Monday, November 4, 2013

The Angel of the Killing Frost Comes By

Last night he descended on our hill, and with a touch of his icy blade felled the peppers and the eggplants and the nicotiana, and turned the unripe figs to frozen lumps.  I must remember to salvage the figs for the hens, who will appreciate them now that bugs and green grass are history.

 A couple of days earlier I had brought the two geraniums and the Meyer lemon into the house for the winter, and the five big lemons on the tiny tree are now slowly turning yellow next to a sunny window.

I also brought in the big pot of rosemary.  I forgot that I had given it a good watering the day before, and when I went to lift it it was so heavy that I almost dropped it.  But I have never yet dropped anything I've tried to lift, and once I've got something in my arms I am loath to call for help.  So I staggered and groaned and finally got the pot up the two steps into the sun porch where it will live until the spring.  And I thanked my lucky stars for my relatively short back, which has never "gone out" on me yet.  But in the future I must remember not to water the big pots before moving them.

It's time to wrap the Leyland cypresses in their burlap coats, to defend them not from the cold but from the deer.  Last winter, on the pretext that the wild apple crop had failed, the deer tiptoed right up to the house and munched on the evergreens.  This year has been great for apples--you can see piles of them littering the roadsides--but I'm not taking any chances.

I must also remember to put those plastic spiral trunk shields on the fruit trees before the rabbits start chewing on their bark.  And I have to figure out a way to protect the climbing roses against those same rabbits, though I can't see how I can wrap burlap around their thorny branches.  Maybe chicken wire?

Then it will all be done, except for setting up the bird feeder now that the bears have safely gone into their dens.  And then I too can finally--except for picking the chard and the kale, which continue to thumb their noses at the Frozen One--go into hibernation too.

5 comments :

  1. A wonderful treatise on life in the north - enlightening for this southerner.

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  2. Almost seems poetic! Thanks! I will never again complain about tending to plants on my year-round lanai.

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  3. Your stories of life in snow country are exotic and enlightening to this Southern California native. I never knew that hungry rabbits would chew tree bark, much less that there were products to prevent it.

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  4. Rabbits, God love'em, are a menace in winter. If the snow is really deep they can reach the lower branches of trees and eat them. A couple of winters ago I had to dig trenches in the snow around my apple trees to keep the rabbits from killing those fruitful bottom branches.

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