I have mixed feel­ings about fall and the com­ing winter.

I wan­der the gar­den and yard look­ing at the car­pet of wet leaves. They would be a lot more beau­ti­ful if they would just vol­un­tar­ily hop right into those bags for com­post­ing. They have nearly all fallen now except the two zelko­vas, which stub­bornly hold on to the leaves until I have raked up all the oth­ers. Then those ras­cally zelko­vas drop them all the next day within about five minutes.

How do they know?

Trees have fallen in the fall as well, like giant pick-up sticks. More mess that will require a chain­saw. Chick­weed is creep­ing into the neglected beds.

I wake up in the dark. The days are so short now that the chick­ens go to roost at 3:30 in the afternoon.

I try to reframe my view of autumn.

The shorter days mean there is less time for frol­ick­ing with my rake and leaf bags. But I’m as happy suck­ing up books as a drunk at an open bar wed­ding reception.

The cucum­bers, pep­pers and toma­toes are gone. But I have a robust crop of Swiss chard. I have even man­aged to out­smart the deer by net­ting it. Let­tuce, spinach and arugula are thriv­ing in the cold frame. Cab­bages and Brus­sels sprouts will be ready for har­vest soon.  The salvia is bloom­ing. Chick­ens love chickweed.

With­out the leaves, I can see more of the majes­tic, sculp­tural beauty of the trees.

Yes, I have mixed feel­ings about the change of sea­sons. I will work on see­ing the glass half full.

(Click on the pho­tos to embiggen.)

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  • Leslie says:

    Wise words, Robin. Thanks for the nudge to do the same. And lovely pho­tos by the way, the autumn sun makes things look so dif­fer­ent than summer.

  • Lona says:

    I for one do not look for­ward to win­ter every year.Fall can be a beau­ti­ful time of the year but I do not like those shorter day light hours at all. I will miss the flow­ers and play­ing around in the gar­den. I guess it is a good time to catch up on all of the indoor chores and deep clean­ing that gets neglected dur­ing the sum­mer. Lots of read­ing here to.
    Those leaves have radar or just know some way. LOL!
    Have a lovely weekend.

  • This time of year is always rough on me. This year, I’m try­ing to focus on stay­ing active, sun­light or no. Over the past year, I real­ize how grate­ful I truly was for those first blooms of spring though. Wouldn’t have that with­out a winter.

  • Celia says:

    Chick­weed is deli­cious for peo­ple, too! I love it in pesto or just for a nibble–has a cop­pery, mineral-y flavor.

  • Just about had to laugh about leaves jump­ing into bags — where are the magic gar­den munchkins when we need them? And Celias’ com­ment prompted me to find out that in the win­ter chick­ens actu­ally eat chick­weed — good to know! Your “bot­tle tree” is beau­ti­ful and a great idea — what do you use for the stems?

    • Robin Ripley says:

      FSA — The bot­tle tree is made from rebar. It’s a con­trap­tion I pur­chased on line a while back. Thanks!

  • Céline says:

    lovely sun­lit pho­tos, I have had the feel­ing this year that we’ve had so much warmth and sun till now, that there is still a goog rea­son to be busy in the gar­den. And I have expe­ri­enced the same feel­ing with col­lect­ing leaves, only with gusts of wind !

  • Beth says:

    devour books like a drunk at a wed­ding recep­tion” …? I don’t get it!

    • Robin Ripley says:

      Beth — Humm. Yeah, some­thing went miss­ing there. How about “But I’m as happy suck­ing up books as a drunk at an open bar wed­ding reception?”

  • You may have win­ter chas­ing you, but your gar­den looks like sum­mer has not left.
    plants still in leaf and veg­eta­bles look­ing fantastic.…do you have them under cover ?

    • Robin Ripley says:

      Celine — I have a cold­frame with let­tuce, arugula and spinach. All the other plants are out­side fend­ing for them­selves. Thanks!

  • Well this week win­ter has arrived where I live with a vengeance. Those shots of the fresh gar­den veg­gies look so good! I think I need to place an order with my local CSA. Thanks for sharing.


  • Leanne says:

    I love your posts, espe­cially your deligth­ful sto­ries involv­ing your chickens.

    Liv­ing in the city, I some­times wish I could have a rooster, but posts like this one snap me back into real­ity of why I can’t and shouldn’t. See­ing your photo of Tina Turner make me want a Pol­ish hen in my flock. I can see why Ricky was so enrap­tured with her; she is like a “Helen of Troy” of chick­ens. Don’t tell my Cochins I said that. :)


  • David says:

    Hi there!
    I just found your gar­den blog and its beau­ti­ful. I love that bot­tle tree shot.
    I’m always look­ing for another gar­dener with chick­ens since we have 4 of our own and its great to com­pare notes. Nice to ‘meet’ you through blotan­i­cals.
    David/ :-) Hous­ton, Texas

  • Layanee says:

    Books do beckon at this time of year. They sup­ply an end­less source of inspi­ra­tion for next year’s ‘per­fect’ gar­den. Lovely photos,Robin.

  • David says:

    I just fin­ished read­ing your Bal­lad of Ricky Ricardo post and I laughed so hard I was cry­ing. Oh my! And I thought I HAD good names for MY chick­ens.
    And.…Tina Turner stand­ing in that chair! Hilar­i­ous name but per­fect!
    I must show my wife all this. She thinks I’m the only one who writes sto­ries about chick­ens. Your gar­den blog is great!
    David/:0) Trop­i­cal Texana/

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