Wednesday, September 1, 2010

welcome fall

At dawn I was outside with the animals. I walked the perimeter of the hoof fences and was pleased to see not a single line or insulator was down. I threw the last two flakes of hay to the herd and said my good mornings. I plugged in the fence charger and watched a wire dance. It was on. So far my fences hold.

Then I walked over to feed June Carter. She came running—somewhat awkwardly—up to meet her can of turkey food. She leaped up to the top of my rubbish bin with a baby mouse in my teeth, still alive. She spit it out soon as she saw the cat food but I was thrilled. Just three months old and already on the job. It was the first mouse I saw with her but for all I know it was her third that morning. I am happy to have such a fine working cat here. I pet her spine and watch her arch under my hand. She purrs with all she's got.

I went about my morning work of hauling water to the hoofstock and feeding the chickens. The rabbits got their bottles refilled and pellets restocked. I took note that the pair of goldfish I won at the Washington County Fair were thriving in their new home: the water tank. I had read on a FFA website about how keeping hardy goldfish in your sheep's tank keeps down algae and mosquitos. They were already twice the size since I won them throwing ping pong balls under the ferris wheel. The water was cleaner than usual too. I suggest my golden filters to anyone with a small number of animals to keep watered. They do the job.

It was the first morning of my autumn. Jazz and Annie went for their morning walk stepping over the first fallen leaves, red as stop signs along the side of the road. The king maple in front of the house already is barking for the rake. September is here darling, and she paves the way to holy October. You can read back entries of previous Septembers and Octobers and notice the verve. This is my time.

woodcut by andrew waddington

23 Comments:

Blogger Georgia said...

Jenna, do you find that the heat detracts from the autumn feeling for you? I went for a walk this evening and was caught off-guard to see leaves on the sidewalk. Somehow, my mind hasn't made the connection that Autumn is coming, as it has been so hot. It's my favorite time of the year too, and I'd really love to have some of those crisp, clear days that I love so much.

September 1, 2010 at 9:49 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I ignore all heat as of August 20th. It was hot, but I didn't believe in it.

September 1, 2010 at 9:51 PM  
Blogger laura said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 1, 2010 at 9:55 PM  
Blogger laura said...

I, too, was wrapped in Autumn dreams today, in spite of 90 degree temperatures. September=Fall. End of Discussion.

Laura
http://goodenoughfarm.blogspot.com

September 1, 2010 at 9:55 PM  
Blogger Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

Amen Sistah! I worship at the alter of Autumn too. October is the favoured month of the whole year. I purposely got married in October and married a man born in October too! Celebrating our 20th Anniversary next month, so clearly there's something to it.

The season is turning here on the west coast of Canada too. I was in my cathedral-Stanley Park on Friday and found my first sign of the fall. I posted pics on my blog.

It is the BEST time of the year! There's a reason why Canadians have their Thanksgiving in October!

September 1, 2010 at 10:08 PM  
OpenID urbanadaptation said...

It's still hot here - but not too hot anymore, which is very important - and I too am welcoming the coming of the autumn.

September 1, 2010 at 11:02 PM  
Blogger John said...

Goodness. It seems that spring had just sprung and now fall is making its way. I am glad to hear that things are changing for you. That means that change cannot be too far away for us down here where the spring and what was cooler weather seems like ancient history. I have literally never yearned for a fall like I have this one this year. I say to summer, "Let's get gone..."

September 1, 2010 at 11:08 PM  
OpenID ruralaspirations said...

In my part of the world it's been unusually cool and Fall has been in the air for a week or so now. I do love fall.

And thanks for the tip about the goldfish! Do tell more (or I could Google, but I'm lazy). Could this be a way to meet my kids'desire for pets while reducing my need to clean the darned fish tank AND the livestock waterers?

September 2, 2010 at 12:34 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

I'm right with you....August sucks, and this was the worst one yet! I was so happy to see September today(even though it's still 90+ degrees), and we noticed yesterday that the Halloween stuff is coming out, yay!!! I'm still dreaming of the day I move back to a cooler climate, this time I'm thinking Idaho! I'd be thrilled to hear your opinion, as a former local, on that state.

