One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."


There’s a certain energy in the autumn that seems to pull you in two directions.  After watching the life of the garden all summer, there’s a bit of sadness about knowing these cooler temperatures move us closer to the end of this year’s blooming.  The fall leaves stun us with their brilliance,  but even that is borne of decay, of the end of things.

Ahead of us looms the cold winter of the unknown, behind us the warmth of summer’s sunflowers.  While there’s always a bittersweet feeling to the season, I also enjoy winter’s particular treasures, too:  stew cooking on snowy afternoons, the long cosy evenings for looking through seed and nursery catalogs, or just snuggling up with a good book.  Red berries encased in ice, snow drifted in the dunes.  Knowing these are in the future, it’s hard to begrudge the passing of the summer.

And Autumn has much to praise, as well.  The brilliant colors of the leaves in the trees, the fading glory of long-lived hydrangeas, the tangy scent of dying leaves and woodsmoke in the air.  Perhaps because it comes and goes so quickly, Fall is harder to love.  One minute, its brilliant colors steal your breath, one minute more and those colors are only a shadow of the tree in a puddle on the browning grass below.

With those cooler temperatures and gray afternoons, this week brought the notion that if plants were going to be saved from the summer, they ought to be saved now, and so I have welcomed lantana, fuschia and marine heliotrope into a few of the Nest’s windows.  We’ll see how they do.

The season marches on, day pages blowing off the calendar like autumn leaves in the wind.   This week brought a fun surprise with the arrival of a package from my international blogger friend Martin, from Germany.

To be fair, it wasn’t a total surprise, as he’d had to ask for a mailing address…and that was some time ago, owing to the medieval methods by which packages are apparently still delivered between our countries in this modern age….but still this is a touching housewarming gift from so far away.

You can see there’s some yummy chocolate, a book on Germany and a lovely blanket, which I understand was handmade by Martin’s mother!  Thank you my friend; your offering is a blessing which makes the Nest feel more like home!

Fueled by some of those champagne truffle chocolates, I got the orange accent wall painted in the bathroom Monday night.  I’m not entirely sure what I think of it at present.  It may be a bit much; in which case, I’m thinking a lighter wash of the yellow on the accompanying walls might take away some of the sharpness of the contrast, while still leaving a bit of a difference.  Or, I might just paint it yellow.  We’ll see.

Tuesday’s weather was much nicer, with warm sunshine and temperatures back in the sixties.  This turned out to be a good thing.  I was driving to the bank when I saw what the sky was doing.  I think in cases like this it is almost always important to stop and look if possible.   Here’s a few views of Boat Meadow Creek marsh as I passed by.

I was especially glad to have stopped for the image below, with the tree and the red and green oak leaves, and the meadow beyond.  What a shot.  If only there’d been a duck or a heron to populate the space.

Now, perhaps it was the sunny sky, with its amazing cloud configurations or maybe just the temperate day and the flowers that remain here and there on the landscape.  Or perhaps my mind just wasn’t fully on the task at hand.  No matter at this point, as I pulled into my parking spot at the bank, I miscalculated and went up over the curbstone…doing this to my driver’s side tire.

I could hardly have been more annoyed with myself, and of course, since it was the spot closest to the bank entrance, it was sort of a public forum for changing a tire.

But I was reminded that I was able to do that and do it pretty well (once I’d remembered the whole righty-tighty, lefty-loosey thing, that is…) and in a short enough amount of time that only one old guy had the opportunity to come along and laugh outright at my minor misfortune.  Despite this, I managed to resist the temptation to wish him a broken hip, and drove off on my little temporary donut tire to the local tire shop, where I replaced the front two tires on the car.

Eventually, when all this was done, I was able to resume my day, which included my first visit to the local landfill/transfer station (finally got my Dump sticker this past weekend!).  Which is where I spotted this great flock…well, gaggle really, I suppose…of Canada geese.

One of the great things about dumps in New England (perhaps it’s a more wide-spread phenomenon than I realize) is the swap shop.  It’s a small building off to the side of the property, where people drop off the things they don’t really want that aren’t strictly trash.  It’s sort of like an on-going flea market/tag sale, except everything’s free.  You take something, you leave something.  Every town seems to have a different name for theirs.  Orleans’ is called the Gift House.  :  )

I did have a look around, just to see what was there, though I resisted the temptation to load up on a lot of crap, since I already seem to have a surplus of this.   Perhaps I was looking to see if they had enough room for some of my stuff.  But I do want to go back and look more closely at some of the chairs/benches they had outside, which I only noticed as I was driving away.

Meanwhile, back at the Nest, the Cat and I have more or less come to some agreement on the placement of the carpet.  At least, as our days cool off, he seems more amenable to there being a nice flat section of it in the sun for him to lounge in, so he may charge up his solar cells for future episodes of Zooming.

One of my projects this week has been the painting of some old photo frames, which I’m hoping to use to frame up some of my garden photos.  The styles of the frames were all different, so to unify things, I’ve painted them all with this wonderful pale green called Sherwood Green.  It’s going to look great against the yellow (and possibly the orange) bathroom walls.

Since our temps dropped down into the high thirties last night (it’s the slippery slope now, it seems), we did put the heat on pretty low last night,  just to take the chill off.  Fortunately, utilities are included in the rental price, so its nice not to have to worry as much about the oil prices.


