The first brush with Fall

A Fall storm slid through the gorge this weekend dropping temps ,bringing with it a nice light show for us as well as some needed rain.

ChaChaChaChanges

Ma , my better half , and I decided we didn’t have much to do on our list and planned to just take it easy …. Then we proceeded to toss on our work clothes and head outside.

The morning was definitely Fall – like  , Some of our trees are already turning and though it has been very warm ; in the 80s even up here , you can simply feel the Fall slipping in.

Ma , of course , jumped into carpenter mode , no stretch for her . She had a plan and either I did what little I needed to do to get a few things ready for her or I would get grumpy as she would do the heavy stuff herself while I would come a runnin’ to stop her…. She’s a force of Nature . The cabinet where the dishwasher had been finished , she wanted to start on the Pantry . I had made a suggestion a while back about using some left overs from the last project setting Ma onto this one…It seemed an innocent comment at the time…Yes , I do have a few comments that seem innocent…No , really…. Just not often..

Ma on her way , I wasn’t going to sit back and watch , there is ALWAYS a running list , so I started on my outdoor projects .

The day was beautiful , no breeze fairly warm , for being early  and the clouds were thin wispy coverings high above …. While Ma and I were getting ready for the day , as always , we were on the porch waiting for the Sun to rise. The only kids that didn’t stop by were Dumbear , Bobcat and her kitty kids , Wolffie , of course, isn’t around here this time of year , and the nasty cougar kids ; they are best seen from a distance or in one of the rigs..But more on all of that later..

The weather being so perfect up here , there was no way we could settle inside without some Zen time. While Ma carpentered away , I stuck to the , if it’s green and in the wrong spot , it needs to go mode. Grasses are mostly dormant up here from late Spring to Mid Fall.. Only Nasty weeds grow anywhere during that time other than Lil Eden , Hummie Garden , The small Apple Orchard and Test Garden. Most of our weeds tend to be stickery … Not bad enough my tan ” yard” is just sitting there when the flatlands is all green.. We get weeds that grab at you and then poke you..Jerks..

We ended up with a nice harvest again as well. Zukes fer cookin and zukes for grinding for baking. Several kinds of peppers , hot , for drying.  Tomatoes for canning…finally they are starting to ripen..Lazy butts.. A Ton of Basil ..all drying as well. We still need to run another harvest of our other herbs but it all takes time .

I was running one of the heavy weed eaters we have up here when I got to the Apple Orchard.. There were a lot of Golden Delicious apples on the ground , which happens with all the winds up here… But the ground was all but covered. I grabbed up one that was in good shape and La ! it was ripe…Two weeks ahead of schedule..Dang..I grabbed our first apple box and filled it …Meanwhile …Yellow Jackets and Hornets started giving me serious crap . They were covering the apples that were covering the ground and were NOT happy that I was stomping around on them and their apples….Yup , I got stung…and I got mad.. duh… I grabbed a can of hornet spray and covered the Yellow Jackets and Hornets that were covering the apples that were covering the ground… Now THEY were mad too… Now I made a serious dent in the jerks , however, they had family visiting who were not so happy with me either…. I managed to get another box fairly full before I couldn’t do any more . They were landing on my neck and in my ears , constantly nagging at me and generally being a PIA… We still have a lot more on the tree but it is a start… Hopefully the damn squirrels don’t get to the rest first . Those buggers can strip a tree in a day while Ma and I are working. A couple years ago , we had full trees midweek , I had planned to harvest that weekend . When I got to the trees there wasn’t a single apple anywhere. They had already done the same to our tomatoes .. They went on the ” Hit List ” . Those suckers are hard to get. Unlike Greydiggers , these buggers KNOW  we are after them and wait until we can’t get to them to make their raids.

The day was warming , but not as much as it has been. I knew we had changes coming but didn’t expect them until today… A nice breeze was building from out of the East , keeping the house , except for my office , cool. My room was in the 80s , not a fan of being hot in my room… As the day progressed , the wind slowly moved to the South and soon it was out of the West….and then out of the North and the speed built up.

We had planned on venison for dinner as it was a perfect day to grill ….Yeah… Oh well. By the time we were back inside the winds were banging at the deck area and I was having doubts about the grill. Not enough to cook up to run the Wood , I went with Propane side of the grill.. which is fairly lame unless you are cooking fish or fowl .I got a solid 250F …until the winds hit now it was down to 210F..crap.. slow cooking it is then. Fortunately , it doesn’t take long to cook venison. You really are looking for a range of 130 – 145 internal temp ..145 is really pushing it If you cook it harder than that it’ll taste like liver..unless you are making a roast or some such .. Steaks.. nope.. Liver…bleh.. Slow cooking kinda messes with that . I rather like to have them crisp outside and gitter done…210? yeah , not going to happen. By the time I got the temp up to grill , the storm hit…. Awesome..Pinging rain had dropped the temp again. They turned out great anyway . I had marinated them in ” Goose Juice ” …no , not made from geese… and we had a nice fresh salad to go with it. Slick and easy.

I ran the camera out to try to catch some lightning…The lightning did not want to be captured by the black box any more than any of the kids.. Camera to the west..Strikes in the North , camera to the North , strikes in the South Storms so wide spread and so long lasting ; it was still going on early this morning , you can have a rough time catching the action.

The temp , in the house , dropped twenty degrees over night. We are both running heat in our offices today.. I had AC running in mine yesterday afternoon..Dang..

4 years

This is the Anniversary ” issue” of the Sunday Post by the way ..

