Sunday, October 9, 2016

Signs Of Frost

Geese have been gathering on the river recently.  Each morning after the overnight valley fog clears, the geese take to the air for training flights getting ready for their migration.  Flying  low and loud in disorganized masses, they command attention from those of us when we are outside working in the gardens.  Their chosen flight path takes them up and down the river valley.  It seems that they are all talking at once as their honks fill the air.

This morning there was no fog so the geese took to the air earlier than usual.  With all of the noise that they create we simply must stop our work and watch these geese fly close by.  That is when we saw high formations of geese flying southward.  Migrating geese fly so high that they appear as pepper grains against the sky.  Were it not for their V formation they might easily pass by unnoticed.  These geese were being pushed by a wind from the north. While we were watching the geese we spotted a pair of mature eagles circling overhead.  When we first saw the eagles they were circling low over our pine trees.  By the time the camera was activated, the eagles had soared high enough to nearly be out of view.  The dark spot in the picture is a bald eagle!

We knew that the surface winds were coming at us from the north.  Seeing the geese riding the high tailwinds told us that we would soon be enveloped in polar air.  Frost tonight is highly likely.  We prefer to remove our tender vegetable plants before frost converts them to a black slimy mess.  Here Ed is filling the wheelbarrow with soon to be dead basil plants.  He started these plants from seed under lights in our basement and was quite proud of their massive roots that developed under our care.  The tree leaves he shredded and placed under the basil plants as mulch helped to carry them through the dry spells and limited weed growth.  Last night's dinner featured pesto made with our basil and garlic.

For us a nearly open moon flower bud signals the nearness of a frost.  We persist and try to grow this tropical plant in spite of the fact that frost regularly ends the plants just as the first flowers were about to open.  There is one bud that is uncurling now and it may be open to greet the coming frost.  Two buds were snipped and brought into the house.  We will watch to see if they manage to produce flowers inside.

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