Comments on: "Turning" (11)

  1. Oops! Sorry to read about the boo boo with the tire. Our leaves are mostly gone now, everything is that dull grey colour as if nature is waiting on the white blanket to cover everything. There is even ice on the small ponds some days. By the way, has anyone seen our geese? They are missing! Nah we just sent them down to you so that they can poop in your parks for a while now! ;)

    My fav was the oak picture!

    Thanks for the goose poop, Steven – you’re the best!!

  2. We got yer goose poop here in The South, too. I love the sound of honking geese flying overhead. Haven’t been pooped on yet.

    Badum looks so regal sitting there on that orange carpet. Glad he has a nice sunny spot there.

    I think I like the orange wall, just looking at this picture. The picture doesn’t show much of the room, though, and in the total room experience it might look and/or feel different. I like the idea of the yellow wash over the orange if the orange is too much.

  3. we haven’t voluntarily turned up the heat as yet. only one radiator has come on is in the bathroom, which is a nice thing when showering in the morning. otherwise the heat is still off in all other rooms and i’m still sleeping with my bedroom window open and the fan blowing the cold breeze right onto me.

    except for the dying foliage, i <3 fall.

    sucks about the flat tyre. too bad you didn’t look the old putz in the eye and tell him that come winter you’re going to laugh at him when he’s flat on his back after slipping on the ice.

  4. 3 things…

    1) the package from the international blogger looks very, very cool. Yeah on the German chocolate… Yummy. Germany seems to have niceish picture books on itself. I base this on the one I got from my father on Berlin that am reading and other ones have seen or bought. They have just enough information on the things and usually have nice pics. Though occasionally you can tell that the person is translating the text into English.

    2) I don’t know why it’s so blessed hard to ship packages across the pond either, but it seems to be slightly more painstaking and time consuming than it should be.

    3) Am glad your sun-worshipper has a place to bask in the sun…

    (Okay, I lied. 4) 4. What’s the plant in the window sill? Looks familiar.

    It sounds like you are perfectly describing the book Martin sent along!

    The last photo is a fuschia plant brought in for the winter. The orange and red blooming plant in the earlier photo (hanging basket) is lantana.

  5. Wow, you’ve been so busy and I have such a lot to catch up on! Your new blog home is shaping up to be as beautiful as your nest :) Thanks for stopping by my blogs – and I’ll get those links changed asap!

    Thanks for the updated links, Bird. Hope to get my Blogroll restored here at this new location over the weekend!

  6. The beauty of those Canada Geese has been dulled by their neverending presence here in the Midwest. The year-round green grass has drawn a population of non-migratory flocks; they never leave. That means hundreds of these avian cows are grazing in corporate parks, malls, greenways, golf courses, etc., leaving a pound of poop per bird per day. We actually have businesses whose job it is to clear away geese on a daily basis. Good dog!

    They have grown into a complication in many areas, Birdie, that’s for sure!

  7. Gifts! Can’t think of a nicer guy for a housewarming gift! And an international one, at that!

    Some how I seem to eat tires. All the time. My car, my daughters, the lawn mower. I just tear them up all the time. Glad I’m not totally alone on that, but I wouldn’t wish it on you. Sorry about that.

    Gifts *are* always fun, Joebear. Tearing up tires, not so much…so I’m glad that’s not a habit…hope it won’t become one, either!

  8. Sorry about your flat tire. Having two new ones put on the car before winter is probably a good idea.

    Last night it was in the 30s and there was frost on the neighbor’s roof tiles. Leaves are really falling and I wonder if we are going to have a winter that is less mild than last winter was.

    We had our first freeze warning last night, but only seem to have gotten as close as 36. Tonight’s almost balmy with 47! Still, it’s more than clear that the season’s changing…haven’t seen any wooley caterpillars with which to predict the oncoming season, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see!

    No matter what, I will be glad to have the new tires on!!

  9. Gifts! How fun. And the end of the autumn colors always makes me a bit sad. Still, I can see the horizon better because the trees behind the house have shed. I’ve already put the snow tires on.

    Yes, every season has it’s pleasures. I always enjoy the formerly-hidden views revealed by the shedding of summer’s greenery! Sorry about the snow…

  10. A dump sticker? Does that brand you as a local? I see it gets you into the best of clubs. I actually enjoy trips to the dump. Not sure if “enjoy” is actually the right word–more “interesting” to get an anthropologist’s view of our culture without having to dig in someone’s trash bins. I guess these days anthropologists can just read our blogs to figure out what our culture is doing.

    Thanks for sharing the geese shots. I suppose one man’s joy is another’s trash species. I see so few of them here it’s still a pleasure to encounter some.

    Dumps have always been interesting to me. When we first moved to the Adirondacks, the local dump was THE place for tourists to go to watch the black bears! Now, they are only transfer stations, so don’t attract the same level of wildlife (or media – Dan Rather showed up with a crew one summer) attention these days. But I do like the New England swap shop concept…!

    And I am still a fan of the geese, even tho they aren’t popular everywhere. Of course, I’ve never had a Slipping in Goose Poo incident, either, which I imagine could serious inform a revised opinion of them.

  11. Glad to hear that you were fortunate to get these flats (of tires, not flowers ;-) )at a bank and not on the road! Regarding the shot in the meadow, you can always crop yourself in there waving to us!

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