Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Autumn On The Mountain Top

Autumn has well and truly settled onto the Mountain Top. 

Well, at least Autumn colors. 

The temperatures, on the other hand? Not so much. 

It's been unseasonably warm up here, quite bizarre actually. 


I truly don't remember another mid October where the Morning Glories were still blooming like mad. 


We had a cool August, a hot and sticky September, and now we're still about 10 degrees at least over what the average temps are for October.


The garden is still producing like crazy, which of course is a very good thing. 

I have an absolute mountain of tomatoes on my kitchen counter that need to become a meal of some sort tonight. 

I'm not quite sure what, yet, but I'll come up with something. 

And for someone who doesn't even eat pickles, I sure have pickled a ton of cucumbers this season. 

Good thing I'm surrounded by people who love pickles!


The colors are fabulous, no doubt, a sight to behold. 


This is the view out my bedroom window, the first thing I see in the mornings. 

It doesn't get much better than that!


Out the other bedroom window I see my sweet garden cottage. 

You may notice I still haven't gotten around to installing the lattice around the base. 

Yup, I've had a very busy season. Perhaps when the flowers die off and the veggie garden is tucked away for the season I'll get around to it. 

Or not. We'll see. 


Right now I'm spending all my spare time (of which there is very little) caring for my sweetie, who had surgery on his back this past Friday. 

He's doing very well, but is unable to do anything but walk at the moment. His bandages need to be changed daily and the incision inspected and cleaned. 

He teases me that I'm not only his visiting nurse, but also meals on wheels!

We take care of each other, which is a very good thing. 


When I'm not playing nurse, I'm dealing with the bushels of fresh produce our gardens are spitting out. I have been filling my freezers and my sweetie's with soups, sauces, lasagnas, you name it. 

We will be ever so grateful for all those wonderful meals when we're in the heart of winter and the snow is flying, no doubt. 

But for right now it certainly takes up a lot of my time. 


When I'm not cooking or nursing (or working!) I've been trying to get Little Miss Molly housebroken. 

She's doing amazingly well, but still has occasional accidents. 


She's found a best friend in the Monkey. 

These two are thick as thieves, which delights me to no end. 

Molly idolizes the Monkey and follows her everywhere!

She's learned to chase chipmunks, and run around the garden on a 'sniff-about' like a lunatic, and I can't help but laugh and laugh at her antics!

I do swear that Monkey and Molly are in love. I've seen them flirt with each other. 

I guess they don't realize they are sisters, huh?


Our biggest concern these days are the coyotes

Apparently coyotes are quite a problem this year, they seem to be everywhere. 

We hear them at night in the back woods, and always have. 

But my neighbor said they came right up to the front of her house last week. 

That's just way too close for comfort, especially with the three pups. 

Lily is an old girl, she's deaf now and doesn't see that well either.  Nor can she run....she can barely walk at times. 

Molly is so tiny, she's just a little bit of a thing, not even 8 lbs. 

Monkey is the sturdiest of the three, but she'd be no match for a pack of coyotes.

It's truly frightening. 


Life on the Mountain Top is truly beautiful, but Mother Nature can also be cruel and frightening. 


The Hollyhocks have re-bloomed for the third time this season. Hopefully they will set many seeds and my little Hollyhock patch will be even bigger next season. 


The grass will probably need to be cut one more time before the end of the season, I'm just trying to hold off until all the leaves are down so they can get chopped into the grass. 


One of my Hostas put out a gorgeous flower just this week. 

I think the plants are all confused with this weird weather. 


I think one of the most glorious trees in Autumn is the Sumac. Look at how vibrant those leaves are!


I still can't get over how wonderful the Castor Bean plants are - they are such a showstopper in the center of my deck planters. I'm going to try to save seeds from them to plant next year, as well as the Hyacinth Bean which has made lovely little purple seed pods. 


What's life like in your neck of the woods? Has Autumn settled in yet?

55 comments:

  1. Oh my it is beautiful there! Love how the morning glories covered your new archway. And the pups are so adorable...hope those coyote stay away! Glad your sweetie is recovering well!

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    1. I didn't even plant any Morning Glories this year, Linda - those are all volunteers from last year!! They went absolutely mad, no doubt!

