November is just a mud puddle away now and summer a swiftly fading memory. When I open the door in the predawn there are no crickets, cicadas or confused spring peepers chorusing in the darkness. It is chill silence or the sound or pattering rain, or rushing wind. I have a few flowers still blooming in the tangle of frost damaged leaves and stems and I pick a couple to bring inside and enjoy, but most I leave outside waiting for dry day to harvest seeds for next year.
This fall, early October was fairly pleasant with a mix of cloudy and sunny days and mostly dry. Here in Western PA I continue to appreciate the breaks from the rainy spells since they are pretty rare. However we are back in a very soggy pattern with over 4" of rain predicted through the end of the week and only a bit of sunshine for the next 15 days. I do believe that being outside especially in the wet helps to keep my spirits up when it's cloudy like this since UV rays do penetrate the clouds. But I can't lie, I MISS the sun!
As a result of the rain we are in a full on mud season and so I am hoping for some cold temps to freeze the ground and dry things out a bit. Our heritage hogs are just fine in the cold, but we need to be careful of them getting wet without being able to get out of the wind and the rain into dry bedding. When the weather is non-stop slop it is incredible hard to keep their hay dry. It's always a relief when I get them fully set for the winter and am confident they have nice dry, warm place to curl up no matter how soggy the weather. So we are preparing winter pens and scheduling trips to the butcher for the pigs that will be harvested this year.
I must say though, that I do enjoy the luxury of working outside without the need for gloves. We are enjoying the last of the tomatoes, peppers, greens, kohlrabi, and apples. In the next week or so the bulk of the leaves will fall, we will keep a fire burning around the clock in the soapstone heater, and we may even see snow showers. Fall is HERE!