Thursday, November 29, 2007

Vermont is colder than New Jersey.

11-29-07 SHORT HILLS: The weather is definitely milder here than in Vermont. Nothing is frozen, not a hint of snow, and some trees—oak, beech, Japanese maple and dawn redwood still have foliage—it’s as if they are considering the option of not going deciduous this year. That foliage is, of course, not green but is still mostly on the tree.

The minimum temperature in Vermont has been as low as 15°, but in New Jersey our minimum has been only 25°. In NJ only four days this month have had minimums below freezing, but in Vermont, only four days have had minimums above freezing. December both locations will probably be more alike.

Perhaps this why it's called a red oak.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

More Thanksgiving.

11-25-07 VERMONT: The weather has gone from foggy and warm to cold, windy and partly cloudy which gave us another nice sunset. The moon has been full and with snow on the ground, the nights are incredibly bright. The Koreys, Katz’s and Nelsons came to dinner last night, and tonight we meet Denny and Laura-Beth at Murphy’s. Tomorrow back to Short Hills.

There's a full moon in there.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Foggy Day.

THANKSGIVING-07 VERMONT: We got about three inches of snow on the 20th. With snow cover, I burnt the brush pile in the pasture quite successfully—nothing left but about a quart of ashes. The next day I tried to repeat that triumph by burning the pile of prunings in the woods, but only got it down by half. Snow on the ground means animal tracks become visible. We have had a lot of deer activity in the pasture and even near the house. That’s probably why the dogs, mostly Sam, have been so restless after dark.

Today is foggy, warm, in the forties, drizzly and damp. The winds are calm. The snow is melting, and the ground is thawing leaving puddles in every low spot. The frozen pond is melting. It’s not a bright sunny day, but it’s not a bad day, just a different king of good day. In the country, one is more aware of the weather—hot or cold, windy or calm, west wind or east, rainy or snowy, or sunny, clear and dry, or foggy and dank. We get combinations from that list, and we get sequences. In some way, every day is, thankfully, unique.

A lot of the shrubs still have some leaves, gray or brown or even with some autumn color hanging on. It’s as though they were caught off guard by the fairly abrupt change from warm to wintry. I suppose they’ll figure it out. One month to go until the winter solstice.




Monday, November 19, 2007

Let It Snow.

11-19-07 VERMONT: We arrived yesterday afternoon after an easy drive and had about an hour of daylight left before a clear sky sunset. Today I cut down all the garden plant stalks to clear the beds for the spring and to get rid of mildew on phlox and peony leaves. The job seems to get longer each year. It took six cartloads to move all the discards to compost piles and all day. The beds all look so tidy. The trees are bare, leaves mostly blown away, pond frozen, mountains white, temperature in the twenties all day—bring on the snow.

Snowy Mountains.

Sleeping Gardens.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Arrival of Autumn.

11-17-07 SHORT HILLS: After the few cold nights, we got down to 30° here and 20° in Vermont, the change in leaf color is dramatic. The dawn redwood, red oak, beech, Norway maple, burning bush, baldy cypress have all gone from mostly summer color to autumn color in the few days since the first frost. The trees must respond to temperature change as well as photoperiod. We do mushrooms popping up all over the yard. I guess they count as new blooms. We saw more deer on today’s walk. Vermont tomorrow.

New Mushroom Bloom.

Fox Hill Reservation.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

First Frost Finally.

11-13-07 SHORT HILLS: We finally had our first frost, minimal to be sure, but the tenderest plants have shut down. Today we had a bit of rain. Maybe next year we will get to Thanksgiving without a frost. Sam knows how to deal with a rainy day, actually not much different than how she deals with most days.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Berry Red.

11-7-07 SHORT HILLS: The weather is finally cooling off a bit, but there has yet to be a frost in this part of NJ. The leaves are turning and falling in the usual sequence—ash first and oak last. The trees must respond to the amount of daylight, photo period, more than to temperature. In addition to the leaves, there is color from fruit and berries. Here is some red. Can you match the pictures with the names?

Barberry, Burning Bush, Crab Apple, English Holly, Viburnum.