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Post  bigdogrock on 12/3/2017, 7:02 pm

The days of the harvest stalks and pumpkin ornaments are slowly fading in our minds, the Thanksgiving month is over and the Christmas month is starting. Most of our winter preparations are done, or should be. Leaving for work in the dark and then getting home after dark makes us fonder of our glorious summer months of gardens and sunshine. We don't leave home without our jacket, soon we will be looking everywhere for warm gloves, where did I leave them? The bird feeders are out, the bears are asleep. The colors of my feathered friends bring instant happiness, I hope they prevail over the harsh conditions of the coming months.
It hasn't got really cold yet, I know it is coming. I don't like it, but, yet I do like it. Ice, treacherous travel, higher heating bills, icy walks, cold fingers, the numerous irritations are coming. But, so is the warm woodstove, cross country skiing, quiet peaceful glimpses through the window outside as the snow falls, and flocks of birds that come to our feeders make me feel good.
My garden is just about asleep, the very last troopers of green that held on are just about finished. It reminds me that I need to add wood ash from last year that I so carefully sealed away from the moisture so that I could add it now, so about June it will be kicking in. The last of my seeds are dry and I will be putting them away.  My garden tools are clean and dry, tucked away until I need them in spring. My winter tools are at the ready, maybe the snow will hold off awhile longer and I won't need them right away.
My wonderful chickens, they give me eggs everyday now. I am still amazed how resilient they are, the 9 out of 20 that made it through the bear invasion are happy and laying. I still have not shut off the electric fence, I ain't takin' any chances. Damaged bird feeders are one thing, don't even think about messin' with my chickens.
The "Cold Moon", as it is called in December was a "Supermoon" last night and will be just about as bright again tonight. It is the full moon at perigee, when the moon is closest to the earth in its orbit. I enjoy the full moon when I can get out and play in its bright beams, especially when there is ice and snow on the ground, "kinda daytime at night". But tonight, after I don my coat, I will go outside to ponder for a few and take another mental snapshot this beautiful wonder. Then I will trudge back in and go to bed, tomorrow is a work day.
The joy of this time of year isn't lost to me, I know where to look. Sometimes the opposite of what is wrong is looking you right in the eyes, you have to look back and see it, really, it is there. The Christmas music, the magic of Santa, sometimes you have to just let it take you- it can be a fun ride.
While the grays of winter are upon us, the greens that turned to browns have dropped to the ground. The white snow will be here anytime. The lakes will freeze over, and the wind will let us know what cold is all about.
I have many things to do, it is constant, especially in the winter. Now is the time for the race to get into the holiday cheer and prepare for time with the ones we love. We hurry to get there. It is fitting though, after the race we get to relax. We will have time, just like our garden, to rest. The wood stove will still be a warm and comforting friend.
So now I say good bye to the fall season harvest stalks and pumpkins, I will be replacing them with candy canes and colored lights, winter is almost here, starting with the day of the longest night.
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Post  quiltbea on 12/4/2017, 7:36 pm

I always love your thoughtful posts.  They should all be in a book.  I would buy it.  I love reading your prose.
As for me, Christmas is not far ahead and I have been making wall hangings for the Holidays and the winter afterwards.
New England December 2017 100_2510

This is Pengilly Penguin. He's bringing gifts to those deserving. I just finished him today to hang on my door. Merry Christmas my gardening friends.
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/4/2017, 8:02 pm

Love it, Rock!  Winter is a time of rest and repose for us....and scheming!

And love the Penguin QB!!!
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Post  sanderson on 12/5/2017, 3:35 am

Rock, poetic as usual.

For those of you that have snowy winters, you are forced to take a break from the garden.  I think that is healthy for mind and body.  Put the beds to sleep for the winter, clean and store all of the tools and equipment.  Look through the seeds on hands, read the seed catalogs and place your orders.  Relax and turn to other needs and activities.  Gardeners are optimists, looking forward to another spring of new opportunities in the garden.

QB,  I'm glad you are still quilting.

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Post  CapeCoddess on 12/5/2017, 4:41 pm

Thanks for the beautiful opening to Dec, Rock!  As well as the update on your surviving chickens.  

Adorable quilt, QB!  

I've been a lazy bum this fall and am just barely keeping up with leaf mowing.  My new compost pile is half hazard at best, one reason being that I put the hoses away before starting the pile and now can't keep it wetted down. Rolling Eyes   And I have no desire to gather seaweed to dump on it.  My gardening spark seems to be extinguished, even though I'm still harvesting carrots and kale.  Yum.  

Supposed to get some snow Sat night. *blech*  Haven't cleaned out any of the boxes yet.  All I need to do is rake them up, then dump on some compost.  One box should only take about 10 minutes.  

Pitch black here at 4:30 now so no garden clean up after work.  Can't wait til Dec 21 so the days will begin to lengthen again.  Maybe this weekend I'll go out and clean up  one box every hour, between episodes on the 'Madam Secretary' dvd.

Oh, my garlic is sprouting.
What a Face
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Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 12/5/2017, 7:27 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote: My gardening spark seems to be extinguished, even though I'm still harvesting carrots and kale.  Yum. 
extinguished I bet it's actually just hibernating! sawing logs Very understandable this time of year. I've been having similar motivational issues.
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Post  trolleydriver on 12/5/2017, 8:24 pm

@BeetlesPerSqFt wrote:
@CapeCoddess wrote: My gardening spark seems to be extinguished, even though I'm still harvesting carrots and kale.  Yum. 
extinguished I bet it's actually just hibernating! sawing logs Very understandable this time of year. I've been having similar motivational issues.
Me too but my garden has been put to bed for some time. What makes matters worse is that we have had very few sunny days. Even when it is not raining or snowing the skies seem dark and gloomy. Then we have the 4:30 (actually 4:20 pm in Ottawa) total darkness as CC mentioned. Day length today was 8 hours and 55 minutes for us.

