Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘October

Golden Leaves

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Once again I find myself mind-boggled by the space-time continuum, as I perceive it, currently placing us in the middle of October when September seems like it didn’t even exist. For that matter, what the heck happened to August? It was here just a minute ago.

The 2019 autumn weather has not spawned a particularly noteworthy color display in the tree-lined vistas of my commute, but some of the trees on our land are sporting a fair amount of golden hues.

Looking out our kitchen window over the sink, this view caught my eye yesterday:

The magical enhancement of direct sunlight kicks up the attention-getting aspect of fall colors to 11. I stopped what I was doing (preparing Delilah’s and Pequenita’s dinners, much to Delilah’s dismay) to step outside with my camera to try for a capture of the spectacle before the light changed.

Honestly, the camera didn’t do it justice compared to the glory of naked-eye viewing, but it is still rewarding to see the dramatic difference from the wealth of deep greens the foliage in that scene usually provides during the summer.

I played with some post-processing for two additional views.

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Fall colors are so much fun. The best is when there are as many reds and oranges bursting at the same time as the golden yellows, but that mix is lacking this year.

Somehow, I would like to exercise a deepest possible comprehension that it is October 15th today, whatever that is. I blame my date disorientation on needing to plan months ahead all day long at the day-job. The fact that I am currently scheduling work in November seems like it should make time go slower for me when I notice we are still only in October, but for some odd reason the result is just the opposite.

Living in the moment is a luxury that I usually struggle to fully accomplish.

Giving our golden leaves my rapt attention is one way I can strive to absorb a fuller recognition of what day it is today.

It would help if the low spots around here weren’t still wet as a spring day. I must admit, my muddy wet boots are another reason my brain struggles to reconcile we are in the middle of the tenth month of the year.

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Written by johnwhays

October 15, 2019 at 6:00 am

October Snow

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I’d like to act all surprised over all the snowflakes flying this early in October, but we’ve had so many days of warnings this was coming that it’s something of a feigned surprise.

How can there be global warming? There is snow falling in October!

For those of you who think this way, go talk with the people suffering more wildfire calamity in California today or any of the record-breaking typhoon/cyclone/hurricane intensities over every ocean on the planet with each successive formation.

I’m sure these incidents and all the melting glaciers and polar ice are just a coincidence.

I grabbed a screenshot of the Weatherbug radar image with our location southeast of the Twin Cities showing the spread of falling snow from Buffalo to Beldenville.

The wintery weather has me thinking I should have already blown out the water line to the labyrinth and drained all of our garden hoses. Cyndie reported the water for the chickens was frozen this morning. At least she had already installed the plexiglass window panes over the metal hardware cloth in each of the openings earlier this week.

It’s probably a good thing the Twins got booted from the baseball playoffs so they don’t have to play games in this kind of weather.

We’ve got a fire in the fireplace and I am gazing out at the deck collecting flakes with trees full of leaves as a backdrop. It makes me think of a certain Halloween blizzard (1991) for the drastic cross-mixing of fall and winter.

Of course, I also have a vivid memory of the Halloween night it was so uncharacteristically warm I went for a long bike ride to enjoy the late taste of summer.

Luckily, today our location won’t get much in the way of an accumulation from this system, but it definitely serves as an attention-getter for what lies ahead.

Much as I love winter weather, I’m in no hurry to get there this year.

It would be so nice to have time to actually finish the deck resurfacing project before snow shows up for good.

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Written by johnwhays

October 12, 2019 at 10:10 am

Mixed Up

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Yesterday afternoon we had plenty of sunshine that enabled me to get out and mow some grass, not because I wanted to, but because it needed to be cut so bad I didn’t dare wait for another chance. Our grass had grown so much since the last time I mowed, it looked like a June afternoon around here on October 7th.

On top of that, the recent pounding of rain we have been receiving has our property as wet as a spring day. It was rather disorienting to need to mow around certain areas where there was standing water. That is something that used to happen at the beginning of the mowing season. In my lifetime of living in this region, October was not a month where mowing thick grass needed to happen.

This is not the climate of my youth.

Meanwhile, this June-type of lawn growth is days away from meeting up with its first dose of snow for the coming season.

It’s a mixed-up world.

Someone posted in our neighborhood app asking people to be on the lookout for a pink-faced calf that ran off into the woods. I’m not sure if the pink face was natural or the result of some special effects. The calf had been tied in the yard for a “cownicorn” birthday party.

The drama didn’t last long, because they found the calf just a short time later. It may not be all that mixed up for this rural community, but it was unusual enough to contribute more strangeness to the already crazy thick growing grass in October.

I accept that nothing is actually static, so unusual occurrences are always unfolding, regardless of how we perceive and frame our world. It inspires me to strive for resilience in the face of whatever new mix-ups might be around the next corner.

It’s hard to imagine what to expect, other than the obvious fact something new will show up as being totally mixed up.

Unless it doesn’t. But then, would that just seem mixed up, too?

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Written by johnwhays

October 8, 2019 at 6:00 am

October Flowers

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It’s All Hallow’s Eve and we have still got some flowers blooming. Who’da thunk it?

