Monday, October 27, 2008

Chores

Saturday dawned bright and brisk. The perfect autumn day to spend in the garden. With a chilly wind blowing but the sun warm on my back I took down all my wren houses. Time to bring them in and do some repairs and touch up painting before storing them over the winter. The wrens will be back next May and expect the houses to be clean and neat for their new families. Several larger birdhouses will be left up all winter. Birds like chickadees will be grateful to huddle inside them on cold winter nights.

The favorite and the first wren house occupied every year is the white one with the decorative cutouts. I guess birds have a sense of style too.

I decided to enlarge three flower beds so I spent a couple hours cutting out sod and re-edging. Today I'm feeling a few muscles I don't remember having. This is my favorite spade. I bought it probably 15 years ago. Perfect for edging borders, removing strips of sod, and especially moving perennials in and out of tight places. It keeps a very sharp edge all season.

Now that I've given myself a little extra space, I can get busy planting some spring bulbs.

My friend is giving me a toothy grin for the camera;)


Sunday blew in with a vengeance. I dug out the warm down vest and braved the 60-mile per hour winds to fill the bird feeders. As I watched the leaves swirling madly around me I felt the first ominous splat--a large wet snowflake on my face. The season's first snow. It didn't amount to much and lasted only about 10-minutes. Still, a reminder that good weather is to be treasured late in October.

In the afternoon, I took a scenic drive out to one of our local apple orchards. They have the best apple cider donuts served fresh and hot with glasses of fresh pressed cider. Brought back a dozen donuts and several gallons of cider to enjoy later.



43 comments:

Frances said...

Hi Marnie, I love this post! It is a perfect picture of the season right now, birds, blustery wind, bulb planting and treats! Hot apple cider sounds pretty good right now. I love that shovel, it looks just like one that I have that was my grandmother's. They are very hard to find anymore, but are the best size for all the jobs I do around here. We have little carolina wrens all year, they are so brave. The little house wrens must go farther south during winter. You have inspired my to bundle up and go to our local farm for pumpkins and apples. Thanks for that.
Frances
http://fairegarden.wordpress.com/

tina said...

Love that toothy grin! It is too cute. A perfect Hallooooween picture. Your wrens are very lucky to have such nice houses and a caretaker who takes good care of them. Soon they will be back.

racquel said...

You've been a busy getting your garden ready for winter & next spring. That picture of your cat with the "toothy grin" is priceless. :)

Rose said...

Oh no, snow already?! I planted a few more bulbs on Sunday, but the wind was just too much for me.

The apple orchard you visited does sound much like the one we have here. Hot apple cider and fresh doughnuts--a perfect way to spend a fall afternoon!

flydragon said...

Great collection of wren houses you have. I only have two but since I've only had one family using them over the years, I guess that's enough.
I also have a spade just like that. I didn't realize they were hard to come by these days so I guess I should start treating mine a little better, before he decides to move on to a different owner.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Frances, I bet really good quality spades are hard to find nowdays. I hope mine lasts another 10+ years.

I wish we had the Carolina wrens here. Too many house wrens is suppose.
Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Good morning Tina, there were house wrens here when I moved in. The place is as much theirs as mine I guess. Great little bug catchers;)
Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hey Racquel, I have three littermate cats with extra long teeth. Sabretooth tiger heritage I'm sure;)
Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Rose, I love the apple orchards in the fall. Fun places and yummy treats;)
Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Flydragon. I hadn't thought about the spades being hard to find either but I'll bet they are. Like you said, we need to take good care of them! I'm not real careful about tools but I may make the exception.
Marnie

Cordwood Cabin said...

I'm sure the wrens appreciate the "renovations" made over the winter, so their houses are nice and tidy in the spring. Love the post below about old "ghostly" movies (I have a quite a few those lying around that we watch each Halloween ... my personal favorite is "The Brain That Wouldn't Die").

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Cordwood Cabin. I haven't seen the "Brain"--or maybe I have. Was that the one where the brain was in the big jar? I did like the Blob though;)

Darla said...

I have visited your blog several times and really enjoy it. I am adding you to my blog list, hope that's okay. Great photos of the bird houses and the bin with all the pumpkins, warm apple cider sounds good, it might actually get in the low 30's here tonight, not normal for our area this time of the year.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Darla, I'm glad you stopped by to visit. I stopped by your site and enjoyed the lovely flower photos. Hope it doesn't get that cold. Always sad to see the garden killed by unseasonable cold snaps.
Marnie

Carla said...

I love your bird houses. And your friend with the toothy grin...too cute!

Shellmo said...

Your toothy kitty is too cute!! Almost looks like he has fangs! Loved the autumn photos - you have such a nice blog!

Jamie and Randy said...

I look forward to the day we have trees large enough to hang bird houses from the limbs. :-) That sky in the punkn' pic looks like it may be hiding some changes in weather.-Randy

Gail said...

marnie, I love your collection of wren houses! Your friend needs a cape and he would be the perfect Vampire Cat for Halloween! Let me chime in on the spade/shovel...I have been on a fruitless hunt to locate one since my favorite cracked. I miss it very much!

Gail

Sherri said...

Marnie, I just love fresh apple cider! Lucky you!

