The fire is crackling, the dew is settling and the full moon is so bright that I can clearly see the two does quietly munching on fallen apples in the lower field. They don’t seem to mind that Pico and I are outside, and quite frankly, I’m happy that they don’t.
Fall is here. About half of the hardwoods around have either lost all their leaves or are changing color as we speak. I think it’ll be a poor year for fall colors. Too many trees have already changed, and there are still plenty that are solid green. The colors are changing too slowly for there to be any real “peak” this year.
The other very noticeable change is the amount of daylight we are having. It’s starting to get dark around seven-thirty at night, as oppose to the nine or nine-fifteen of a few months ago. It’s more tolerable now, with the solar panel powering a couple of nice LED lights. But still, winter is coming and it won’t be all that long.
I’ve got a good stockpile of wood, well over two full cords, but I will still have to buy some to get me through. A few face cords should cover me, and I’m hoping that once the new wood stove is installed, it will prove to be more efficient than the old on. Even if it’s not, it will still be an improvement.
The shed is two-thirds full, and once it is really stocked up, I will feel much better. There’s a certain comfort in knowing that no matter what, I will at least have enough wood to get me trough my third winter out here. Plus, I have some extra in the old shed, acting as a security blanket, as well as insulation.
I’ve started picking some apples too. They’re not all quite ripe yet, but those that are have for the most part been good. Some are sweet and meaty, while two other trees are producing big apples that have a pleasant tartness to them. It’s fun to taste and look for good apples, and to know that pretty soon I’ll be filling my weekends and evenings making apple sauce, butter, jelly, and cider.
Well, the peaceful serenity of a crackling fire and chirping crickets has come to an abrupt end. Pico noticed (finally!) the two deer only a few hundred feet away. He barked as he took off after them, like he always does. He stood absolutely no chance of coming anywhere near catching a deer, but it was valiant, though loud, effort. Luckily for him and them that he doesn’t need to hunt for food.