Monday, September 24, 2012
First Fall Frost
Yesterday's weather forecast called for an overnight low temperature of 33 F. We were pleasantly surprised this morning to find our garden free of frost damage. A trip to the back acres revealed just how close the frost had come to our front garden. Pumpkin and squash leaves in the wilderness garden showed varying degrees of damage. The plants that had climbed the fence were untouched by frost despite their higher elevation. Plants nearer the woods also escaped burned leaves.
Vines more exposed were hit by the frost. We had already harvested ripe squash and pumpkins but were now eating stuffed pumpkin blossoms. The flower in the picture is tightly closed and may be undamaged. We will check again tomorrow to see if one more batch of blossoms is possible. If we can remember next year, there is a long period of time when harvesting the male flowers is possible.
Years ago we purchased four sugar maples from a local syrup maker. Three of the trees are still alive. We will watch to see if the frost pushes the change in color. Exactly how our bright fall leaf colors happen is not completely understood here. We believe frost is a factor so we will watch to see if color follows frost.
Monarch butterflies have been taking advantage of the winds from the north to begin their migration south. Any moment that we look up from our work now, we see these butterflies flying toward Mexico. They spiral down to feed on the goldenrod then quickly move on. All are newly hatched so their colors are bright and their wings are not torn or frayed. If you look for it, each season is special in its own way. Migrating monarchs are one visual treat at this time of year.