Friday, October 12, 2012

Notes on Fall

Maybe I am weird or something. I love these cool, cloudy fall days with a bite in the breeze, leaves dancing to ground to blanket the grass, or watching the leaves scurrying across the road as if on a serious mission. Colorado claims to have over 300 days of sunshine, which, of course, we love. I have noticed, however, that on the these gray, cloudy days the golden fall colors seem so much more vibrant and brilliant against the gray clouds. On my way home today a field of pumpkins caught my eye. When I got home, I grabbed my camera and headed back to take a few photos. The corn in the field has been harvested, revealing the pumpkin patch that lies beyond. They plant pumpkins every year, but this was first year that the patch was visible from the road.

Classic old farm barns here in Northern Colorado are becoming more and more scarce as they fall into disrepair then crumble to the ground; however, this beautiful red barn is well kept on a neatly groomed farm. It really is a lovely farm. Our farm neighbors take such good care of the fields, keeping them preened and groomed. The bare fields have been disked  and raked looking a bit like a piece of corduroy fabric laid upon the ground. Some fields are green yet with sugar beets still waiting to be dug, while other fields are growing newly planted rye or sorghum to keep the soil from blowing away as the fields lie fallow over the winter. Have I told you that we get a lot of wind here? A lot.

There's still picking corn left in the fields around this barn. I couldn't resist this shot as I drove down a bit of a hill. You really can't tell that I took this photo through the windshield--I did stop the car to get the shot.

Jack Frost made his rounds last week. Still in my nightgown, camera in hand I headed to capture the frost before the sun began to melt the delicate crystals on the gentle petals. Gardening really has come to an end for the season, Well, almost. I still want to top dress the gardens with horse stuff to mulch and add humus to the soil. Maybe tomorrow.

I had fun wandering the garden taking pictures of the frost. It really wasn't a heavy frost, just enough to lay claim to the tenders leaves and delicate petals. We have to dig the glad bulbs and the dahlia tubers to save for next year. I miss them already.

The head gardener has the vegetable garden ready to till. He'll clean the hen house and add the stuff to his raised beds where they will cook and stew all winter. We do hope for plenty of snow to help speed the process. What are your routines for putting your gardens to bed for the winter? Any good tips?

The David Austins roses finally began to take off towards the end of the summer, especially after we mulched them.  Tess of the D'ubervilles did so well her first summer here in the Garden Spot. Some of her stems are nearly six feet tall, though they were so heavy that they laid on the ground. She looks lovely with her deadly little crystal jewels that will steal her life. Next year I will either have stake the tall branches or learn how to prune them to give the bushes a more pleasing shape.

It certainly is not hard to notice that I don't have a header. I have spent two nights trying to add a new header. I created a frosty fall header with amazing lettering, but when I post it it is way too big. I cannot not seem to get the sizing correct. Blogger frustrates the heck out me.  I am using Picasa just as I have for all of my other headers. I even returned to the web site where I learned how to do a banner in Picasa. Simple enough, but I seem to have lost my touch. Any suggestions?

The weeks at school just fly by. Week 8 next week. The comp class and the theme class will get their library lesson and learn how to navigate Michener Library, while the lit class will begin the poetry unit. I hope they enjoy the poems that I have selected for them. The semester is half over.  I have plenty of grading to do this week end, too. And no Broncos game as white noise. 

Have a glorious week end.


  1. I don't know which makes me heart sing more, the stunning photos, or the prose..."deadly little crystal jewels that will steal her life."

    And then my eyes dart to the frosty leaves, and crunchy petals.....


    Use a custom ratio for Picasa, and when you upload it, click the size to fit box, that sometimes helps. If it's still not quite right but close, try using adjust widths to make your blog a little wider.

    Email me if I can help...I hope it works.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  2. Beautiful the orange pumpkin field and on the background the old American red barn. Love reading your farm notes, last post about combining the corn also was very interesting. I am from a farm myself and it remains fascinating me after all these years. Never get enough of such pictures. Until now we have not any frost here, your 'deadly little crystal jewels' are real gorgeous.
    My garden is not yet ready for winter, there are still lots of blooms, and with digging up dahlias I wait until frost. In November I give a top dress of cow manure around the roses.
    I have the same problem with my header as you have. For a few months I had a header with my dog in the roses but it was too big and I could not get it smaller. Since some time I have no header anymore and I also use Picasa. Well, when I have (a lot of) time, I shall try again but it takes so much time to find out.
    Enjoyed your post again.

  3. Ann, I love the pumpkin patch!! Gorgeous from a distance and up closer, too. Love the barn, as well. I see paintings in these photos!

  4. Spectacular pictures, I'm smiling at the pumpkins in the field, literally a sea of orange.
    Love the shots of the flowers covered in frost,how I remember well those early frosts in Colorado.
    Good luck figuring out your header, I'm not much help, it's the reason I still use the old Blogger interface !

  5. The pumpkin patch is stunning, Ann!
    I know what you mean; yesterday was a beautiful fall day!
    I DO love the sunshine, but an occasional gray day is good, too!
    Happy grading! Happy week!

  6. I LOVE you describing it as corduroy - perfect description!! Love football as white noise - we're about to turn ours on (we get ESPN America just for this season). And lucky are you to have that pumpkin patch in view :) XOL

  7. PS: About your header, I feel your pain. I made mine and probably won't touch it again as I remember spending hours to make it fit. The only 2 cents I could add is to have a blog called 'Test' - I try out everything on my sample blog before putting it on my 'real' one - if that helps :) Good luck!!

  8. Ann, I share a love of a blustery fall day, but mostly the warm ones like we are having today! We have an abundance of charming barns here in central Ohio, including one right down the road from me. Pretty frosty flowers!

  9. I forgot to tell you about the albino squirrel! Every year I see them in the same spot, and thought it was the same one over and over. But this time I saw two of them together, then another nearby. Now that one may have been one of the same, but there are definitely at least two there. I think they are breeding an entire generation of albino squirrels in those woods!

  10. I have a huge pile of grading to do that I've been putting off all weekend. I really love your farm life posts. They have an earthy tang I devour like candy. The barn is beautiful. :o)

  11. Jolie fotos! J'ador ils ont just MAGNIFIQUES!
    Bonne semaine!
    xxx Maria xxx

  12. Oh my Ann those are beautiful frost shots and I love all those pumpkins in the field. I use iPiccy for my banners, here is the website...

  13. Hi Ann, I'm back! I follow this blog with some blogging tips - you might like this one:

    Also, you can make your 'Test Blog' private in the settings, so it is your eyes only. Hope that helps :) Have a great day with the Rocky Mntn view :)

  14. Burr, the frost looks cold and crisp on your plants. We haven't had a hard frost yet, not long now.