Rambling Woods said...

Hi Marnie..I wanted to put up a chickadee house, but have to make it so the house sparrows can't get in there. I thought when you said you felt a "splat" and were under the bird feeders, that it was some birdy doo as that has happened to me. My feeders are so busy all of a sudden with the cold weather...

DP Nguyen said...

What a cute little cat-toothie smile. All those pumpkins look great too, and the spade in the dirt- great photos!

oldcrow61 said...

Sounds like you've been very busy. The cat is a beauty and that toothy grin...lol. Great pictures.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Carla, he never gets to go outside anymore so he couldn't stop smiling about being out in the sunshine;)

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Hi Shellmo, those fangs are genetic. All the cats from that litter have extra long fangs. Sabretooth ancestors maybe;)

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Randy and Jamie, every year I add more wren houses. I think the babies born here return. Lucky I have several big trees.

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Hi Gail, until Frances mentioned they were hard to find, I hadn't thought about it. Guess I need to take extra care of mine. It's called a tile spade, you could google them or check out Lee Valley.

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Sherri, I love fresh cider too. Much better than the supermarket stuff.

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Hi RamblingWoods. In my area the chickadees nest very early, several weeks before the house wrens arrive for the summer. Also there is a super easy guard you can install over the roof that is supposed to deter the little home wrecking wrens.

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi dp, glad to see you back. Yes, this kitty is a charmer;)

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Hi OldCrow, I will have to tell him everyone thinks he's cute.

Marnie

Layanee said...

Wonderful photos and the pumpkins in the crate = October!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Layanee, signs of autumn are everywhere.
Marnie

Kathleen said...

What a productive day you had Marnie! Lots of chores done. That always makes me feel good. I love your wren house collection ~ do they all get used?? I didn't get one wren to nest in my yard this year so I'm envious. I have a spade like that too and between it and my large fork (I forget the actual name) I have my "go to" gardening tools. Yum on the fresh cider and donuts. I haven't ever had an apple cider donut but it sounds incredible.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Kathleen, yes every one gets used. Wrens have more than one family each summer so they usually move to another house after the first babies leave the nest.

Arija said...

Hi Marnie, there is always extra work in the garden as the seasons change. Wonderfully helpful cat lovingly squinting up at you. Judging by the toothy grin, it has obviously reached its years of wisdom. Great apple orchard you go to.

Cynthia's Cottage Design said...

Thanks so much for the comments and the visit!! I just realized that I had your link hooked up to an old post in May, so I would check in and it looked like you hadnt done a post since May! omg, I missed so much! I was a techy new-bie back then and must have messed it up! I adore your blog so much! Its fixed now, so I'll be back often!

~ Hugs ~ Cynthia ~

Dog_geek said...

Ah, chores! We planted about a bazillion bulbs this past weekend, and was a little sore, too. (Not as bad as I feared, though!) We did another stretch of fenceline with daffodils, and also planted bunch more windflowers, and some oxalis and scilla. We'll see what grows in the spring!

ChrisND said...

Sunday was a bit cold here too...Today and tomorrow should be great days - though I don't think I have many chores now. I hope your toothy friend stays safe over the Friday "holiday".

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

I spent some time browsing your blog.You have some lovely pictures.Thanks for your comments on my site.As I checked your profile I noticed that you like Lorreena McKinnet music.That is interesting as she grew up in my home town,Morden,Manitoba.

BeadedTail said...

Oh I love this post! Your photos are wonderful and your descriptions make me feel like I'm right there! I especially love the toothy grin! So cute!

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Arija, I know, the work never really ends;)

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Hi Cynthia, I always get such good ideas when I visit your site. I'll be spending more time worrying about indoor projects this winter. See you often.

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Good morning Dog Geek, I can't wait to see photos in the spring. Sounds like it will be beautiful.

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Hi Chris, he will be tucked up in his little bed Friday;) He only goes outside very briefly when I'm out working.

Marnie

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Ruth, how interesting about Loreena. Did you know her?

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Hi Beadedtail, tell your kitties Voodoo sends his regards;)

Marnie

TC said...

You can tell that spade's well worn. I need a new one. Who made yours?

As much as I love apples, I've never cared for apple cider. Am I weird?
At first glance, I thought that guy in the Edwards Apple Orchard photo was drinkin apple cider from a pumpkin flask. Yes, I'm weird.

The Garden Faerie said...

Don't you just love fall? I love finishing up gardening tasks for the season, and you have such a handsome helper!
~ Monica

Deb said...

What a wonderful blog you have! I found you through Sherry @ Q's corner. Your sidebar photos of garden birds and your pets are lovely!

George Africa said...

Whenever I see bird houses pictured or mentioned, I try to offer up a website I like a lot. It's from Browns Foster Home in Rome, Maine. Building birdhouses is an activity and a fund raiser for them. Check out http://recycledbirdhouses.com

I met some of the crew the first year they showed at the Laudholm Craft Festival in Wells, Maine. (Another great place to visit in September!) They have been building houses ever since.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
http://thevermontgardener.blogspot.com
Vermont Gardens
http://vermontgardens.blogspot.com
Vermont Flower Farm
http://vermontflowerfarm.com