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  2. At least you have pretty foliage! I adore hollyhocks. But I can't recall that I ever had good luck with them. I'm glad the new pup is fitting in so well. Last night was actually cool. Today hot. Weird weather.
    Brenda

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    1. You mentioned that, Brenda - this is the very first time that I've had luck with Hollyhocks. Hopefully now that they are established they will just keep dropping seeds and the little bed will keep expanding!

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  3. I love seeing your home and garden. So very pretty. I agree on the strange temps we are having. My rose bush does not know what season it is. Still blooming.

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    1. One of my climbing roses is putting out all new buds, Betty - it will get a shock this week when we are due to get our first frost!

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  4. Beautiful photos! Its still in the 80’s and 90’s here. This is above normal for us. Its usually in the 50’s or 60’s in October.
    Hey if you ever want to sell a jar of those pickles let me know. I have paypal and venmo. I love homemeade pickles! Im serious!
    Lisa

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    1. I'm not sure they would travel well, Lisa - they are refrigerator pickles that aren't shelf stable - I think they might get funky by the time they reach you!

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  5. It is so beautiful at your place! Your hollyhocks are spectacular...hope to plant some next year. You are right to be concerned about predators with your dogs outside. We actually have coyotes and foxes here in suburban Indianapolis. So glad Molly is getting along well with your two dogs. Your poor sweetie...he's been sliced and diced a lot...shoulder and then his back. Hope is he well on his way to recovery. xoxo

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    1. He sure has, Donna! It's been one surgery after the next for the past three years - 4 surgeries in 3 years, that's way too much! Hopefully we are done for a while now!

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  6. Ah so beautiful! I have to live vicariously through you and others who share. As much as we love our Texas, there's just not much sign of fall here. In fact, sumac is one of the few things we have that gets fall color. I love seeing all of yours!!

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    1. Yes but you also don't have to deal with the snow and ice, Stacey - that's a blessing for those of you living in Texas! Although I have to say, I love the beauty of every season....perhaps not the shoveling so much, but it's part and parcel of living on the mountain top!

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  7. We have had unseasonal warm days here in Virginia this month with lots of rain. But the good news is that we are still picking a few tomatoes and red and orange bell peppers from, the garden.

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    1. We still have hundreds of tomatoes on the vine, but the temps are due to drop to 31 in a few days - if that happens that will be the end of the tomato plants - sad!!

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  8. Swooning over it all Deb. So beautiful. Hope your sweetie begins to feel better. You are the best nurse and meals on wheels ever!!!!
    Hugs,
    Kris

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    1. I think he'd be better off with a nurse who doesn't work as much, Kris!! I do what I can but I am most definitely torn in a million directions right now.

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  9. The colors are just magnificent on your mountaintop! The color change here in northern IL is dismal this year, for the most part. September was way too dry and warm. We're just now getting some cooler temps (and they're still warmer than average) and some rain. I'm sorry to hear that your BF had another surgery. I don't know how you do it all with working FT, taking care of your home and dogs, and playing nurse. You must be exhausted. I'd be very afraid of letting the dogs outside loose with the threat of coyotes. Can you keep them leashed and with you at all times? My mom has a little dog and is so afraid of predators, she doesn't let her doggie out in the back yard alone.

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    1. We haven't been letting them out in the garden alone at all since Miss Molly came into the picture, Melanie. And now that the coyotes have been such a presence, we keep Molly on a leash once the sun dips down, keeping her close to us. We try to keep all three of them together in one spot, preferably in the back garden where I have big spotlights. Plus I bring out my Stanley spotlight just in case I hear a rustle in the trees. It's not enough, truly I need a gun, but I've always been afraid of having a gun in the house. Stupid coyotes, go away!!!

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  10. We are having the same weather in Central PA and my Spring flowers are actually reblooming. It is starting to look like Fall, but doesn’t feel like it. I’ve been wondering how Miss Molly is doing as well as her now siblings and glad to learn all is well. Molly is so cute. I have a 5-pound Chihuahua with vision problems so she is always on a leash right by my side. We have hawks for sure, but as yet no coyotes. We are in a development but that doesn’t mean anything because we’ve had deer in our backyard.

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    1. You're right, Susan, that doesn't mean anything these days. You could easily get raccoons, skunks, possum, coyotes, and bears. You just never know, best to be safe! It would break my heart if something happened to one of them, we just try to be as cautious as we can, that's all we can do.

