How Long Can We Go?

The weather has now turned sharply into autumn. We are in a midst of a series of rainy days, which is forecasted to continue through Tuesday. Today was especially rainy and gloomy with dark clouds.

The temperatures have dropped into the 50s during the day and in the 40s at night with a dip into the low 30s a few days ago. Brrr. This time of year the weather changes drastically from day to day. The National Weather Service predicts that the temperature will drop down to 29 degrees on Wednesday night and then Thursday and Friday the daytime temps will climb to 62 and 67.

It is the season for our annual game: How long can we endure before we turn on the furnace for the first time since Spring? The longer we put it off, the more we can save on heating bills. EJ is hoping we can last until after the first week of October. Mostly the house has remained warm, but we’ve put extra blankets on our bed, we are wearing sweatshirts, and we are drinking hot drinks on chillier mornings. We will see how long we can go before we give in. We are stubborn, we are hardy, we are resilient.

With the colder weather beginning to move in, we brought in all our house plants last Thursday morning. We always put them out on the deck at the beginning of summer and we bring them back inside when the weather cools in the autumn. EJ transplanted a couple of his pepper plants and brought them into the house for the winter. One year he hand pollinated them and we actually had peppers growing through the winter. I also transplanted a few plants of each type of herb I grow, hoping to nurse them through the winter.

Some years we are successful at keeping the pepper and herb plants alive throughout the winter and some years we are not, but we keep trying. I was wondering if having full-spectrum lightbulbs, which resemble sunlight, would help the plants during the winter when there are fewer hours of sunshine. I am especially concerned for my cactus which I had bought years ago as a tiny nub from Walmart. It’s grown to about 3 feet tall and is too big and heavy to put out on the deck in the summer and I fear it’s not getting enough sunlight; it’s looking a bit anemic. EJ had errands to do and he stopped at a store and bought a couple light bulbs. He said that the lights he bought were on sale and were actual plant grow lights. However, when he opened the boxes, we found that the bulbs were huge, and when he put them in the lamps near the plants, they shone with a purply-blue light that felt rather “trippy.” I thought, “Well, I will try to endure” but then EJ said, “No. These are unacceptable” and I agreed with relief. We laughed about it and then he went back to a different store and bought the lights we had intended, also on sale, which appear as normal lamp lights. He will use the other ones in the Spring–in the garage or something–when he starts his seeds.

During the weekend, we did a lot of “preparing for winter” chores in between rain showers. EJ has been trying to get the veggies from his garden. He also harvested most of the apples. Then he put fencing around the newest cherry tree to protect it from the deer. He still needs to put a fence around the newest little apple tree. I cleaned out the birdhouses so they will be ready for the birds next Spring. I moved the wooden posts they sit on inside the fruit tree fences in an attempt to keep Theo from harassing the birds next year. One of the birdhouses is in poor condition so EJ built a new one to replace it. He just has to get a tool to drill the right-sized hole and then we can put it up.

We still need to get some of the screens out of the windows, but we will leave a couple in so we could open them on warm days. We usually have several warm days in October before cold weather settles in permanently. I unhooked the garden hose in the front yard today, but I’m trying to leave the one in the backyard hooked up as long as possible so I don’t have to lug water to the chickens in buckets. EJ is going to build a warm shelter inside the garage to keep the outside cats warm. There’s a lot to do!

Yesterday a few deer trotted through our yard. One was a fawn that still had spots. EJ has told me that every year there is an early breeding season and a later breeding season. Obviously, this was a fawn that had been conceived during the later breeding season.

This afternoon I was taking Hannah Joy out when we were surprised by a flock of four turkeys who were in our yard just a few feet away. Hannah Joy was interested, but she didn’t protest as I quickly dragged her back into the house so we wouldn’t disturb the turkeys. I was surprised that they weren’t alarmed–they moved off at a quick walk, but they didn’t squawk in alarm or fly up into the trees. In fact, they circled around back into our yard a few minutes later. I wondered if they don’t see us as a threat?

I really enjoy observing the wildlife coming through our property.

2 Comments on “How Long Can We Go?

  1. That’s crazy your cactus plant is 3 feet tall, that’s awesome! Hopefully you guys can make it till the first week of October. It’s gotten chilly here at night, in the 40’s (we love it though), but not as cold as y’all’s! lol


  2. I never imagined the tiny cactus would grow so big! I hope I can keep it alive. We also love the cool autumn temperatures but hoping winter’s cold doesn’t arrive too early!


I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: