Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Fall Harvest

When I was young, “hunting season” meant small game: rabbits, pheasant, ducks, squirrels. It certainly did not mean the white-tailed deer. Deer were so rare that seeing one was the outdoor thrill of the year. Today, I spot a roadkill carcass almost every mile on the way to work. Today, “Hunting season” in Eastern Pennsylvania means deer (and sometimes turkey) and little else. The annual deer hunt is so essential to the rural experience that the local schools are all closed on the Monday after Thanksgiving, the traditional “First Day” of buck season.
We see plenty of deer around the lodge, and see plenty of the damage that these four-legged locusts do to crops and the woods. But then, deer have become a crop of their own, like cattle or pigs. It’s just a little harder to kill them, that’s all. Still, we saw some success this fall during bow-and-arrow. We hope that our hunters will have even more success during the upcoming rifle season. Otherwise, we might be left with nothing but old trees, ferns and timothy hay.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The mixed days of October

This has to have been one of the wettest years in our memory (Sorry, California). The apples are huge (but with so much water, almost flavorless). The kernels on the corn are huge too, but the cobs from our sadly depleted field were small. It seemed as if it rained every weekend, making it hard to get work done on the house. Still, some progress continued. We had our "final" inspection, then spent two weekends fixing all the little details the inspectors wanted. One of those being a street number for emergency responders. We had a number by our gate, but decided to add our mailbox. Its numbers will be hard to miss.
Not much fall color this year. Again, too wet. This weekend it blew and blew and rained, and the leaves came down.
The corn is gone, replaced by gazing deer and a rye cover crop. We walked the field, picking up "cobby" corn to feed to Laura and Steve's chickens. We picked up plenty of golf balls too. once lost in the corn by golfers on the adjoining course, but easy to spot now with the corn down. After three years of injecting "Merit" into the ground, our hemlock appears Wooly Adelgia free and healthy. We will continue to hope.
The house is holding onto its temperature and remains comfortable. More amd more, this is our home.