Monday, December 3, 2018

Catching Up, Again


Well, I've been away for quite some time, that's for sure.  I use this blog as a diary of sorts to keep track of what we have (and have not) accomplished.  Keeping track of our activities has helped us to settle arguments and our idle curiosity, "When did we plant those trees?  When did we build the gazebo?  When did I get so fat?  Wow, really? I didn't think it was that long ago!"  Yup, see, it helps.  Sometimes, but the weight thing?  Not so much....

 Anyway, I had to look back at my last post in late September to see where I left off after the culvert was replaced.  (Wow, once again, was it really that long ago?)

Back in October, we had a lot of rainy days, which, although harvest time was bad for the farmers, made up for the lack of moisture we'd had all summer long.  

I was hoping for at least a taste of October's bright blue weather, and for three or four glorious days I finally did get my wish.  Our Korean maple,  'Acer pseudosieboldianum' put on a stunning display for two days before it began to rain again.

Consulting the blog, I see we bought this tree in 2006.  The Korean maple is as close to a Japanese maple as we can get here in our Zone 4-5 climate.  This summer, I spotted little seedlings scattered all over the garden, and they also colored up beautifully this fall, so I'll be transplanting them next spring and we'll see what they turn out to be.

  We do have two other specialty maples in the garden,
Acer pseudosieboldianum × palmatum 'Hasselkus' also known as 'Northern Glow', seen below.  They are also dependably brilliant in the fall and very graceful in form.  It will be interesting to see what the seedlings grow up to be. 

We decided to reinstall the tree grates on the driveway entrance in October.  Carl had built frames for the grates in the spring, and they were lying out back by the windmill for a few months.
 Carl hooked up a chain and hauled them back to the driveway.
 After a few days of digging holes and leveling the frames, we were ready to get the grates up from out back, too.
Carl was working a lot of overtime this fall, so it was always nearing dark before we got much done after work.

Cold weather arrived earlier than usual; 2018 was a crazy weather year.  Record blizzard in mid-April, in less than two weeks, we were sweltering in the nineties and all summer long, it was hot, dry and did I mention, mosquitoes when it finally did begin to rain?  Swarms of them!  We were glad to see it freeze.

 The Quarry pond finally did reach a nice water level for the winter which was a relief.
Tamarack turning color for fall

Whenever Carl was home before dark (and it wasn't raining) we worked on the tree grate project.

We replanted all the hostas on the ditch slopes and some tiny shrubs to make it look a little less bleak.  We also rebuilt the tufa pillar.

 Before we knew it, Halloween was upon us. The prettiest little butterfly visited us for Halloween and also Great Grandpa and Grandma at the assisted living facility.

Carl, Audrey, Joel and Grandpa Don

Granddaughter Audrey  2 1/2 years old

Audrey and Grandpa Carl and Great Grandma Rosemary

 Speaking of time passing, our little Audrey is growing up so very fast.  Is it possible we're growing older at the same rate?  !

Suddenly, we were in November and there was still so much to be done.  We made a half-hearted attempt to dismantle Thing One and place it elsewhere, but ran out of good weather and time again.  

So now we have a bunch more half-done stuff facing us next spring, and of course, early (too early!) in June is the American Hosta Society Convention.  Oh boy.

In our defense, there's always appointments and dealing with his parent's affairs to tend to, plus overtime and most of all, the weather and short, short days.  (And yes, we are idiots who bit off more than we can chew.)

'Acer Triflorum'  Three-flowered maple

The rest of November was a blur, we had some fairly nice days during deer hunting, but being outside during hunting season is a bit risky with all the woods around, plus it rained on and off then, too. 

Larch in November

On November 3, while we were moving some rocks, a pair of dragonflies suddenly zoomed in and warmed themselves on the rock faces as it was a very cold day.

That was the last day of rock moving, coincidentally.  We just ran out of time.  It was certainly strange to see dragonflies so late in the season.

November 9 was our first snowfall, though this one didn't last too long.

While Carl was at work, I scurried around cutting back grasses, hauling out hosta leaves, wrapping trees for winter, putting statuary away.  And no, I didn't get everything done, either.

In the meantime, Abby and Joel's new house has been under construction which is exciting, too.  

Joel up in the rafters in October

They are hoping to be moved in before Christmas and it's all hands on deck with the construction crews.   

Thanksgiving came and went with a small meal here on the Friday after.  David accepted a new job and is currently in Italy as of mid-November for training.  He is expected home before Christmas, and we'll be happy to see him.

More snow fell this past weekend; I went out and did some very minimal Christmas decorating in the sloppy rain/snow that was falling and have decided it's good enough.  I'll thank myself later when I don't have to take it all back down again in January, right?

There's a bunch of other stuff going on, but since this post is already far too long, it will have to wait.  

Oh, there was one unusual thing that happened; one night in late October, around 10:45PM, a truck drove in and a man and a woman got out and knocked on the door.  Carl was fast asleep at the kitchen table.  We'd been working outside until quite late that night, and he's so worn out that he often dozes off right after we eat which is unfortunate, since I can't get him up to go to bed, but anyway...

Carl, being startled, woke up immediately, and flung open the door.  This in turn, startled the visitors a bit, who probably weren't expecting a wild-eyed man to appear so suddenly.  

I hastily put on my shoes and went outside on the back porch with Carl and saw that the lady was holding a chicken wrapped in her coat.  It was very cold out and she was shivering a bit as they explained that they'd found the little red hen sitting in the middle of the road about a mile away.  They had gone to all the houses in the neighborhood and no one would claim her, so that's when they thought of us, because they'd seen our chickens free-ranging around here for years.  Was this our hen?  

I told them I knew it wasn't ours, because I'd locked all three of them up hours before.  So, there we stood in the driveway at nearly 11PM,  four adults and one chicken, contemplating what we should do.  The poor lady shivered a bit more as she stood there, coatless, holding the hen.  They were kind enough to rescue her, but what were they going to do with a chicken? 

I piped up and said, "Well, we can take her, there's room in the coop for one more!  Here, put your coat back on, you're freezing."  

They thanked us and we thanked them, and that's how 'Roadelia' came to live here at Quarry Gardens with Spot, Ashley and Hawkie.  

Oh, yeah, and us, too.

There's never a dull moment around here.