Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘changing seasons

Shedding Season

leave a comment »

The hours of daylight are changing noticeably, but there are other ways the change of seasons is becoming obvious lately. When we step outside our doors there is an interesting series of sounds coming from our giant oak trees. Are they shooting at us? No, it is just the pinging and slapping of acorns strafing the land.

It’s best to wear a stiff hat if you will be spending any time beneath the oaks this time of year. Oh, and walking on the lawn under the tree outside the front door is like navigating shag carpet with a giant Lego® set spilled across it.

While the trees are shedding acorns, our Belgian Tervuren is shedding her fur.

It seems counter-intuitive to be shedding in the fall, but in order to grow the winter coat, dogs will lose the lighter summer coat. Delilah is one of the breeds that have a double coat, with an undercoat of short, wooly hairs beneath the top coat of long hairs, so the shedding is a bit more obvious.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

So, around here this time of year, it’s not just acorns making a mess on the lawn.

Yeah, I wish it was just the lawn where the mess occurred. Delilah spends more of her time in the house, so you can imagine what our floors are looking like lately.

.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

September 15, 2019 at 6:45 am

Yeah, Summer

leave a comment »

Here’s the thing about summer: it’s not a thing. It’s not one thing. It’s a constant transition from spring to fall. You don’t get dandelions and corn on the cob all at the same time. There are cool days that feel totally out of season and oppressively hot and humid days that bookend the cool ones.

Maybe that is why it seems difficult to do summer justice at any given moment. Summer is a whole lot of moments.

Flower blossoms radiate for a limited number of days before they begin to fade in color and lose their shape.

Already, the earlier sunset is noticeable. County fairs produce thoughts of the summer-ending Minnesota State Fair. Plans are being considered for shopping back-to-school sales. We may as well start preparing our Halloween costumes and Thanksgiving menu. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

That’s just about how fast it feels.

Don’t blink.

My bike trip is history. The birthday has come and gone. The fourth of July has passed. How long will the rest of the summer last?

We need to pay attention to something summery every single day for the next two months.

Summer will last just as long as it lasts. I plan to notice it in its entirety.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

July 12, 2019 at 6:00 am

Yes Indeed

leave a comment »

It might be cold outside still, but that isn’t stopping Cyndie from forging ahead with her great wardrobe transition to the warm season. After work yesterday, I walked in on a disaster in the bedroom. It looked like the dresser had gotten sick and thrown up.

I don’t understand how that drawer ever contained all of the contents that were now unceremoniously regurgitated up out of it and spilled onto the floor.

Yes, indeed, warm weather can’t be far off now. Winter socks are getting stowed, and shorts and t-shirts will soon find a place in these drawers.

*************

In an update on our oddly behaving Wyandotte, Cyndie reports the hen is agreeing to take sips of electrolyte-enhanced water, but otherwise still chooses to isolate herself in a nest box. She doesn’t appear to be getting any worse, so we are continuing to let her be and will watch to see what each new day brings.

If she hangs on long enough, maybe she will be able to come out and enjoy a period of several warm days in a row. I saw a prediction that it might happen as soon as next week.

We are looking forward to that. Yes, indeed.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

May 8, 2019 at 6:00 am

Big Changes

leave a comment »

Last Sunday, Wintervale declared a “Snow Emergency,” restricting any parking on either side of our driveway until June, but it looks like that will be rescinded very soon. The weather has changed in a big way, from cold and snow, to chilly rain.

The liquid precipitation yesterday made short work of the snow that had collected on tree branches, instantly changing the landscape views. The woods now have an incongruous appearance with so much snow still on the ground, but the trees all wet and dark.

At this point, the deep snowpack is absorbing the bulk of the water that is falling from the sky, but the situation should get interesting after a couple days of increasingly intense rain.

After the saturation point is reached, the water will start the great migration that ultimately takes it to the Gulf of Mexico. Can you say, “flooding?”

The glacier on the front side of the barn already has a lake forming on top, and the piles of snow on either side look like they aren’t going to offer an outlet any time soon. I may resort to a little creative drainage engineering to avoid the water choosing its own alternative route through the inside of the barn.

Up by the house, on the hill where I boasted about not worrying about flood concerns, I noticed the water running down the gutters wasn’t flowing out the end of the ice-packed downspout.