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  11. It's absolutely gorgeous there! The weather here has been unusually cool, about 10 degrees under normal. I guess the weather traded our locations lol

    I'm so glad Molly is doing well and I hope your sweetie recovers quickly :)

    xo,
    rue

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    1. I guess we have swapped, Rue, how strange! My sweetie is doing well, I think he's pretty frustrated because he can't go anywhere. Not only can he not drive, he's not even supposed to ride in a car at all for two weeks! He's stranded at home or within walking distance. My meal plans have to be portable now!

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  12. We were in Vermont this weekend - 80 degrees and t-shirt weather! Bizarre indeed! And the colors in CT aren't quite as beautiful as they can sometimes be. I think the combination of dry month of September and warm temps have muted them.

    Glad Molly is learning the ropes!

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    1. She is learning very well, Karen Ann - she will be with us one full month tomorrow, and she's come such a long way! What a sweetie, I'm so glad she came into our home and our hearts!

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  13. Oh my... your colors are awesome! Out here in California, our temps have been above average also. Luckily (by the grace of God) we are not evacuated right now and the wildfires next to us are starting to calm down. We need rain. Soon. BTW, your hollyhocks and morning glories are gorgeous. And so are your pickles! We should be seeing the fall colors soon. Our maple has already turned, as have the pomegranate, but not much else... it's too warm! Have a wonderful weekend and take care of that special guy!

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    1. I was thinking of you with all those wildfires, Vickie, glad to hear you didn't have to evacuate this time. Let's hope it stays that way!!!

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  14. Oh, how beautiful your place is. Except for the wildlife. I hope you and furbabies keep safe. How lucky you have a garden still producing and all that yummy food preserved. Get well wishes to your sweetie! Nancy

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    1. I just brought over another 5 containers of pasta sauce to sweetie's freezer this morning, Nancy! Roasted tomato with garlic and onion - oh my it smells like heaven!

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  15. So pretty! Color or not, Fall is in the air. We don't have much color here yet, which is usually peak right now.

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    1. Ours snuck up all of a sudden, AnnMarie. Perhaps yours will do the same?

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  16. Om my goodness. Your phot0s are amazing. We are having a very warm October too. I'm glad because I am not a fan of winter and the longer cold weather holds off the happier I am. xo Laura

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    1. I know a lot of people like that, Laura. I have to say by the time fall comes, I'm tired! Between wedding season and gardening season, I'm ready for a break, and winter gives me that, to an extent. Rather than working in the garden and trying to put up all the food that it produces, I'm enjoying it out of the freezer. Work is also quieter for me, and even though we have to deal with shoveling snow and bringing in firewood, the nights are long and I love to sit next to the fire with a good book. Every season has its beauty!!

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  17. You look weeks ahead of us down south in your Autumn palette, so many gorgeous colors !
    We've also experienced warm temperatures lately, it's always a little bazaar this time of the year.
    Those pickles look incredible :)
    Heavenly Blue Morning Glories, are simply the prettiest.
    Hugs,
    ~Jo

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    1. I love the Heavenly Blue ones, Jo!! I think these might be Grandpa Otts. I planted a bunch of types the first year, these seem to be the hardiest in our area! Either way, I'll take them - I love them all!!

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  18. Hi Deborah - You are a bit ahead of us but I have seen change the last week. All our maples are turning and will soon put on quite a show. Your photos are great; living the dream, girl. The Morning Glories are one of my favorite so I loved to see your trellis. We, too, are surrounded by the sound of coyotes at night. They come far too close here, too and they are hungry. Don't ever let your guard down with those beautiful dogs. Keep them safe; they depend on us.

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    1. You are so right, Deb, they depend on us, and I also kind of depend on the Monkey to let me know if there's something out there. She's the best at warning us right now, she freaks out if she gets a whiff of something.

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  19. Debbie, I love reading your posts, always full of so much info! I hope your Sweetie recovers well...sounds like he will, given the wonderful care. The coyotes near the door! Which is worse, those or bears, I can't imagine either, but would be guarding my furbabies with a vengeance. Your foliage is beautiful. We are so hot in the city, and although color is good, we took off for the country roads just a few hours north and east of home to do some serious leaf peeping and enjoy some cooler weather. So far so good, looks very much like your area, and near peak. Hyacinth bean is something I have been wanting to try to grow! I would love to see a photo(s) of yours! I need to mail order some seeds, as they don't seem to be available locally.
    Enjoy your upcoming weekend. I hope you can kick you feet up at least a few hours.
    Hugs,
    Rita

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    1. I did the same, Rita, I ordered the Hyacinth Bean seeds, I think from Johnny's Selected Seeds. This is the first season they did well, so I'll save the seeds for next year and try again! I'm also going to try to save seeds from the Castor Bean, it's so dramatic!!

