Friday, October 16, 2009

An Early Warning

Winter's early breath had frozen all plants which had been blooming merrily, without any thought of  their forthcoming Death, when we arrived back home after our trip South.

The garden looks eerie...dead and skeletal Sunflower stalks rise out of the Soil with their leaves blackened and limp. Geraniums, once with such red, glowing flowers my eyes hurt to look at them, are now withered and brown.  It looks like a set for a movie about Hallowe'en.

I remembered to say goodbye to the late blooming plants before I left on holiday.  And when the weather forecaster warned the temperatures were -15C, here in the Cariboo, I was glad I had. I realized then there would be no more home-grown beauties I could cut for the indoors.

It was still a shock, on my return.  How quickly Mother Nature takes my efforts and destroys them! In the window boxes, dark, slimy vegetation has taken over the once sprightly blooms, making the house look abandoned and rather frightening.

It felt like a welcome home gone wrong.

It did not take long for the shock to recede...we live in the middle of the province, in the dry, cold, high interior, after all. What else could I expect?  It is the way of things, here.

There will still be a few warmish Days, before Winter blows in for good for a few months. During those Days, I will clean up the garden, also finishing the new beds I am in the process of creating. I could not pull out plants which were blooming heartily, before; now I look forward to cleaning them out.  Nature has a plan in mind, after all.

And this urge to clean, to prepare for Winter, has also moved indoors.  I am anticipating cleaning closets, which, during the Summer months, have somehow filled to bursting.

I wonder whether clothes procreate. Some of the items in the drawers are new to me, even, and I wonder when I bought them. Nevertheless, I am determined to have well-ordered drawers and closets in time for the full onslaught of Winter.

I imagine opening the sock drawer and finding just the perfect pair of warm socks immediately, instead of the wild searching I am doing at the present time.

With inclement weather arriving, it feels prudent to have the interior of our home just as sparse and spare as the outdoors.  Summer Flowers on the dining table have been replaced by a selection of Gourds and small Pumpkins, denoting the season... and the only decoration to be seen.

Candles have replaced the wildly profuse greenery which graced each table surface. Candles are important and useful; they are required during the times electrical power fails, and they lend such a cosy ambiance, when Wind rages outdoors.

Autumn is like this. Just now, a ferociously powerful South Wind is pushing back the strong North Wind.  Yet North Wind is implacable; he will be back, waiting and hovering just over the rise...

Even with the recent Winter warning residing in the back of my mind...I love, love, love walking with South Wind's breath full on my face. She is soft, caressing...she whispers her intent to return...

The Dogs are wildly excited, during this Morning's walk. They chase leaves, which blow about everywhere. Quickly, the ground is becoming a golden carpet. Just yesterday, I glanced out the window and was struck by the beauty of the red-brown-gold of the Saskatoon bushes on the far hill.

And so. Even with momentary disbelief upon my arrival home at the quick death of a garden, I can only think...

How perfectly and absolutely... beautiful and right...this time of year is!


  1. Having been born on Halloween (I am told) thus I consider myself new life amongst the demise of the summers' growth. I venture forth to represent the future times and sustain hope throughout the winters' cold-hold on the world around us.

    Not yet a freeze, but any day now. I am glad that you are one of those who bring flowers inside during the summer. Believe it or not I have met bloggers who do not pick their flowers -- I know not why?? Buggy perhaps

    Stock up on those winter books to read; magazines and tomes to bury the mind into hoping for enlightenment, or at least the pleasure of the well-turned word.

  2. I wish clothes did reproduce. I think dead stalks look pretty darn sad, but colorful leaves are pretty, so I consider it a season of trade-offs.

  3. Goatman,

    A Hallowe'en baby! And I love your comment..."thus I consider myself new life amongst the demise of the summers' growth." Your thoughts on this could instigate some super poetry.

    Part of the reason I grow flowers is so I can have them in the house, without losing a fortune buying them fresh. Before I left on holiday, I picked as many blooms as I could, but they've since died as well.

