THE FROST IS ON THE PUNKIN!
With the second week of October almost under our belts, changes continue to occur. It is in the forty degree range outside as I write at 6AM, and it may be frosty in lower valleys. Campers are sure to be snuggling down in their sleeping bags (or else lighting a warming fire). Our cat has found a warm spot near a radiator.....our heat is now on! Yesterday I dug my last potatoes, and two short rows produced enough for several more months of dining. The tomatoes are almost over though their production has been more than ample. Brussel Sprouts are still available and my last corn has been harvested. Out front of our house, pumpkins adore the entrance with a wreath fitting for the season. The orange colors match the leaf foliage in surrounding area. It is definitely Fall!

Here is another Fall phenomena...
You see here something that is coloring the saltmarshes at this time of year. There are large pink patches of this plant, called Glasswort, with a scientific name of Salicornia sp. These are succulent plants that have leaves reduced to fleshy sheathes. Flowers are hidden in the joints of the sheathes, not visible here. This plant can be eaten, either raw or cooked, but it is quite salty. The name Glasswort comes from the fact that the ashes of this plant were long used as a source of soda ash for glass making and soapmaking. I wonder how that got started?

The Lily Pond is very shallow in recent weeks. I caught this Great Blue Heron in the midst of trying to find something edible in the low waters. I've been looking for turtles and frogs recently, but have not found either. I've also been hunting for porcupines which have been in hiding, though the apples are abundant and might set them climbing for those goodies. At least they are not yet attacking our trees. Acorns are very plentiful this year, and they may also be an attraction.

I will close with a portion of a poem that has been coming to mind with the advent of frosty mornings and picking of pumpkins.....

"When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock,
And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin' turkey-cock,
And the clacking of the guineys, and the cluckin' of the hens,
And the rooster's hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O, it's then the time a feller is a-feelin' at his best,
With the risin' sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock."

This is only the first segment of James Whitcomb Riley's poem that traditionally helps me get settled into Fall. 10/10/10 Ronnie, three tens!