It's getting pitch dark by 730 at night. It's getting harder and harder to keep your eyes open past 9 pm. (I'm starting to feel like one of the hens.) You SWEAR it's 10 pm and are disappointed when it's only 8:30.
Leaving the window open next to the bed requires you to burrow deep into the covers, stealing all the blankets is a given nightly activity. (As is the battle to regain them.)
You get so chilled that the simple act of sacrificing a warm arm to crank the window shut is unthinkable. Forget the fact that you'll have to expose your whole body to the chill when the alarm clock rings. So you just root deeper into the covers.
Morning walks to and from the car require a jacket. You refuse to wear one, or long pants, in hopes that your personal refusal to acknowledge the impending season shift will somehow force the entire cosmos to your whim, thereby saving all of mankind from the harsh reality that FALL is setting in.
The fields are slowly being transformed from their tall, crisp, brown stalks that rattle and crackle in the wind with raccoons playing at their feet, to bare soil, close cropped stumps that expose HUGE herds of deer every morning on your misty drive.
Large flocks of turkeys play and run through the fields, tripping over the stalks and their new found exposure to the world.
The soybeans and cottonwood trees are slowly turning from a lush green to a pale sun kissed gold.
The summer garden is gone. Last week I pulled the last of the sweet potatoes and stored them in the basement.
The cotton plants are SLOWLY opening. The marvelously soft, brown fill popping from the boules, take me back to many years living in the deep south.
The sorghum, both the sweet and broom, have been harvested. I'll hang both to dry and give it to the chickens for pecking treats during the dark winter days.
This next week I'll pull out the boxes and dump the old finished compost into the garden and load the whole area with 3,000 pounds of hay, close the gate and wait for Spring to arrive. Sigh.
On the UPSIDE, we did spot our first wooly worm of the season. (Well the first one that wasn't making a mad dash to try to get across the street in front of the SUV.)
This little guy's markings says we are in for a mild winter, according to his amount of red stripes showing. (The larger the red segment then supposedly the milder the winter.) Any truth to it? No not really. The longer their life cycle, goes on due to good weather, the more they grow and molt. The more they molt, the more red is added to their body. So you've HAD good weather if he has a lot of red. But if the little guy says so... I'll take a mild winter. We had one last year, so I'm not holding my breath for a repeat.
In fact, I'll go with another theory. Now that I have a chicken coop that's 100 yards further from a wind break or structure, I'm saying I'll have to trudge water and feed through thigh high drifts and sub-zero wind-chill all winter.
The rest of the Station has been slow. We found out the radio antenna had been struck by lightning at some point. I remember that strike, as it was one that flashed and sounded thunder at the same time, just about knocking me out of bed. I just didn't think it was THAT close. Turns out, even with all the lightning protection on the system, we still managed to melt a few resistors and circuits. So we're working on that.
The hens laid their 600th egg today. Almost everyone is laying. Lela and Donder are still holding out. Daisy is spending a few days in Chicken Jail to try to break her broadness. Last week, this little guy put up a valiant show of bravado, just before Olive snatched him and ate him.
I've been playing around with a couple new bread recipes. A local shop places two loaves side by side in a quarter sheet pan and sells them as farm house loaves. I like the look, the texture, and the larger single pan to wash. I'll play with it and some recipes and post the results here to share. Cross your fingers.
The Boy made our first batch of pumpkin bread last night. It tasted fantastic. Sadly, it tasted like FALL!