The news around here has been full of all the records we have broken this summer in terms of weather. We had the most 90+ degree days in a single year, in the month of August, September and OCTOBER!! and the latest 90+ degree day ever (in October!)… and then there are the rain issues. As of last weekend, we were 15 inches behind in rain for the year. 70+ counties in the state have moved to the EXCEPTIONAL drought category… leaving moderate, extreme, severe way behind.
We had a late freeze this year too. So the fall has not seemed very autumnal for several reasons: no pecans to pick up – due to the late freeze, there are none for Thanksgiving pies. The chestnuts did not open and fall on the 15th of September, which meant we had no prickly shells for making Michaelmas dragons on our nature table. They did begin to fall on the 30th of September, and we have made some little fall gnomes of them… but so much later than normal, makes it feel the rhythm is off around here.
Friday night football has been played in warm, muggy temps, not in sweaters and hot cocoa inducing weather. And the leaves.. the trees are full of green leaves still!
I had intended to post this post last weekend, so there have been some changes since then. It is still unseasonably warm – next week highs will be in the 80s… and we did have a chance of rain the past 2 days… we got all of 1/4″ – soooo not enough. And there are some leaved finally beginning to change to beautiful autumn colors.
Here we see our normally 4 acre pond, stocked with fish, that we swim in each summer. That green chair is sitting in what would normally be water. The bushes on the side are normally right on the bank. The rocks in the middle are usually hidden from view, and in the back you can see the overflow pipe sticking up… thats right, the water normally covers the top of that pipe, and the overflowing water goes through the pipe, under the dam, and fills the creek behind where my boys catch crawfish and play on the rocky bed. Now, it is drying up too.
See all the leaves on the trees around the house? And notice the green! Only the small dogwoods are beginning to turn red. By now, we are usually beginning to rake the copious leaves from the ancient oaks onto our garden beds and compost piles.
This little copse of woods stands near the pond… again, it is very green for this time of year.
Some faint hints of red beginning in the woods beyond the pond. But notice the dry pond bed. Normally, this entire area is full of water extending even to the left of the photo.
Here are the animal and boy tracks in the mud that is our pond. The great blue heron comes here to fish, and I hope he is finding enough to eat. I worry the oxygen level of the pond will drop far enough that the fish will go belly up… it happens sometimes in ponds in droughts.