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Buttoning Down The Yard. November 9, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
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2 comments

It’s November.

Ugly Season, as some see it.

The colors of Autumn turn to brown, then blow away, leaving ligneous skeletons behind. Green grasses turn pale, blue skies turns gray. If I were a black & white photographer,  I might welcome the respite from all that damned life and color, the transfer of the load of seeing  from my cones to my rods.

But I’m not, and I don’t. Pulling out my camera requires a full-on act of will, and the recent results have been less than inspired. Sorry about that. I can only hope to try harder going forward.

At least there’s plenty to keep me otherwise occupied around here. The garden has nearly run its course, so I’ve pulled and pitched the coarse , frost-bitten remainder, leaving not much beyond my too-zealous planting of kale and a forest of Brussels sprouts, which are getting sweeter with every frost:

The hoses and fixtures have been drained and coiled and hustled off to the barn until Spring.

I dug up the Gladiolus bulbs, which are drying for a couple of weeks before being packed in sawdust and stored in a cool (but not freezing) room until the days grow longer again:

That blue bowl contains hundreds of mini-bulbs which came off the larger ones in the digging process… do any of you good folks know what I can do with them, other than throwing them out? I’d love a little advice on this one.

In the dooryard I took a different approach – last year’s Glads came back despite being left to winter over, due largely, I suspect, to the micro-clime of a space enclosed by walls on the North and West and lots of sun from the Southeast. Here I put the Glad bulbs to bed in situ, mulching them (and the raised tomato beds, which have garlic growing toward a June harvest) deeply with hay:

It’s more than I did last autumn, so I’m hoping it works out at least as well.

Goodnight, Glads.

The lawn will get one more mowing, as much to mulch the abundant leaves as to cut the grass, before the ride-on gets driven deep enough into the barn to hide from the worst of winter.

And I’ve re-glassed a bunch of the windows in our out-buildings, replacing a lot of missing panes in the garden shed and changing out a broken hinge so the door closes and latches (we love our tools and prefer to see them survive for many more seasons of gardening!)

The re-glazing process in the barn is more complicated, as several of the sashes have rotted beyond the point where they’ll take points, so I’ve been rebuilding them bit by bit. Without a router, this has been a challenge. I’m using a circular saw, often with Rube Goldberg jigs and a healthy dose of trial and error and a fair number of potential pieces turned into slivers and saw-dust. Sometimes the circular saw is inverted and used as a bad version of a table saw. It’s ridiculously dangerous, and I’m terrified, which makes the work inordinately slow.

Hey, I’d rather take too long than rush toward the nick-name “Lefty.”

All-in-all, though, I’m looking forward to a decent winter. We have enough wood in the barn to keep the place livably warm, and it (presumably) won’t be butt-ugly for too much longer.

That, folks, I’m really looking forward to!

When It’s Ugly Outside… December 7, 2011

Posted by littlebangtheory in macro photos.
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7 comments

I know, it’s un-citizenly to think of Mother Nature as serving up The Big Ugly, but you know, sometimes She just does.

November and December can be temporal proof of that.  Gone are the colors, out comes the mud.  It ain’t pretty.

Like today, with a thick pall weighing down the world, a pervasive grayness gripping every view.  I didn’t see any reason to break out the camera at work, and afterward it went from gray to black in half an hour.

Then, as these things happen, I came home to a cold house with this little potted violet sitting over the kitchen sink, doing its mating dance for no one in particular, unless it’s you:

She’s plump and expectant, thrusting her sexy bits upward from creamy sheets of crystalline bliss:

This was a nice find on an otherwise  uninspiring day.

Tonight the rain is supposed to turn to snow, and depending on when and where the transition takes place, we could have a reprieve from Teh Ugly by morning.

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see, eh?

Thanks to Ziggy for these macro shots.  They were a nice counterpoint to the larger-world details of getting the wood stove up and running so I can get scantily clad and relax before bedtime.

Which is happening right about now.

G’Night.  😉