Terry arrived in Phoenix last Thursday and has survived her first few meetings as a regional director for the Embroiderers' Guild of America. I imagine these early meetings are primarily meet-and-greet-your-fellow-officers with lots of organizational business and how-to-run-a-chapter/region training type of meetings. Today she gets to be a participant in various classes and activities as the "real" convention starts.
Here at the Aerie things have been windy, chilly and otherwise quiet. We got a bit of rain as a front moved through on Saturday and that's when the temperatures dropped too. Sunday morning it was down to 32 degrees for the second time this fall and there was some frozen precip on the deck when I came down stairs. Won't call it a "killing" frost, however. There was more than enough air movement to prevent that from happening. You need still air when the temps are borderline to actually do damage to plants and we haven't had that since early last week. In fact, we seldom get really still air on the hillside. Even when the winds are calm, the sinking of cold air and the rising of warm air still produces some movement. (I've mentioned before that we are at 2100' on a hillside that goes from around 650' at Route 6 up to around 2400' on Mountain Ridge.)
Lots of trees have shed their leaves and the hillsides are taking on the drab grey/brown of winter. Nearly all of the ash, most of the oak and a preponderance of the maples have gone naked thanks to the combination of wind and rain. Aside from the hemlocks and firs, only the locusts and some of the poplars are still green. And the locusts are usually the last to leaf in the spring and the last to lose it in the fall--although they sorta cheat. As soon as a leaf turns color, it falls. None of this hanging around for company on the old locust bough, no siree! It's every leaf for itself. As for the poplars.... Some are a Thomas Kincaid yellow/orange--the kind that seems to glow--really striking when the light hits them just right--while others less than 20 yards away are still green but shedding individual leaves as they turn.
We're set for the winter, however, as the propane guy made a delivery on Thursday and there is firewood in the drying rack. Some of it need splitting, however.
I do need to get some more bird seed for my feathered friends. I've just 1-1/2 bags of sunflower seeds left of the dozen I bought last fall. I would have used them up too if not for the bears causing me to pull the feeders in early last spring. (They--the bears--haven't caught on to the fact that the feeders have been on the deck for almost a month now.)
I'll soon have to think about either raking leaves or using the lawn mower to mulch and bag. The latter is mush more likely as it will be easier on my back than all the twisting and turning raking involves. I'm trying to hold off until the last of the leaves fall, but that may not be possible. (Stubborn oaks!) I need to get it done but also need for things to dry out a bit before I can do it. The early week forecast isn't promising, however, with 40-60% chance of showers for a couple of days.