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Today is the 25th anniversary of a blizzard that hit the Twin Cities in 1991. One of my memories of that event is of our next-door neighbor trying to navigate his car through the mess of deep snow and ice on the road and his not being able to get into his uncleared driveway. There was still a MN Twins flag attached to his car, a remnant of the 2nd World Series championship the team had just accomplished days before.

It seemed so surreal to me. Baseball. Halloween. Blizzard. It was rather odd.

It was actually morning of the next day and I was standing in our driveway, almost finished with shoveling the 2-feet of snow we had received. We mutually agreed he should park his car in our driveway until he got his cleared.

That storm now serves as a benchmark for me to always be aware that winter could arrive all at once, in one big storm that changes from a warm fall afternoon to snow that lasts a season, all in a matter of a few days. And it could happen in October.

Which is similar to the benchmark I now use for spring snowstorms. The first year we lived here, in May of 2013, we received 18 inches of snow. Who’da thunk it?

It could happen.

But it doesn’t look like we will have any worries of snow in October this year. More likely, we’ll have November flowers.

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Written by johnwhays

October 31, 2016 at 6:00 am

Startling Storm

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I had a ready-made excuse for not working on the chicken coop construction after work yesterday, because rain was falling from the sky. I drove through a couple of heavy downpours on my way home, but it wasn’t raining too hard when I pulled into our driveway.

I must have just missed it, though, because the drainage swale across our pastures was filled with rushing water. Cyndie reported we had received an inch in a very short span of time.

While having dinner with George and Anneliese, something caught my eye outside one of the high triangle windows beside our fireplace chimney. It appeared to be “snowing” leaves high in the sky. A combination of high wind and more rain was stripping the leaves en mass from our trees.

The sky grew dark and Cyndie said she thought it would hail.

“No, it’s not going to hail.” I said. “It’s just looks like this because it’s the middle of October and the sun is low.”

A minute or so after that, it started to hail.

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You’d think I would better know to heed her intuition by this point in our lives together.

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Written by johnwhays

October 18, 2016 at 6:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

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Coop Framing

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We worked on framing the walls of our chicken coop yesterday under October conditions that changed from cold to warm and alternated between sunny and gray. Twice we received sprinkles of very light rain, yet at a time when there weren’t any clouds in sight that looked like they could possibly be the source.

The weather didn’t slow us down from the task at hand, though, as we designed on the fly to figure out a way to use on-hand 2x4s from a variety of salvaged day-job pallets to frame up the four walls.

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With the addition of a couple long boards I found stored in the rafters over the shop, we were able to come up with everything we needed.

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We are hoping to get away with using some plexiglass that has been lying around since we moved here, for windows to provide plenty of light. That will be augmented by translucent polycarbonate panels we purchased for the slanted roof.

The roof is today’s project. Then we need to figure out the ventilation openings that will be covered with hardware cloth to keep out unwanted critters. Siding will follow that. Somewhere in there will be the creation of 4 different hinged openings for access: to collect eggs, to pull out a poop board from under the roost for cleaning, and for chickens and humans to get in and out.

No problem. It only took me a few years to get this far. I’m sure I can have it ready for occupation by…

Never mind that. I’m living in this moment.

The future doesn’t need me trying to tell it what will be.

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Written by johnwhays

October 9, 2016 at 8:25 am

Cold Rain

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Okay. About that idea I wrote of yesterday that we might have a string of dry days to celebrate this week… Not exactly. I drove home from work in rain and by the time dinner was done last night, the temperature had dropped into the 40s (F).dscn5226e

Our furnace got turned on yesterday morning, and we lit a fire in the fireplace last night.

If it weren’t for the leftover leaves still attached to the tree branches, I’d think it was already October. Wet and cold. Cyndie made apple crisp which helped take some of the edge off.

The horses got a night in the barn because Cyndie was concerned about preventing their hooves from being wet all night.

Part of me wants to lament over the rapid disappearance of September, but I’m thinking I should avoid moping about it and put my sights on what lies ahead. I might as well start waxing my skis and getting the snow blade mounted on the ATV.

Winter is not far off. It’s a good thing it’s my favorite season of the year. Looking forward to it is so much more fun than dreading what is to come.

If it weren’t for all these constant distractions, I might make better progress at living fully in the present moment. The art of doing that continues to be something I struggle to accomplish.

It doesn’t help that lately the present moments so often involve rain around here. Who can be blamed for needing a break from that repetition?

I like to imagine what it would be like if our temperatures were already below freezing during these recent batches of precipitation. Speaking of which, I wonder where I put my igloo making fixture.

Of course, the next thought that comes to my mind when thinking about snow this year is, I should have purchased that fat bike I was looking at over the summer. coldrain

See how one thing leads to the next?

It’s the kind of mental exercise that one falls into when the weather outside gets cold and rainy.

Looks like Thursday through Sunday holds some promise for dry sunshine. That would go a long way toward helping me enjoy the last days of September to the fullest…

Completely, in each and every one of those moments.

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Written by johnwhays

September 28, 2016 at 6:00 am