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  20. Oh my gosh! Your colors are just beautiful! It is unusual to see all the flowers still blooming along with leaves falling. It is so pretty. I love the picture with the two doggies and huge pots of flowers. Your place is beautiful!

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    1. Thanks, Henny!! Those big pots of flowers by the garden cottage did so wonderfully this year, they really made me so happy! I think it's because the impatiens are strong again, after that fungus or whatever they had a few years back when they all died off. I have always loved them for a semi or shady spot, and they didn't disappoint!

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  21. Hi Debbie, so glad you stopped by! Yes, the dang "no-see-um" varmits are so so evil and agressive! They act like just like you said---up your nose, in your eyes and ears and all in your scalp and they are just the WORST PESTS. LOL Love your post here....some of your prettiest pictures ever! I especially love the one of your "crooked little garden", it's so pretty! Wow, y'all are looking like Fall up there..no sign of it here yet and it's still SO HOT.......

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    1. I couldn't stand it earlier in the season here, Debbi, I can't imagine how you deal with them for months on end! I'd go mad, for sure!!

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  22. PS...get well wishes for you sweetie!! And so glad to see little miss molly--she is looking quite happy there!

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    1. Oh, she's so happy, Debbi! I swear she smiles and laughs, she's just such a little goofball and loves to play with the Monkey so much! She takes off running like a nutjob all over the house, and we can't help but laugh and laugh at her!

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  23. You've got a lot more color! We are HOT & DRY!

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    1. We had that for a while, too, Mountain Sister - it was so strange to be in a tee shirt outside in October! Today it's a turtleneck and boots - what a difference!

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  24. You Iive in such a beautiful place. Scary, those coyotes...especially with your sweet pups...but beautiful nonetheless. Your photos are all lovely, but my favorite is that red structure through the leaves. Go figure. ;) Hope the sweetie is feeling better soon. Supposed to be 80 here tomorrow...so.weird.

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    1. I love looking out at that little red barn and the horses, Kim! The coyotes are scaring me, too, and I wish they would move on. They woke me early this morning, and I was afraid to bring the pups out for their morning piddle!

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  25. We too have had the warm weather....it was 80 yesterday. That's all to change when rain moves in later on and the forecast for the week looks much cooler. VERY LITTLE color here....not like your place which is just gorgeous right now! :) Sorry to hear that your sweetie had to have that surgery / you certainly don't have a spare minute lately between helping him out and the gardens and 'puttin' up food' :)

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    1. I really don't, Deb, it's been a challenging season, for sure. I really cherish quiet nights at home right now, without a doubt! I need that time to decompress.

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  26. Your autumn color is lovely to my eyes! I truly wish I were there just walking around outside your house, on your mountain. It has been 10 degrees higher than average here too but temps are supposed to fall into daytime 70s and nighttime 50s this week so maybe we'll start seeing some real color here, although we've been told it will be first of November before the best shows up.

    Coyotes scare me too, please keep your fur babies close to you. We haven't seen them here at this house, here it is big hawks that scare me when my 8 pound dachshund is outside. I start yelling and waving my arms when I see them around--buzzards too.

    I hope your guy's back heals quickly and thoroughly!

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    1. We have the hawks here, too, Dewena, and I keep an eye out for them also. They could surely carry little miss Molly away, she's just about 8 lbs also. I don't think I've seen buzzards here, but we have turkey vultures which are just as creepy!

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  27. Praying for your Sweetie. I am so glad you two have each other. :) Your pictures are beautiful as alway. I too have a fear of coyotes taking off with one of my fur babies. Our Caesar is a huge dog and they won't mess with him, but cats are another story. That is why my cats are all indoor cats now. I can't risk loosing them.

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    1. That's smart, Debbie. If I could keep the pups inside I probably would these days, but they need to get out to do their business! If only they were trained in a litter box, ha ha!!

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  28. I hope your husband heals quickly. Love his comment about you being a home nurse AND meals on wheels.

    The coyotes are pretty thick around here too and we hear them close to our home every night or very early a.m. I lost my flock of geese to them last winter , fortunately none of our other pests or livestock have fallen victim to them. Every one of our animals is penned up or indoors for the night.

    Love the castor beans !

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