Though officially still a few days away, fall has come to the mountains. After a cool, rainy summer, we have had a dry spell of several weeks, today is chilly and foggy with a slight chance of afternoon showers as another front moves through. It is unlikely that the colors will be stunning this year. After two years of dry conditions and the stress of too much water this year, the trees that normally color first are browning and dropping their leaves instead
There are hints of color change, the emerald greens of summer are now dull, hints of rust and reds appearing.
The weather lore is that the morning fogs we have been experiencing for several weeks portend early and heavy snow. Last autumn, we had a school closing snow in October. Hopefully that won’t be the case this year since I went to the effort of putting in a fall garden. We have only lived in the mountains for 8 years and I have noticed that none of our farmer neighbors put in fall gardens. As I was pulling spent summer plants, weeding beds and dumping the weeds in the chicken pen, I wondered if by now, they are just tired of their gardens, or if by experience, they know that the weather will win. Most of them don’t work to keep the weeds at bay after their plants are established. They till it all in come spring, or they put down huge sheets of black plastic, punch holes in it and plant through the holes. I don’t want my food growing in beds that have plastic leeching into them. I will continue to weed, mulch and hope for the best. Perhaps, one of the huge round bales of hay should be spread around the trees in the orchard and over the fallow beds and aisles soon.