November’s Welcome


Sometimes, in our share of the Ohio River Valley, summer slams into winter without much autumn to buffer the shock. September and October days that seem more June-like keep us in shorts and flip-flops. Our sweaters pine away in the back of the wardrobe. Wearing t-shirts instead of flannel shirts to the pumpkin patch has become the new normal.

And then, BAM! Frost and chilly rains. Aa good hard freeze takes most of the garden down to the soil line. (And coaxes us to walk around wrapped in wool and fleece.)

Our blood hasn’t thickened up yet, as my grandmother would say. A 55 degree Fahrenheit day in October seems so much colder than a 55 degree day in March. 55 degrees in October make us want to light the fire and drink cocoa. But 55 degrees in March make us want to hie to the garden and start digging!

So we never know what October 31st will bring. Will the kids need their long johns under their Halloween costumes? Or will they be sweltering under the weight of their wizard’s cloak and princess skirts?

This year was chilly, but dry, just what we like in an All Hallow’s Eve. Build a cozy fire in the fire pit. Sip a little hot cider. Consume enough Halloween candy to put a hippo into a sugar coma. Now that makes for a pretty darn good night.

I took a stroll to the garden this morning. In the herb bed, only the flat-leaf parsley seems to be holding on. I probably should’ve harvested the last of it. Maybe if IΒ  find a parsley-forward recipe for supper, we can enjoy the last sprigs properly.

Elsewhere in the garden, I’ve left a a few Padron peppers on the plant in order to harvest the seeds for next year. They are a perfect shade of red. But these areΒ  tricky peppers. When they’re young, they’re delicious when quick-sauteed in a little olive oil then sprinkled with sea salt. But among the gently spicy ones, a nuclear-fired one will lurk, waiting to surprise you by melting your face. An appetizer that’s not only delicious but a (sometimes) hilarious game.

As the peppers mature, we’ve found that some mellow with age and some do not. Sort of like people.

Padron Pepper

And so November begins cold and rainy for us. Some folks dislike Gray November, but i like the chilly days and cold nights, perfect for a hot cup of tea and my favorite woolly sweater. Look for Joy wherever you can find it and life is just a little easier.

How is your November dawning? Are all your Autumn tasks complete, gardening and otherwise?

And Happy Dia de los Muertos!

About Benjamin

Gardening, Raising a Family, Hobby Photography, Reading & Philoso-phizing...not necessarily in that order.
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13 Responses to November’s Welcome

  1. Robbie says:

    Your grandmother is a wise woman! I’ve been thinking the same thing lately. I’m cold and I can’t figure out why since in spring, I am out there in the 30’s with a light coat and not bothered by the cold. I prefer lately to sit and admire from a distance-LOL. I have to cover blueberry bushes tomorrow for it will be in the upper 50’s maybe touch 60! That seems hot in the spring, but now it is what I need to continue my work out there and have greens for fall. I also just like to shut down for a bit to rest for next spring:-) that must be it!

  2. Our autumn here in Wales has progressed much like yours–temperatures that induce summer shirts, if not actually as warm as it has been over there. But the nights have been feeling colder, and the sun sets earlier every day, so suddenly I have had the urge to do those autumn chores that need to be done before it’s too late. It feels good!

    • Benjamin says:

      Cheers to warm days, cool nights and autumn chores! There’s certainly a lot to love this time of year. Best of luck with your chore list, won’t belong now before the snow flies! πŸ™‚

  3. Cathy says:

    Love that comparison of those peppers with people! πŸ˜‰ And I like your grandmother’s description of the blood not having thickened. It takes us a while to acclimatize too, but it hasn’t got really cold here yet. The garden is waiting to be tidied up and a few bulbs still need to go in, unpleasant jobs when cold and damp but I am hoping for a few more mild days. And yet I am also ready for some nights by the fire!

    • Benjamin says:

      We’ve still got a list of chores and are hoping for some mild days to accomplish them, as well. It’s tough summoning up the will power when it;s cold and damp. And I agree, not many things better than chilly nights by the fire πŸ™‚ Happy November!

  4. New England is definitely cooling down. We’re into the low 30’s at night and mid 50’s during the day with rain every couple of days. I am happy to say I finished a lot of the fall chores last week, all the furniture and garden stuff is stored away, and I dug up lawn weeds, spread dirt, and seeded it this morning with rain due tomorrow. I’m in pretty good shape chore wise. Our blood has thickened up either, and it’s pretty darn cool as we maneuver that period right before you kick the furnace or the pellet stove on. Happy November to you and yours. πŸ™‚

    • Benjamin says:

      Wow, you’ve been the busy bee! Glad to hear your Autumn chores are going well. We’re looking forward to getting a little more done this weekend. Love this time of year! And a happy November to you and yours!

  5. Benjamin, I thought of you as I planted tomatoes, Black Cherry and Sweet 100. Sweet 100 has already set fruit and Black Cherry is brooding. The Peppers are also brooding. No Sunshine Bumblebee tomatoes to be found (hope I remembered that right) Loved the line about people and peppers, guess I am looking forward to a spicy old age. Enjoy your fall.

    • Benjamin says:

      Happy to hear about your tomatoes! But sad to hear you couldn’t find sunshine bumblebee (although it didn’t produce a lot of tomatoes for me so it won’t make the cut for next year’s patch). Cheers to a spicy old age πŸ™‚
      Happy November!

  6. A grand garden post! And yes you are so right, some chillies mellow with age while others really like to ‘pack a punch’. I smiled when I read about ‘melting your face’. Zooming into winter by the sounds of it, and we are in the midst of damp spring weather!

    • Benjamin says:

      Thanks, Julie! It’s funny how the cold and damp of spring feels different to us than the cold and damp of fall. We are girding our loins for winter. I think it would be hard for me to live someplace that doesn’t experience a marked difference in seasons…I love each one in its own way πŸ™‚ I’m looking forward to seeing spring erupt at your place through your lens! Cheers, Ben

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