Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Night at the Opera.

11-28-10 SHORT HILLS: Thanksgiving has come and gone, and I go back to the gym tomorrow to begin to compensate and atone. We had eleven for dinner on Thursday—Alison’s family, Valerie’s family and Anna’s roommate from Chicago, Erin. Every one was generally agreeable, we ate and ate and ate, watched the Jets win, played pool, went to the movies, had extra desserts. The guests were all gone by mid-day Friday, but we all met again Saturday night for dinner at Café Fiorello and a night at the opera—the Met’s new production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte. The music is some of Mozart’s best, and the singing is mostly duets, quartets, sextets and a couple solo arias of note. The libretto by Da Ponte is a farce with a lot of laughs and a happy ending. Special ‘bravas’ for Miah Persson as Fiordiligi.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

More Red Sky.

11-23-10 SHORT HILLS: The garden remains quiet except for the crashing and clanking of falling leaves, and the leaf blowers, of course. The red oak is slowly giving it up and will finish, hopefully, before the gutter cleaners show up next week. The house in Vermont is blessed by having no gutters to collect leaves and tree debris and need attending to.

It is still comfortable outside wearing only a light jacket as we approach December and the winter solstice. I caught another nice sunset.

One benefit of leaflessness is better sunsets.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wind Storm.

11-19-10 SHORT HILLS: We had a two day wind storm, clear air wind storm. Usually that’s due to a High to the west and a Low pressure area to the east. The wind around the high circulates clockwise around the center of the high, and the wind around the low circulates counter-clockwise. If you can picture that situation, the wind around both centers summates and comes at us from the northwest. Anyway it blew all the hanging leaves out of the burning bushes and other trees and shrubs. The oak tree is hanging on. The yard was full of branches this morning, and I spent an hour of so breaking them up. I also did a bit of pruning.

The roses are still flowering as are the abelia. Thanks, Lori, for the nice comment. I showed Beauty Berry recently, on 10-26-10, as a new planting. Those berries are hanging on even though all the leaves are gone.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Burning Bush.

11-16-10 SHORT HILLS: I came back to NJ yesterday on an overcast day which makes for easier driving—no sun glare or reflections. In Vermont, I finished making all the pieces for the cart and assembled the bed and suspension. The upper part needs to be glued and screwed, but that can be done inside the house where it’s warm in December. The work done so far was in the garage, and it was chilly working outside. There was so much sawdust on the garage floor that it took more than an hour to clean up and then put all the tools away.

The evening before the trip to NJ, I went to hear the Dartmouth Glee Club do the Messiah, part of it, but including the Hallelujah Chorus.

Back here, the burning bushes are aflame, and lots of leaves are hanging on yet.

The yard is full of volunteer burning bushes, some of them, like this row were transplanted to make a border.

Black chokeberry is orange, and burning bush is red.

Current cart configuration.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Gardens are Put to Bed.

11-11-10 VERMONT: It was warmer today, but we started with ice on the pond and heavy frost on the ground. By mid-morning with bright sun it was all gone. Josh and his brother finished all the leaves today, and I finished the beds, did more pruning and some weeding. When all the beds are cleared, the stone walls and stairs reappear. The tall garden plants hide the walls, almost completely in places. With the plants gone, you can see the walls and do repairs. Similarly, pruning is easier with the leaves down.

In the afternoon I took a look at Judy’s pumpkin cart which totally rotted away this summer. Maybe I can resurrect it, but I’ll do it in pressure treated wood.

With the beds cleared, all the rock walls and stairs reappear.

Ice on the pond from this morning was gone by the time we hit 50°.

Another blue sky day. Except for Chloe, everything is dormant for winter.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Blue Sky All Day.

11-10-10 VERMONT: I have been busy doing more clean up. Josh has been here with his brother and they have been doing the lawn leaves with huge leaf-blowers. I have finished the terraced beds to the north of the old house and the beds between the house and road, but the last hasn’t had the cuttings removed. I pruned the big viburnum by the old mud room. There is still lots to do.

Today was sunny and fairly warm and pleasant to be outside, no rain for 24 hours, wow. Supposed to be warmer tomorrow.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Red Sky at NIght.

11-8-10 VERMONT: I have cleaned all the beds behind the house and the beds behind the pond and between the house and driveway—about half of what I need to do. Today we were back in the rain, but it stopped for a few hours at mid-day and I got outside for a bit of work. Today was windy and cold, but things are supposed to warm up a bit later in the week.

On Sunday we heard Anna perform with the Dartmouth College Gospel Choir. It was a great show. The Choir is large and very exuberant. Alison, Dan and Lily were up for the occasion. Everybody but me left this morning. The skies cleared Sunday evening for a pretty sunset, in red, before becoming overcast again at night.

Saturday night we had dinner at the Roger and Ann’s with four other couples. Ann did a marvelous job, as always.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Gray Day.

11-5-10 VERMONT: Judy and I both drove up here yesterday in the rain and fog and arrived within a few seconds of each other. The rain continued over night and into the morning and tapering off after noon. It’s still dark, dank, damp, cloudy, foggy, cold and everything is dripping wet.

In the afternoon I went out with the dogs and walked around the half-mowed pasture. I hope Josh gets to do the rest before the snow. The little pond, empty in August, is now overflowing. There are puddles in every hollow. I did a few chores as I came across them. I pulled out corn stalks and tomato vines, filled the bird feeders, cleared some dead fall in the forest, put the small pasture gate away and removed some horse barriers now that Brady the horse is back at Janet’s.

There are actually still a few flowers around—lamium, sedum, monkshood, feverfew, witch hazel, asters and maybe a few others. Oaks, beeches, willows, are still holding on to a few brown leaves and only the occasional berry bearer has color.

Gray, foggy, misty, dark, damp, cold, dripping day with puddles.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Halloween and The Series.

11-3-10 SHORT HILLS: We are no longer frost virgins this season. The last two nights have left us with white haze on the lawns. The hold-out trees are still partly green, and forsythia and some viburnums are mostly green.

Halloween on Garden Place in Brooklyn, NY was the usual mad crush of camera toting adults, some in costume, and hoards of goblins, superheroes and heroines, vamps, vampires, animals, knights, ninjas, nurses, nuns, gagas, madonnas and obamas. Our stoop went through 1,500 treats in a couple hours and closed shop. We decided that if you’re pregnant, you’re too old, and, besides, you’ve already done your trick.

It was nice to see the SF Giants win. I remember the ’54 Series when the NY Giants, my team then, swept the Indians. That was the series with the Willie Mays catch and Dusty Rhodes homers.

Vermont tomorrow—a nice solid blue state.

Garden Place.

Now remember to say, "Thank You."

Those are really good costumes.

Loads of geese are full timers here, but some still migrate. Is this the beginning of an evolutionary divergence?