this happens and each time, I am amazed; I never tire of October. I had so many things I wanted to fit into this perfect autumn day, too many, so I decided on planting violas, feeding my bees a bit of sugar water, watering my morning glories and making a healthy soup for supper…oh, and writing. It is early in the day, time for coffee and this entry, so I will still have time to watch the waxing moon when I gather the eggs from my hens as they roost and end their day of wandering and I, once again, will be thankful for their gifts. I was able to cut a few more stacks of okra this morning from what is left of the summer garden; I will soon have enough to smother and put in the freezer for a chicken and okra gumbo this winter.violas

I did make an interesting observation on this perfect October day, I realized that my kitchen window should have faced the backyard instead of the side yard…31 years later, I notice. I am there at my kitchen window a lot because I hand wash dishes and I cook and bake, much throughout the years and still some today. I am looking at the human world through my kitchen window – it faces the street. I could have been watching the natural world had it faced the backyard and the woods. I could have watched the morning birds diving for their breakfast and my hens pecking for theirs. I could have seen the first robin come from the woods in early spring or our cat chase fat green lizards while waiting to be fed. I could have watched the maple tree change colors with the season and the bluebirds in their wooden house on the arbor. Instead I only saw cars passing.

The soup is ready.

soup

 

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