the creatures of late summer
Monday, October 5 2015
Gretchen got up a little early this morning so she could drive down to Wallkill Correctional Facility. She walked fed the animals and walked the dogs, but because she left so early, the dogs thought they had another walk coming when I got up. I could tell, because they started playing vigorously and otherwise yarfing about. So I took them on a short walk that involved the lower part of the Chamomile Headwaters Trail and about a quarter mile of the Stick Trail. I didn't bring my firewood gathering gear, though I brought home a 11.5 pound stick from one of my staging areas along the trail. Later I would go and fetch another 108.8 pounds from down along the Gullies Trail. Unfortunately, the saw wasn't cutting very well; it was getting pinched in the cut even when the weight of the wood should have been counteracting such pinching.
Still later, I cut up some unbucked pieces around the woodshed which came to 127.6 pounds in total, meaning 247.9 pounds of wood went into the woodshed today. In addition to that, I cut up wood salvaged very close to the woodshed for 89.3 pounds that went directly into the house, available for immediate burning. Remember, I will be weighing all the wood that I'll be burning as I bring it into the house.
It was a very sunny day, with a few cirrus clouds hopefully heralding an approaching warm front. Because the house was a little colder than comfortable without the woodstove going, I suggested Gretchen make use of the greenhouse. She and Ramona ended up being down there for hours.
The autumnal chill has arrived a little too early for the creatures of late summer, and they've been soldiering on as best they can. Earlier in the day, I saw a little foot-long garter snake sunning itself beside a puddle in the Stick Trail just north of the Chamomile. Then, in the place where I gathered firewood along the Gullies trail, there was an orb spider the size of a marble in the center of her web, surrounded by bagged-up kills. She doesn't have much time left, but it would be nice if she could have a few more warm sunny days. As for the bumblebees, they're practically warm-blooded in their furry thoraxes. I saw them cheerfully visiting flowers in the middle of the afternoon when temperatures were maybe in the mid-60s. And tonight I heard a katydid slowly doing the cha-cha-cha-cha call, a poignantly optimistic plea for Darwinian relevance.
This evening Gretchen prepared a noodle bake, a treat we haven't had in awhile. I mixed chunks of fresh jalapeños into mine.
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