Thursday, October 6, 2011

proof on cold fingers

I felt the frost before I saw it. It was too dark outside at 5AM to see any of the grass, but my rubber boots crunched down and my breath circled around me like a force field when I exclaimed a little yip of joy at the discovery. Now, this was a proper fall morning. It was 31 degrees at the farm, the first frost. I was happy to note that while the house wasn't toasty as it was when I fell asleep—the fire went out around 2AM—it was 62 degrees inside thanks to the Bun Baker. No oil heat needed at all. I felt like I won something Tonight I'll plant garlic in one of the turned-over beds.

I walked with Gibson to the barn, and we went inside to feed Jasper and collect some hay for the sheep. The chores are now so ingrained they flow through me the way Great High Mountain does on a fiddle. You do something enough times it becomes a part of you, like driving, or putting on a pair of pants.

I was wearing a flannel shirt, a Carhartt sweater, a thick wool scarf and my fingerless mittens (you can fiddle in these). I was certainly feeling the weather. The percolator was already heating on the stove, but I wished I had coffee before chores. Some mornings, these new weather events, call for celebration.

I thought about my day ahead. I thought about Steve jobs. I thought about how that gray/blue light of pre-dawn in October is still mine, even though people left the world yesterday, I can have this a little while longer. I said a prayer. Joseph, my black sheep started running down the hill to me and my grain, he had a bit of frost along his back. I suppose they all did, but his you could see by the trick on contrast, even in that dim light. I felt the ice on the wool and understood a small bit of real change in the world, proof on cold fingers.

I learn things slowly. If I don't want to learn something, I fight against it with all I've got. But when I realize them, like ice on a wether at dawn, they are accepted without fuss. Things are how they are. We're lucky to be here.

Enjoy this new day.


Blogger Kat said...

Thank you Jenna, for the picture of morning and the reminder...

October 6, 2011 at 7:24 AM  
Blogger Odie Langley said...

Your reflections of the morning were remarkable and I enjoyed every word.

October 6, 2011 at 7:36 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

It was 31 here on the coast too. Yikes, I didn't expect it so soon.It was pretty refreshing though but in the 70's this weekend. I wouldn't plant garlic until next week or the week after. The weather isn't consistently cool yet and the last thing you want is for your garlic to sprout and break the surface. I'm doing mine the week of the 17th.

October 6, 2011 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger Lee Ann said...

A picture of a new day... Thank you for sharing this with us.

October 6, 2011 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Green Zebra Market Garden said...

I've been waiting for our first frost so I can get the garlic in the ground. I bought a couple fun varieties at the farmer's market and I'm excited to see how they do.

October 6, 2011 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger abrah said...

Hard frost finally in Central VT too and even our puppy didn't want to wander out on the crunchy grass. I just wanted to say thank you for the effort you put into blogging, I appreciate knowing that I can come here everyday and see an update!

October 6, 2011 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger Kate said...

Crisp and clean autumn morning, I love the feeling and the farewell to sunny warm delicious summer days. I'll welcome them again next year.

OK, I ordered my garlic but am not finding good instructions on when to plant. Does it have to be consistently cold? When does it start to grow? I'm addicted to feeding my family from my garden! It isn't much right now but it's there and I love it! Would love to see garlic, one of our favorite flavors, going from my garden to our table.

October 6, 2011 at 9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For us here in Georgia the first frost is likely almost a month away, but my bones already anticipate it. This fall and winter will serve to heal us all from a most brutal summer.

October 6, 2011 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger Greentwinsmummy said...

*****I learn things slowly. If I don't want to learn something, I fight against it with all I've got. But when I realize them, like ice on a wether at dawn, they are accepted without fuss. Things are how they are. We're lucky to be here.****

Oh Jenna Jenna those words are written for me.My heck they are written for me.

We have just had a very unseasonal heatwave here in Blighty! last night I had the woodburner going,it got far too hot in the room because its not that cold here yet but for a while it was perfectly cosy. I know I was so snuggly in my bed I didnt want to get out this morning ha!

How are your sheep doing?
GTM x x x

October 6, 2011 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger doglady said...

Kate, I was taught to plant my garlic when it was consistently cool which is usually mid to late Oct. I just read where gardeners in the mid coast area wait until Nov. You want the garlic roots to start developing but you don't want sprouting to break the surface of the ground. I top dress with rabbit berries or cow manure and seaweed and cover the whole thing deeply with straw and put old fencing on top to keep the straw in place. I leave my straw in place until harvest.

October 6, 2011 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

I didn't have much frost on the ground, but Baby Llama had a nice white blanket on his furry brown butt and the sheep had crunchy wool. The air was still and cold, and I could smell the woodsmole from the chimney. Fall is here!

October 6, 2011 at 11:16 AM  

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