Good readers: Ahead of this post, let me say I am not very happy with the new WordPress image handling routine, and it’s been a struggle to get these into the post and oriented properly and not all skewed in aspect. If, when you load the page, the images on your monitor are tiny, tiny and stretched out, it seems that if you refresh the screen (F5 on a PC), they sort themselves and appear properly. I think if you click on the individual images, they will appear as well, but that seems like a bother and takes them out of context. Maybe everything will look good to you and you won’t have to do anything at all.
And so, we begin:
It’s Christmas tree time in these hills. The sky has been a-buzz with the sound of helicopters transporting cut trees to trucks, and the roads are heavy with the trucks moving trees to their destinations.
It starts in early October when the trees are going overseas, and continues into November, for the domestic market. Instantly after Thanksgiving dinner is off the tables, every open corner space becomes a Christmas tree lot.
In the orchard, it’s the best time. If there is any sound better than the snap! of an apple stem twisted from its branch on a fall day, then it’s the sound of the apple dropping into the bucket. The air smells like apples and leaves on the ground. My fingers are cold and damp, and the skins of the apples squeak when I handle them.
This little tree of Liberties filled 3 wheelbarrows. It never seems to take a year off. They’re tart and firm, and they make a wonderful cider.
While I pick, the ewes are ever-hopeful, ever-watchful. They have a pretty good idea treats are likely to come over the fence in their direction.
And they’re not the only ones hoping to share in the apple crop. I haven’t caught them at it, but here is the evidence of Visitors in the orchard:
.I’m thinking it’s the little brown rabbit I see hopping for cover when I pass through to feed the the llamas. I really can’t say I mind. Who can begrudge a little rabbit her taste of apple in the fall? But back to work … Here’s the last load on its way through the gate (see them there, down the path, in the wheelbarrow) …
… to sorting before washing …
… then loading into the crusher …
and then, oh! joy!
That’s cidering. We freeze it now and have the freshest-tasting varietal cider all year.
clinging to grass and apples, is so pregnant she looks about to burst. I set her aside to safety. Spiders are beneficial in the landscape. Still and all, I like them out there, not inside with me.
Fall is time to divide dahlias in the garden. Here’s a nice hand, the offspring of the one, roundish one you can see beneath them. Dahlias can be a little expensive to buy in quantity. With patience, you can start with a single tuber and finish the season with… let’s see… more. I’ll plant them out again next spring.
Speaking of plant propagation, does anyone remember the rosemary cuttings I set last fall, in in post Make More Plants? They were tiny little sticks with a couple of leaves on top. Here they are now, ready to go into the garden:
Of two dozen cuttings, I got 23 to strike. I don’t know what I did wrong on the other one.
Aside from that, it’s time to make holiday wreaths again. Here is my pile of stuff, ready for the genius of the season to arrive. They’ll look better in a week or so.
For a review of my wreath-making routine, here is an older post on the subject: Wreathery.
I always do enjoy this time of year when there’s not much to do. They say.