September 2, 2010 at 12:35 AM  
Blogger Carrie in Wisconsin said...

Hurray for autumn!!!! It really is the best time of year. On a side not about your little golden fish filters ;) I read an entry in MEN once about keeping them in your rain barrel if you have one that you catch rain water with. They are to keep the mosquitos away. I'm thankful you've posted this as I was wanting to try this when I get a rain barrel. Nice to know that it works!

September 2, 2010 at 12:36 AM  
Blogger Chance said...

Hmmmm -- wonder how the goldfish will winter over? Fish in the rain barrel have always worked for me when I lived in a warmer climate as they eat all the mosquito larvae but I'll be thinking of them in January...oh wait, do you heat your stock tank?

September 2, 2010 at 6:53 AM  
Blogger Nina said...

Not sure if a rain barrel or stock barrel would be deep enough but most gold fish will hibernate (if that's the word for fish) at the bottom during the winter. Many people around here (Mass.) have those little fish ponds and never have to re-stock. In fact, one neighbor never restocked after 20+ years. The fish did it themselves!

September 2, 2010 at 7:08 AM  
Blogger daisy said...

Glad you have the fences working. You can go to work and not worry.
Enjoy your fall fever. We are even experiencing a bit of it this far south (Central FL). It's a welcome change!

September 2, 2010 at 8:06 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

It sure is odd to see Maples turning red in 90 degree heat but tomorrow will end this insanity.
About the goldfish. I know they will dirty a fish tank fairly quickly. How do you rid the livestock water trough of their droppings?

September 2, 2010 at 8:11 AM  
Blogger treehuggers kitchen said...

Both of my kids were conceived in autumn. Coincidence? I think not. But with the temperature over 95 degrees with 98% humidity for the past five days, and another hot one today, I'm desperately longing for autumn weather.

September 2, 2010 at 9:25 AM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

Here in N. Fla it's finally beginning to cool off a lil. 69 degrees this morning, which was a wonderful birthday present from the Deity. It will be back to dayum hot by 3, but I think Summer's back has perhaps been bent if not broken. The sycamore trees are my first hope of fall--watching their leaves turn a rusty shade of green keeps me going til October and the first of the real coolness.

September 2, 2010 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Rachael said...

I've been noticing the subtle changes into fall here in western PA as well. The first leaf fell in front of my car as I drove into town last evening, and the starlings are starting to gather en-masse. I love to watch those huge flocks fly from hill side to hill side. I just wish the temperatures would start to reflect the season. These 90 degree days are rough!

September 2, 2010 at 12:39 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

Okay, I have to admit, I'm confused about the goldfish thing. What happens to all the poop they generate? Goldfish poop A LOT. This is great for an aquaponics system where it's being taken up by plants, but what happens to it in a static tank? Doesn't it build up and create high ammonia levels? There must be something I'm missing here.

September 2, 2010 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Tara; my small ten-gallon stock tank is rubber. It's in the shade under the trees and dumped out every three days for fresh water. Not enough time for two fish to dirty-it-up (heck, one sparrow plop is more filth than two fish can make in a day!) but they do keep the bugs and goo down.

as it gets colder out they'll probably turn into chicken food.

September 2, 2010 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Goldfish are breeding fools, egglayers. Put something, anything, in the water so that it floats just at the surface of the water and next spring they will lay eggs on top and fertilize them.

My friends have a gold fish farm in Arkansas and have Koi. Koi are also easy to breed.

September 2, 2010 at 6:48 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Hi Jenna! I've been following your blog for well over a year now. You're living my dream and somewhere along the road, you've given me the courage to stop dreaming and start doing. I'm a fledgling urban homesteader working towards my own place in the country someday. I wanted to say thank you and pass along the "Beautiful Blogger Award" to you. Enjoy! :)

September 2, 2010 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger Erika said...

October/November are just the best for me, the best! I'm always so bummed once December is here.

September 2, 2010 at 10:19 PM  
Blogger The Beers said...

After reading this post I happened upon an artist I'd never heard of before, Mary Ann Kennedy, and her song "Barn Cat". You've got to listen to it!

September 3, 2010 at 12:41 PM  

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