by Curt Kovener
I’ve begun to winterize the woodland retreat. All of the equipment and sundry supplies acquired from spring & summer are being put away out of the reach of winter’s wrath.
All of the paints for improving appearances and sprays for keeping weeds and insects in check must be moved from the unheated barn to the basement of the house to prevent them from freezing. Garden hoses have to be disconnected and drained, garden gee-gaws and whirly-gigs have to be put away to rest securely. Fuel line stabilizer is added to the gas tanks of the umpty-leven small-engine power equipment devices as well as to the main gas cans.
My trips from barn to basement are interrupted willingly by taking in some of the fall colors of the hills & trees.
The frosty mornings earlier last week have caused the trees to begin rapidly shedding their leaves. In the quiet woods, leaf hitting leaf as gravity enforces its law makes the sound of a heavy rain taking place.
It won’t be much longer before the leaf mulcher-vacuum will be pinned to the back of the tractor & mower to clean up the yard but also to provide mulching material for Miz Mary’s flowers and plants.
I was busy Sunday in a winterizing state of mind, moving last year’s dry firewood to the front of the woodshed and bringing up some wood cut from a downed oak earlier his year into the wood shed.
But we weren’t the only one’s activated by the afternoon’s warm temperature. A couple of mice, disturbed from the winter woodpile harassed Miz Mary as we loaded wood destined for the shed.
And the ubiquitous lady bugs (lady beetles both domestic & Asian) were out in force. They are annually attracted to the screened in summer house by the lake. That’s a good thing because its just used in the winter for storage. But some sought sanctuary on the fireplace chimney at the house. That’s not a good thing.
I am convinced that you can winterize a home against the harshest winter wind but lady bugs will always find a way inside. I had already sprayed around doors and windows putting up an insecticide barrier. It seems a single lady bug can find entry into the home and lay down a scent trail to tell the rest of her friends to come join her inside a warm house for the winter.
In addition to the fall leaves there is some other color evident. A few butterfly bush blossoms remain and the witch hazel tree’s spidery yellow blossoms are just beginning open.
The sun is setting earlier now cutting short our time to enjoy the hills and as the light diminishes, the temperature quickly drops prompting us to head to the house for jackets.
And as I think of the afternoon’s clues of winter weather to come, I do a quick check of the firewood supply. Yep, I think we have plenty.