This morning it was nice and cool so we planted a few plants for our fall garden. This fall, we expect to be harvesting tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, bell peppers, cilantro, jalapeno peppers and cucumbers. We are trying out a new brand of tomato plant called Sunmaster. We have had a lot of trouble with fungus in the past few years and this one is supposed to be good for that. We'll give it a shot.
We trimmed our overgrown wisteria back to give our herb garden a little more sun. Our rosemary and oregano is growing strong as well as the apple mint. We had some record heat and very little rain so we lost the basil, parsley and lavender. Our green onions are hanging on. I want to replant what we lost so a trip to my favorite plant store, Nelson Water Garden, is in order. I'm looking for squash plants and hope to find some in the next few days.
A friend told me that the old wives tale is that if there is extreme weather in the summer, we can expect the same in winter. I told her we were both old wives, so it was probably true!
Here are some signs of a hard winter from the Farmer's Almanac that made me laugh:
Thicker than normal corn husks. (haven't shucked any corn lately)
Woodpeckers sharing a tree.
Early arrival of the Snowy Owl. (none here)
Early departure of geese and ducks.
Early migration of the Monarch butterfly.
See how high the hornet’s nest, will tell how high the snow will rest. (and get stung)
Unusual abundance of acorns
Thick hair on the nape of a cow’s neck. (haven't gone up to any cows and squeezed their necks lately)
Early arrival of crickets on the hearth. (my friend Sarah just screamed)
Raccoons with thick tails and bright bands. (couldn't that be a sign of a good diet?)
Pigs gathering sticks. (what?)
Insects marching a bee-line rather than meandering. (do ants count?)
Early seclusion of bees within the hive.
Muskrats burrowing holes high on the riverbank. (ewwwww)
The squirrel gathers nuts early to fortify for winter.
Frequent halos or rings around the sun or moon forecasts numerous snows. (why in the world are you looking at the sun? a hard winter and blindness. It's not going to be a fun Christmas.)
Mice eating ravenously into a home. (you have more problems than just a hard winter)
Heavy and numerous fogs in August.
Spiders spinning larger than normal webs and entering the house in great numbers. (my friend Sarah just screamed again)
The wollybear caterpillar – A narrow orange band in the middle of the caterpillar warns of heavy snow; fat and fuzzy caterpillars warns of bitter cold. Also… a rough winter if you see lots of them crawling around, their movement is slow or you saw them crawling before the first frost. (how fast are they supposed to go? and how do you measure their speed? Teensy radar guns?)
Old wives and farmers. Apparently not a very reliable group. I'll just stick with the Weather Channel.