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Post  CapeCoddess on 12/6/2017, 3:33 pm

OK, time for some motivation!
From Dec 3rd, 2014:

@CapeCoddess wrote:'Twas 2 hours before high tide and all down the beach the seaweed was lying right there in my reach. New England December 2017 Image10

 The gulls were a'flying, the wind did it whip!  I took a deep breath and my heart did a flip.New England December 2017 Image16

Off sneakers, off socks, off coat and my hat. New England December 2017 Image11
Sunglasses weren't needed, the sun was like that.

Armed with buckets and fork I trudged to the shore, I shoveled and carried till I could harvest no more.
New England December 2017 Image12

Then home safe and sound I unloaded my loot, mowed up some leaves, then sat. What a hoot!

CC

Wonder what the temp was that day...?
thinking
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Post  sanderson on 12/8/2017, 2:30 am

Holy cow! Shocked That was a great year for seaweed.

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Post  quiltbea on 12/8/2017, 10:39 am

CapeC......I just love your poem with photos. So great to see it. Don't worry, those days will return next year. This is the time for rest. Downtime is good for body and soul.
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Post  trolleydriver on 12/8/2017, 11:21 am

@quiltbea wrote:CapeC......I just love your poem with photos.  So great to see it.  Don't worry, those days will return next year.  This is the time for rest.  Downtime is good for body and soul.
+1 

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Post  CapeCoddess on 12/8/2017, 3:18 pm

The photos did motivate me.  Yesterday I donned my thermals, loaded up the car with 8 empty buckets and off I went to the beach.  It was NOTHING like 2 yrs ago.  There were little strands of weeds here and there strewn out along the sand.  I forked up enough to fill 2 buckets, but all the strands had anchors of a clump of shells and/or rocks attached to them.  Since I didn't have a cutting implement, when I get home I ended up dumping the seaweed onto the compost, anchors and all.

Oh well, better than none I suppose.  Supposed to storm this Saturday.  Maybe Sunday will be more fruitful...
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Post  sanderson on 12/8/2017, 3:33 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:
@quiltbea wrote:CapeC......I just love your poem with photos.  So great to see it.  Don't worry, those days will return next year.  This is the time for rest.  Downtime is good for body and soul.
+1 
+2

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/10/2017, 10:45 pm

Love it!  Isn’t it interesting how the conditions vary year to year?
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 12/14/2017, 6:32 am

+3. And I think I would have had to have my waterproof boots on, lol!

But what a great haul!
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Post  CapeCoddess on 12/20/2017, 12:56 pm

Winter tomorrow! New England December 2017 90640

Last of the fall harvests this morning - baby kale & carrots:  New England December 2017 00310

Topped the rest of the carrot plants with lots of pine needles is hopes of being able to harvest some during the winter.
What a Face

Hmm...maybe I should harvest a much kale as possible today, since the above was only my smoothie serving...
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Post  bigdogrock on 12/23/2017, 3:01 pm

Well, Mother Nature brought us winter, snow storms, cold winds, low temperatures, and now today, on the second day of winter, an ice event. Outside, it is cold and raining ice. I have heard some trees crack and break from the weight of the ice, there is next to no traffic on the road.
New England December 2017 20171213
The birds are happy, they have plenty of seed to get, and most of the feeders provide a little bit of cover over the perch while they get the treat.
As for me, I am staying inside except to let the our trusty hound out to monitor the scene. I am doing all those little inside things that never get done, taking my time, enjoying the time off. No need to worry about going out shopping, got plenty of food and common sense, icy roads lead to insurance claims and tow trucks. Don't want to bring a tow truck driver out on a day like this.
Looks like it is going to be a white Christmas! The snow will start about dawn on Monday, that is New England. 
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 
PS Hope this goes out- we just had a blink in the electricity...
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 12/23/2017, 11:02 pm

Pretty, Rock!
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Post  sanderson on 12/27/2017, 2:05 am

@bigdogrock wrote:. . . As for me, I am staying inside except to let the our trusty hound out to monitor the scene. I am doing all those little inside things that never get done, taking my time, enjoying the time off. No need to worry about going out shopping, got plenty of food and common sense, icy roads lead to insurance claims and tow trucks. Don't want to bring a tow truck driver out on a day like this. . .
Love this. Take a break from the outside, rest and focus on all the inside.

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Post  quiltbea on 12/30/2017, 3:30 pm

Its been so bitterly cold here.  Days in the single digits F and nites below zero.  Penny,  my corgi, and I took our morning walk at ten below zero.  It was too darn cold for me but luckily she is trained to 'go' when I say the secret words so it only took 5 mins. outdoors and I stuck a towel between the outside door and jamb so it wouldn't close.  The locks were frozen the other morning and I had to go around to the front entry where we have an automatic opener.
New England December 2017 12-30-10

The trees are still coated in ice from a few days ago.  Its never warmed up enough for it to melt.  It looks like the same for the next week as well.
Happy New Year everyone.  I'm lucky our New Year's Eve party is in this same building. I don't have to brave the cold tomorrow nite.
By the way, this is the warmest day we've had in a week. Our heat wave day.
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