The Season Turned

By: BriarCraft , 8:39 PM GMT on August 10, 2014

Astrologers and meteorologists have their own definitions of the seasons, using fixed dates. There is another sort of seasonal change and that is one you can feel if you pay attention to that sort of thing. Where I live, the season turned from summer to fall on July 25th. Some years it is earlier or later. It is not a fixed date.

The best way I can describe it is a sudden difference in the feel of the air. Sudden, as in from one day to the next. July 25th started out as just another summer day, but that night was a bit cooler than it had been. Since then, it simply feels like fall. The daytime highs may be just as hot, but it cools off faster in the evening and the nighttime lows are a few degrees cooler. And the sun just doesn't feel as intense, even in the hottest part of the afternoon. My mother, who lives near Portland, Oregon, felt it and remarked on it, too.

Now, a couple of weeks after July 25th, the berry plants know that it is fall. Before long, other plants will know it, too. We will have a couple more months of nice weather to look forward to. First frost is unlikely to happen before October. Still and all, the season has turned here.

Even though I noticed the season turn, it took awhile for the meaning of that to sink in. Now, just as suddenly as the turning of the season, the unfinished tasks of the summer are at the forefront of my thoughts. In May and June, I was focused on gardening and mowing and DH was focused on pruning. In July, the weeding and pruning continued, but with less intensity, and watering and harvesting was the focus. Now, in August, we find that things we meant to get started on earlier in the summer still haven't been started. Ack!

I'll report on our progress as it happens. I welcome your kibbitzing and also would love to know about any summer projects you have yet to finish. I am the only procrastinator? Are you able to feel the seasons turn where you live?

Jane Doe and Twins (BriarCraft)
Columbian black-tailed deer. Jane does so well scavenging from my garden that she raises twins every year.
Jane Doe and Twins

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52. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
9:38 PM GMT on August 23, 2014
BriarCraft has created a new entry.
51. sandiquiz
8:13 PM GMT on August 23, 2014
Hi there,
How was your trip to the sea...and have you got the fish preserved?
Bet the house was a little 'fishy' yesterday!

I had a lovely time in Constable country. I took over 300 photos and have chosen 40 to 50 for the next four blogs.. :-)
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 325 Comments: 29649
50. WeatherWise
11:59 AM GMT on August 23, 2014
Just saw your new blog entry over on WordPress! Does that make me first? Looks like you had a great day! Great photos of the area with the bonus of the great heron and neat shots of the pelican, tattler, and all of those shorebirds! Thanks for taking us along!
Member Since: February 28, 2003 Posts: 278 Comments: 6779
49. WeatherWise
5:50 PM GMT on August 22, 2014
Something smells fishy in here! Are you still in the kitchen? HOpe all went well on your trip and perhaps you are almost through with the canning.

Perhaps a bouquet of cilantro will freshen up the kitchen and whole house a bit!

Member Since: February 28, 2003 Posts: 278 Comments: 6779
48. Ylee
11:29 PM GMT on August 21, 2014
Not good getting particulates from China, but be thankful you aren't in China! :(
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 115 Comments: 20031
47. WeatherWise
2:00 AM GMT on August 21, 2014
Hi Briar, It is the same hurt arm from May. It is better and don't want to renew the injury. It mostly bothers me at night when I am suppose to be sleeping. Am afraid if I start pulling furniture around might hurt it more.

The fog or dew is not under the carport but on my car that is in the driveway. So will soon move things around so that I can get my car under the carport again.

Have a fun day at the coast.
Member Since: February 28, 2003 Posts: 278 Comments: 6779
46. BriarCraft
12:23 AM GMT on August 21, 2014
Poppy: I remember when Oregonians got a sales tax exemption in Washington. Mostly, it was the merchants in Vancouver -- I think in the 60s or early 70s -- lobbied for that change because they couldn't compete with Oregon merchants just across the Columbia. Vancouver was just a bedroom community for Portland with a dead downtown area. Now, it is thriving because merchants can lure people across the river now.

