Changeable Skies and Autumn Activities

This day began as the previous two did.  There were bright blue skies and a warmth in the air that seems so unusual for this time of the year.  In seeking out statistics, that assessment is 100% correct! The temperatures in the upper 70’s today are about 20 degrees higher than the average temperatures for this time of the year!

Being somewhat disenchanted with the piles and piles of leaves in the yard, I decided to try mulching them once again. After all, mulching the leaves into tiny little pieces must be like adding compost to the lawn.  I started the mower up shortly after 7:30 am, and that wonderful little mower proved itself to be worth its weight in gold once again!  Even though the leaves were probably an average of about 2″ deep, that mower chewed them up and spit them out with no problems at all! I worked for about an hour.  As Mark and  I discussed this later, I told him I thought I would have had to rake for at least 2 hours to get rid of the leaves! That mulching machine sure saves some time!

We had some inside work to do during the morning, so we kept busy with the business and  paperwork.  As the day progressed, the skies changed some, as clouds began to move in.

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Rather harmless “cottony” clouds. So pretty against the sapphire blue sky!

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After lunch, we had to go outside to begin gathering the firewood I cut.  The weather forecast is calling for rain, and also a cooldown in the temperatures. Hurrah! It is so hard to work cutting wood when it is warm. My favorite woodcutting temperature is about 20 degrees, when I can pop on a turtleneck and warm sweater and feel quite comfortable.

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I had mentioned yesterday about the tremendous memories I had of little babies and the hammock in the front yard. I wandered out to see the red oak where the eyehook was mounted for one end of the hammock, and sure enough, it is nearly covered some 11 or 12 years later….

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When the kids were really little, we used to rake the leaves into a huge pile near where the hammock hung.  They would run through the leaves and play there for hours.  The memories are so vivid in my mind, I can almost smell the scent of the fallen leaves….

Oh, the many, many happy hours we spent snuggling in that hammock!

Here is the path that leads up into the woods.

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There was a “group” of 5 oak trees that grew here. One of the trees was cut a long time ago.  I cut 3 more of the trees on Sunday as they were dead and leaning precariously. I would have cut down the last dead tree, but it is leaning quite heavily upon a neighboring maple tree.  The only way to possibly take that tree down without getting it exceedingly hung up would be to cut it with a rope tied off to the ATV so Mark could more or less “pull it down” in a direction that it really doesn’t want to go.  We decided to just leave it and it will probably fall on its own within the next few years.

Here is the grouping of oaks that grew in kind of a circle. You can see that I try to cut as far down as possible to use as much of the wood as we can.

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Our woods with some of the firewood I cut.

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I always tell the kids that seeing firewood makes me so happy, and seeing it stacked in the garage makes me think of it as “money in the bank”!

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We worked for about 1 1/2 hours today gathering up wood.  Mark guesstimates that we have about 5 face cords cut. We typically use about 10 face cord per winter, but the garage area where we store wood will hold about 14 face cord.  Last year, we used a bit more than usual, as Mark worked in the garage, and I would make fires for him in the little Jotul stove.  We insulated the old part of the garage, and it is almost luxurious for Mark to be able to do woodworking or even a little work on the cars in a heated garage! Mark’s biggest problem is that I sometimes get it a bit too warm for him!

And, for something totally different, I bought a very simple floral arrangement at Wegman’s last week. The rose was a bud that was far from opening. As I walked past the table this afternoon, I noticed that the bud had opened! The little berries (no idea what they are!) add an almost “Chrsitmasy” feel with their red and green coloration. Gads!  Only two more months until Christmas!

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