Sunday, October 26, 2014

Autumn

The temperatures have been changing and this morning I spotted snow on hills surrounding our community.  With a forecasted low this evening I asked A to change over the summer mudders on the jeep to my studded winter tires.   Last year, it was just after Samhain that we got our first good snow, honestly though, I would not be surprised if I woke up to snow tomorrow morning.  

Witchy Little Dogs.

Surprisingly, the garden still seems to be going strong.  The swiss chard is growing like mad and I pulled a few of many remaining lettuce heads in anticipation for the frost.   Potatoes and garlic were planted a few weeks ago and carrots will remain in the ground until the frost goes deep.  Although the wild asparagus around town has already turned orange, the asparagus I planted in the garden in only now just starting to change colour at the tips.  Now is the time to mark wild asparagus for spring harvest.  The fern like foliage turns a vibrant shade of orange and is easily spotted along the roadside or in the fields.


In preparation for Samhain, A and I visited the historical Padova City, an old deserted, self sufficient community outside of Kamloops.  In recent years, the town has been bought up and slowly renovated back to its former glory.   The current owners have opened a farmers market and offer a corn maze and tunnel tours during the fall season.  A and I picked up a couple of pumpkins for carving and then wandered down the property line towards the river.  

 The old barn refinished. 
 


 

 

The roadside is overgrown with hundreds of crab apple trees.  We stopped briefly to collect a large bag full.  At home, the tiny apples were washed, trimmed, and frozen for future jelly making.



Amazing views from the property overlooking the river and mountains.

On the drive home we stopped at a light on the highway and looked up to see this guy.  He was perched atop the hillside surveying the passing traffic below.  His beautiful horns formed an almost full circle with the points ending just at his eyes. 



Once home again A focuses on the chicken coop.  It seems to be hanging in a state of 'almost finished' for the last few weeks.   The hardy board has almost been completed and there will only be finishing touches to add next spring.   I am excited to get some ladies next year and I hope they will appreciate all the hard work we've put into their home. 



Autumn has always been my favorite time of year and I try to put aside time to savour the things I enjoy about it.  Our farm fresh pumpkins have already been prepped for carving.  The seeds have been washed and roasted with a sprinkling of pink salt and a generous coating of nutritional yeast. 
The fridge has been stocked with pumpkin ales from various craft breweries.  I don't drink very often anymore but pumpkin ale comes but once a year and I've definitely been indulging in the rich, spiced beer.  As an experiment, I've been trying my hand and brewing my own hard apple cider.  I've always been interested in starting my own home brewing and when I happened upon a case of old amber glass swing top bottles at the thrift store, I knew I had to start.  Currently I have two small carboys fermenting in the basement pantry.  One is filled with cheap filtered juice from the grocery shelf and another with the expensive freshly pressed cider that comes in it's own glass jug.   We will see which yields a better drink.  I plan to document the entire process in a future posting.  Until then...





 

Monday, October 13, 2014

In Our Backyard

 
When we first moved to the country we spent a lot of time exploring the off roads.  We would pack a lunch, bundle up Little Dog, consult the back roads maps, and head off in the jeep.   After over a year of living here, I feel like I have a fairly good idea of where each path leads off to.   The other weekend, we decided to follow a new path that had been cleared for logging.   A short drive down the path and we came to a large clearing next to a small lake that we hadn't visited before.  Obviously a popular camping site, the area was set up with multiple campfire rings and a long rope swing strung up between two extremely large pines.   A wobbly dock led through the cattails towards the water for fishing.   The area was breath taking in itself but made that much more wonderful by the bright oranges and yellows of the autumn season.
 
Follow the dilapidated dock to deeper waters.
 
Dragonfly sunning herself as I passed by.




A week later I learned that the entire area has been marked for logging.  We often take for granted the beauty that is just beyond our back door.