As a result, it isn’t directed away from the house, finding its way, instead, right where we don’t want it, along the foundation.

That situation shouldn’t last long, but in the land of freeze and thaw, I never like seeing any water pooling where it isn’t welcome.

Funny, how the landscaping which used to slope away from the house in November, takes on a variety of gradients after months of settling, being heaved by frost, and burrowed in by rodent pests. The results are rarely favorable.

Meanwhile, it is refreshing to have this glimpse of the next season making its rapid appearance. It’s WAY too early to expect such luck, but I would be thrilled if don’t have to plow again until next year.

On that note, I should probably make sure the lawn mower blades are sharp and ready to go.

Big changes are underway!

.

.

Written by johnwhays

March 13, 2019 at 6:00 am

New Data

leave a comment »

Upon further review, judges have amended the egg count total for Tuesday. Yesterday, I reported that Cyndie found six eggs. Last night she updated the count.

Turns out, Jackie had collected 2 eggs herself that day. The total has increased to 8!

So, there.

With all the news frantically shouting about the hurricane bearing down on the US east coast, those of us in the middle of the continent are enjoying very summer-like conditions. My drive home yesterday brought me through fields that are changing from the deep green of summer to hues of yellow and gold.

Navigating my way around the house in the mornings before work has returned to the dark ages, and the hour of closing the chicken coop at night has moved up to around 7:30 p.m., about an hour and a half earlier than just a short while ago.

Last night, a pack of coyotes whooped it up somewhere within hearing distance of our windows. It sounded very similar to the group yelping we heard the first year we moved here, after which we discovered the carcass of the 8-point buck in our woods.

The change of seasons makes life feel more adventurous. It’s adventure that I greatly prefer, compared to an ominous threat of once-in-a-lifetime, climate-change-amplified hurricanes looming large.

Counting my blessings while I have the luxury, and sending love to those facing the challenges of preparations for evacuations, wind damage, and flooding.

Hold on to your hats.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

September 13, 2018 at 6:00 am

Feel It?

leave a comment »

dscn5158eThe sun set at 7:30 last night. The last two nights were chilly enough to require sleeping well-tucked under the covers. Change is upon us once again. We have color showing up in the trees. I was inspired to apply a new coat of waterproofing to my boots.

There is no doubt about what lies in store for us in the weeks ahead.

Shorter days and colder temperatures bring a shift in priorities. I need to start identifying items that shouldn’t freeze and moving them to safe storage.

It occurs to me now that I still haven’t fixed the winch on the Grizzly, which I will need for the snow plow blade this winter.

How’s that for living in the moment? I’m already thinking about snow season.

dscn5171eWhile I’m focused on the future, the sunny September weather is serving up some delicious days. It wasn’t lost on me yesterday, as I basked in the warm glowing sunshine with the cool gusts of wind.

Cyndie started the day working with clients in the arena space and later moved to the round pen. It had dried up wonderfully, allowing activities to proceed as intended.

This time of year is pretty dreamy around here, when it isn’t rainy. It’s my favorite.

At the same time, it tends to bring with it a feeling that the other shoe is about to drop.

I can feel it coming.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

September 12, 2016 at 6:00 am

Freezing Wet

leave a comment »

You know what is worse than freezing cold? Freezing wet. It is one condition for which we would never question whether or not to move the horses indoors. Our horses do a pretty good job of enduring exposure to snow and cold, but when it comes to rain at freezing temperatures, they need shelter.

Regardless the pleasure of early warmth we enjoyed throughout much of the month of March, the trend recently has shifted significantly away from pleasant.

IMG_iP3132eCHIt has us burning fires in the fireplace and cuddling up under blankets, drinking hot drinks.

I suppose there is a lesson for us somewhere in this situation about patience, but I don’t really need to be tempted by early warmth to get the lesson about being patient for the spring growing season to truly arrive. I’m sure I could learn it just as well with winter staying winter the whole time, and lasting well into April.

If I had any sense I’d be using this time to change the oil in the lawn tractor and finish preparing it for the long mowing season that lies ahead. The cold and wet may be lingering, but logic dictates it will eventually end.

When it does, growing things definitely won’t hesitate to respond.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Written by johnwhays

April 6, 2016 at 6:00 am