Posted on: October 24, 2010

I have several very large Maple trees that dot my front yard. In the summer they give my home wonderful shade. In the spring, I tap them for tasty maple syrup. What a change the past few weeks have brought. Two weeks ago, these trees were fully leafed, with vibrant greens, and just a tinge of gold or orange at the edges of the upper most leaves. Then very quickly, too quickly it seems, the leaves turned orange, then yellow, then brown. Today those trees are bare, all in just two weeks. Winter is almost here.

Over these past few weeks I’ve worked at that Fall Prep list I mentioned before. There are very few things left to do, and all very minor. Today was a couple of big items: The garden has been roto-tilled, getting it ready for next year, thanks to my brother. This summer I allocated a 12×12 plot for them to plant in my garden, that gets full sun where theirs does not. Turning the soil over was his “rent“, and he seemed happy to pay it. The other major project was putting up plywood walls around the chickens yard, to keep the snow and wind out. This will let the chicks get some fresh air and exercise yet be protected from the harsh winter weather. I cut all the 4×8 sheets into more manageable sizes and attached handles for ease of moving and lifting (see picture). I’m extra pleased with how the walls are now, and they can be stored and used year after year, without waiting for someone to help me. Being self reliant is important to me.

The days feel longer now to me, even with the shorter daylight hours. My seasonal work is done at the resort, and the B&B is closed until the Holidays. I’ve got lots of time on my hands now to do all those little things I’ve been putting off or that just plain need doing in preparation for the coming season change. I’ve put all my wood in for the winter, and then some; the kindling is now stacked in a separate shelter, but readily available; hoses are drained and wrapped and the outside water is off; the bird baths have been turned over; even the driveway solar lights are down and stored away, while the 4’ orange sticks replace them, marking the drive for plowing snow. I’ve changed the furnace filters, even though I heat with wood and the furnace rarely runs. The wood cook stove was thoroughly cleaned over the summer, including brushing the chimney of soot and replacing the gaskets; I’ve rotated one of the 55 gallon drums of gas, and refilled it, an expensive afternoon!! I still need to clean the sink drains, but my son is changing the faucet for me, so I will wait and do it then.

I think many times our lives can change just as quickly as the colors of the leaves and just as pronounced. There is a CME that is heading our direction, one of the largest recorded. Will either be a total non-event, or change many lives.

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