I woke up this morning to heavy frost mixed with fog that had not quite frozen down yet. The sky is clear, though, and the sun will quickly dissipate the ice crystals and bring it up from the 29 degrees (Fahrenheit) that I saw at 8:00 am. What a beautiful morning to be able to stay home in my bathrobe!
There is still a lot of color in the trees, although this hard frost is dropping leaves like rain from about half of the trees. I enjoyed it for a week or two and it would be greedy to ask for more. I spent a couple hours yesterday raking cattails and algae out of the pond to get it ready for winter. The fishies are staying deep now, except for the minnows who turned up once or twice on the shore caught in a slimy wad of algae.
With the shock of a really cold morning, I need to take an assessment of what remains to be done to prepare the farm for winter. The chicken coop is ready, although we have played with the idea of putting a curtain in front of the entrance to hold back some of the cold. My husband did the last mowing of the paths and yard, as the grass isn’t likely to be growing anymore. I brought in all the remaining vegetables from the garden and cut off all the sunflower heads that had seeds left in them to be collected for next year. I’ve disconnected most of the hoses from the outdoor faucets, but it seems too early to shut off the water in the barn. (Oh – we’ll need it for watering the chickens! Need to think about that.)
I saw a wonderful picture of a flower I’d like to have on a blog I follow and it prompted me to order some seeds. Way too early, probably, but if I don’t do it now I’ll probably never remember to get it done. We think the field would look good with little patches of red in it, so we decided to scatter some poppies even though they are not native to Michigan. I may have to find a few highly visible areas where I can cultivate the special flowers and won’t lose them amidst the prairie grass.
Lots of people drool over seed catalogs all winter long and carefully plan their next year’s gardens. I flip through them, think, “Oh, how pretty”, and then toss the catalog in the recycling bin. Maybe this year will be different.