A big share of the posts are gone now thanks to dealing with a bunch of jerk hackers , but on the bright side , I can tell some of those stories over again ..heh..

Four years at at least one post a week, as I have put out several short stories to go along with the Sunday Posts. That’s a lot of Sarcasm . I’d just like to thank those of you that take the time to read my musings. This keeps things a little thinned out in my head and helps to mostly keep me from putting them up in places like Facebook ….Though I do get bored sometimes when we are watching what little TV we do watch and I get on a roll… not too often anymore.

Final Thoughts

Winter is coming…..I think the mud on my boots is still damp from Spring.. Where did the Summer go? Oh..Right.. work and dealing with my knee.. It did fly by , as always.

This summer was better than the last couple with far less fires this year. It’s been nice to be able to enjoy the outside this year instead of trying to keep the smoke out of the house as much as possible. Even with the rain it is still going to be dry out there and hunting seasons are well under way but we’ll hope for continued lesser fire and smoke.

Ma has  six cords of wood coming so it is time again to fill the wood room and wood shed. I am sure glad my knee is finally starting to do better. Tractor still down , we are picking up parts this week  and hope for the best with that. I am not all together sure it is something I can pull off . Holiday coming soon and we will be filling the larders with goods for winter. The push has started.

and zen they ALL came through

The skies still dark , Ma and I climbed out of bed and made our way outside.

The light cloud covering looked pretty interesting but it was too dark to catch it with the camera so I just stood looking at it when I heard an elk bugle. Far to the North West I heard it again followed by a chuckle from another off to the East.

I ran , err hobbled , inside to grab my camera , then set it up on the tripod to see if they would come through for a pic or vid. I swapped lenses trying to bring in more light but it was still pretty dark out.

The hummies started coming in , Hummie and Liam both back from whatever holiday they have been on while the place was overtaken by other families of hummingbirds….Chaos ensued ……So , the norm.. Five hummers at one feeder , three on the other and as many waiting and or causing mischief . Hummie got tired of it quickly and broke up the mayhem , Liam close behind chasing stragglers …..And then , they all swung around behind the boys to come back , starting things afresh.

Beanie Bunny came through to visit; one of our apparently at least two baby bunnies. She was nibbling around at tufts of grass that somehow stayed green through the summer. While we watched , Mama Bunnie came hopping in and nursed beanie .. That was the first time we have seen that and really had thought the baby bunnie was past that stage..seems not.

Camera ready , I saw one of our does out in the fields . Trying to set up on her , I saw one of the coyote kids from the North pack behind her and to the North. I tried to get the camera to find her but the sun had just broke out and was blinding me. By the time I caught her , coyote kid had moved off into the taller grasses. Our doe knew right where he was and kept an eye on him until he had passed into the saddles below.

The elk were still chatting yet not getting any closer leaving us to simply listen to their banter . While I watched our doe , the turkey troop came across the northern edge of our apple orchard , strutting along , mostly in file as they swung towards the north again . Watching the turkeys , I saw deer coming around the side of the house. Lil buck and the gals he runs with came through the wind garden and leaped the wood pile slowly making their way East , taking a moment to stop and say Hi , grab some salt , a drink and on their merry way.

I figured I’d better go take a look at the veggies in Eden so I made my way around the house to see more deer grazing out in the fields. One of the does looked up to see me in Eden , watched me for a moment , once I told her good morning she waggled her tail and went back to eating.

I started picking zukes and peppers from the upper garden when another baby bunnie popped out from under the sage with a weed in her mouth.

” Its a weed see? ” As she rolled it around in her mouth. ” not a veggimable . “

Welll , Hi bunnie. You helping weed the gardens? “

” Yup. Heppin . “

That’s a good girl. “

I walked on down to the middle garden checking for more zukes while bunnie watched on . There weren’t any ready to I moved on down to the lower garden area.

Our girl and her fawn came over the edge then , the fawn prancing about Looking for her friends. Not seeing any other fawns , she took off running hard as her mom watched on. She looked at me then at the retreating kid , sighed and took off after the little brat.

I was bent over looking through the plants , finding a single zuke. I cut it and turned around to see a large buck who had just then seen me as well .We both said

“Sh*t . “

He spun on his toes in a panic. He knows he is plenty big enough for the freezer now and a wee bit skittish as it is season. The fact that I only had a zuke to point at him didn’t seem to matter much at that moment. aaaaanndddd he was gone. It was my turn to shrug.

I had to get a large bowl for my haul so in and back out with the bowl now loaded and heaping. Dropping the goodies out for Ma , I made my way to the tomatoes to see what I had there. In short order I was back inside to grab another large bowl to fill. On my way out our girl coming back in , the fawn pouting , in toe .

” But I want to go find my friends. “

” No. “

“But..”

“No. “

” Gawhhhhhhfine. “

I watched the two for a bit then got down to picking maters. As I dug deep into the plants I felt one of the hummers brushing against my ear.

” What are we looking for? “

” Maters. “

“Oooooohh. They’re red. “

” Yup , mostly. “

” I like red. “

” You have red flowers right behind us. “

“Yeah , but I want to help. “

” Ok , find me more tomatoes. “

” Ok..”

The little hummer flew around the plants while I picked then swooped back over to whisper in my ear again.

” I found some more. “

” Good , Mama likes lots of maters for sauce. “

” Ok .. see see here they are.”

So I picked a bunch that the little hums had found for me.

Closing up the garden I walked back up on the deck , watching the hummingbirds , our doe and Ms. Pouts a lot. Grinning at her as she stuck her tongue out at me .

It is shaping up to be

just another day on Zen Mountain .

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