Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Unexpected Sunlight

Today was supposed to be one of those 'rain all day and night' days, thanks to the remnants of a hurricane. It rained a good bit of yesterday, and it rained for a couple of hours this morning. For the last half hour or so, the sun has been shining. The temperature has reached the low 60 degree Fahrenheit range; what we used to call "Indian Summer" is upon us.

Now there's a song cue if I ever heard one. Herewith: 'Indian Summer' as performed by Sidney Bechet and His New Orleans Feetwarmers:

Now that we have a little background music appropriate to the day.... the weather is tempting me to go off to the garden, but I woke this morning with the start of a cold and should stay home to nurse it. The frosts of last weekend wiped out most of what remained of my garden.

After some success with their winter survival and bloom this past spring, I've taken a great leap of faith and decided to plant tulips again. I used two beds which were once problematic for such adventures, being composed of soil which grows only rock and slate with ease; and which retains water to some potentially troublesome degree.

The 'double' tulips planted last autumn survived and bloomed.
The bed which provided success this past Spring isn't much different from the two beds planted the other day. Maybe the years of growing various soil improving plants overrun by copious weeds have finally paid off. But then again, it could have been the voles all along, which was my original suspicion. I hope the warm weather doesn't encourage them to go exploring.

Getting the beds for the tulips cleaned up and the bulbs planted was one victory. Now it's onto planting new daffodils. I was thinking that they would look really nice around the old apple tree. Over the 20 years I've gardened at Solar Hill, it has never produced very many apples. Last year that changed a little bit. This year was a good year for apples throughout the area, and the old apple tree produced hundreds of them. I've taken many for cooking, but there are still so many left to remove. The animals have helped themselves, neighbors who wander through have been encouraged to take some. Every time I think progress has been made, I arrive to find a fresh layer covering the ground. Next year I must get a cider press. As for the moment, my concern is that someone seems to have wandered off with the rake.
Meanwhile, around town the show continues, with sometimes notable changes everyday. The Common has gained color, lost it in the killing frosts, only to recover with the remaining trees seeking their turn in the spotlight. Even the oaks have been seeking attention by turning yellow red orange green instead of their usual brown. I live just a few steps away from the Common and either go by it, or pass through it, daily. Just looking down the street has been breathtaking.

The photo above (looking south towards downtown) was taken two weeks ago.

This, and the photos after it, were taken two days ago.
It's always kind of sad when the tourist information booth closes for the season. (But only 'kind of'.)

Every town in Vermont has a memorial to the men it lost in the Civil War. The list of names on each is quite long.

Well. A couple of the above pictures were volunteers (I've decided to leave them since they themselves jumped into the fray). I've been sitting at the computer for a few hours now, and quite frankly, I need a rest. This is highly unusual; I hope this isn't going to be a bad cold. I would prefer it be just a passing fancy.
Which means it's time to post last Saturday's radio show, which played a few for the extended glorious autumn before visiting October the 26th, 1944, when a different war preoccupied the general populace. The week in question saw the dedication on the Common of the Honor Roll, the list of those off to fight the war. 18 names appeared in gold in the center panel. At the dedication, a single flower was placed for each name. As there would be a permanent memorial for those who gave their lives in the war, a few folks thought it a shame that there wasn't some sort of permanent honor planned for those who went off to fight the war, or those who went to nurse the wounded back to health. They came up with the idea of a memorial to the living. People in town donated their war bonds to the as yet unspecified project. In the early 1950's, Living Memorial Park opened on the edge of town. It included the ski run and tow which had drawn tourists on special trains all the way from New York City in the late 1930's. It's still there, run and maintained now by volunteers. That says something about the kind of town Brattleboro is, and why I'm happy I chose it as a place to live.


The parade for young children, mentioned in the article above, still exists.
It's now known as the 'Horribles Parade'.
20 years ago, they used to close off half of Main Street for the walk to the old armory where a party was held.
The bands have faded away, and Main Street is no longer closed. The kids parade up the sidewalk without fanfare.
It's too bad, I really liked the Horribles, and I miss the town that did something special for young kids.


As always, I hope anyone who listens enjoys the show.

p.s. As I was finishing the above, the sunlight was blocked by forming clouds, and the rains began anew. Gusts of wind provided a veritable blizzard so thick with yellow leaves that driving through them must have been difficult. It was beautiful; and the force of nature was humbling. As suddenly as it started, the storm has passed - for the moment at least. The sun one again tries to peek though.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a lovely mellow sound Indian Summer has. I enjoyed that.
You have lovely colour out your way. Enjoy your indian summer...ours is supposed to start next week.