    So now is the time to pick some of the bush branches with their great coloured leaves and berries...and use them in the house instead.

    If one leaves the picked blooms in a jar outside for an hour or two, the insects flee and voila! no more bugs! Maybe a small green spider or two are left, though, lol!

    I've picked up a book called Weather in BC, a book on what else? weather in BC! It's amazing how many microclimates there are in this huge province, with so many valleys and mountains. I love weather in all its forms; this book will help a little in knowing what to expect when.

    And I have a couple of writing projects on the go, so I will practice "the pleasure of the well-turned word." Thanks for this comment, Goatman, it was great!


    Wouldn't it be great to live in a World where clothes just appeared? No shopping on the 'net or by foot in stores, no frustration or angst...just clothing, all new and pressed, which appears in the drawer. Or maybe, I could just try and manifest a maid!

    After the great Frost last week, even the leaves on the Aspens and Birches froze, and so we now have more brown than gold. Nevertheless, Asters' seedheads along with Willow branches are really attractive. And it's also time for the Mushrooms, some of which have colour which rivals summer blooms!

  4. Jealous of your autumn colors--we don't get any! (not in comparison, anyway!) Although our springtime azaleas are great... I figure I'll exchange a lovely autumn for a lovely spring, but sure wish I could have both!

  5. What a beautiful image you paint. We are finally getting some substantial rain, but the air is still warm (14C) during the day. We have had such a dry summer it is a welcome relief. I love this time of year. Things are more quiet and relaxed with thoughts of family and friends for the holiday seasons. - Margy

  6. At least you have real seasons there Marion. Yes its always good to put the garden to bed for the winter so that its ready and waiting for you next spring. I expect you get extra provisions in too and stock the freezer, exciting really.

  7. Funny thing about preparing for winter--we share the desire to get ready. I do love living where the seasons change! Like you, I waited until frost wilted the greenery before putting my little container garden to bed. Wishing you good fall days!

  8. Suddenly the garden is a memory turned to frost. Now your unprepared eyes and mind must turn to beautiful, Winter landscapes.

    You convey the stealth and shock of winter perfectly in this post and such a metaphor for all loss. I always enjoy reading your thoughtful posts.

  9. Marion, you make the Cariboo sound so romantic. You even make fall cleaning sound kind of ... fun.

  10. Daisy,

    I've seen photos of your azaleas...they are known for their brilliance! And if you don't get fall colour, you have those warm temperatures I see every time I visit your site. I envy those!


    We got some of that rain coming up from your way yesterday! How lovely and drippy it was, all closed in with mist and fog! Back to fairly cold temps today, though...I've put the fire on.

    So good to see you on Blogland Lane! Love your cabin...and oh! how I miss being on the Water.


    Yes, we do set supplies in place. Garden production this year was far from perfect, but it will get better as the seasons go on. But I'm loaded up with tomatoes and apples. Sauce will be coming up!

    There is definitely a cozy feeling in being prepared for Winter's worst onslaught!


    There is no way I could tear up those pretty, hardy flowers before, even when I knew they would only be that way for a few more days.

    I think Fall cleaning is more important to me than Spring cleaning!


    Such lovely words, I so admire your comments! Thank you so life's a little brighter today!

  11. seems like just yesterday that you were talking about autumn and winter and here they come again. just reading to your writting them is beautiful :)

  12. itsme,

    The Cariboo can be romantic to me, if my mindset hasn't frozen solid. Right now, with that soft Wind and the gentle's really great!

    That new puppy of yours will love to help with the clean-up of the garden!


    The seasons pass quickly here, with Winter being the longest, I think. I have great faith right now that our Winter may be less vicious than last year...we've had Rain lately instead of Snow. So wonderful!

  13. Hello Marion,

    Those beautiful Autumn skies you posted makes up for all the dreary black skeletons in the garden.

    Isn't it interesting about the urge to clean up outside and inside at this time of year? I think it is nature's call to take stock of the abundance of the summer and to put things away for the deep winter. We organize and make space for something new to come forth as we contemplate the passing from fullness to decrease.