WW: Hurting your hurt arm! What did you do to yourself? Whatever you did, I hope it gets better soon.
Dew and fog do have a way of creeping in under covered areas like your lovely "summer room". Where I live, there is very little dew at this time of year -- just enough to get the toes of my sneakers wet early in the morning.

Mike: A black car in the desert??? Crazy man.

Data: You are absolutely right about Washington nailing folks who go to Oregon to buy their cars. When I moved here from California, I had to prove how long I had owned my car prior to the move in order to avoid that tax.

I was surprised that sales tax is applied to services here, as they were exempt in California. That was quite a hit when I bought this place and also when we had a room added on to the house and had to pay sales tax on labor as well as materials. Still, I don't mind that under the assumption that if you can afford to buy real estate or add on a room, you should be able to afford the tax as well.

It definitely feels "wild westy" here at times, too, when I hear high-powered rifles being fired nearby. I console myself by thinking, it's all right if I hear the shots. Since bullets travel faster than sound, theoretically it is the bullet I don't hear that I need to worry about.

YOR: I will be thinking of you tomorrow as I head to the coast. Before I retired and moved here, I used to get depressed in the big city, being surrounded by too many people and roads and buildings. You need to get out of the city, away from all those buildings and too many people. Pick some fruit. Get dirt on your hands. Listen to the birds in the trees. Then you will be re-energized and feel better.

Next time I type to you, me and the whole house will smell fishy.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4697
45. YelloworangeRose
11:43 PM GMT on August 20, 2014
Reading the posts makes me want to get out from being stuck here in the city where my activity is all office to home and home to office and everywhere i look are buildings and streets. need to unwind and find time to visit the farm. The coconuts and mangoes i personally planted long time ago are fruit bearing now.
Member Since: April 21, 2009 Posts: 27 Comments: 2109
44. DataPilot
8:01 PM GMT on August 20, 2014
Oh, and one more thing. Property taxes vary dramatically in Oregon, depending on where you live. It's almost embarrassing to admit how low our taxes are relative to what people pay in in town. The taxes on my little condo in south Eugene was three times (!) what we pay for our five acres plus house and outbuildings. We're only 10 minutes from town, although it feels like we're way, way out in the boonies. I don't know how Portland property taxes compare with Eugene, but I'm going to guess that they're at least as high.

Insofar as public services go, we have good schools and excellent roads out here, despite the low taxes. The roads even get plowed and sanded in the winter, which isn't the case for much of Eugene. We also have a good semi-volunteer fire department, but almost no police. The truth is that almost everyone in our rural area has guns and know how to use them. It can get frighteningly wild-westy at times.
Member Since: January 5, 2009 Posts: 11 Comments: 1294
43. DataPilot
7:44 PM GMT on August 20, 2014
Just beware if you buy a car in a sales tax-free state like Oregon, then register it in Washington. You may be hit with a big, unexpected tax assessment.

My brother made the mistake of buying a car in Oregon when his mailing address was in Spokane. He was in the process of moving, going back and forth between both states and maintained apartments in both places. That's why he needed the car in the first place. Anyway, his official residence on the day when he purchased the car was in Washington, so he was clobbered with a hefty sales tax when he registered it.

Washington tax assessment on out of state vehicles
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42. clearlakemike
7:29 PM GMT on August 20, 2014
I bought a new car in Riverside county when I lived there, calpoppy, rather than in the city and county of San Francisco where I was also still technically a resident at the same time and it was a significant sales tax savings. It was also a black car, lol,...nothing like a black car in the desert, LOL. It was like an oven when I first got in it. Took awhile for the a/c to cool it off, lol. The MSRP was significantly discounted also. SF is like LA. It was almost 10% when I left. I don't know what it is now. I noticed when I was back there last year there was another new tax to provide health care for city residents, I think. I think that was on restaurant food. I didn't mind paying that as it wasn't that much and it helps people get better healthcare there. Kind of like giving a genuine homeless person spare change or a dollar.
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 150 Comments: 2587
41. WeatherWise
3:12 PM GMT on August 20, 2014
Hi Briar, I enjoyed reading the dialogue and banter on your blog with everyone. Great conversations.

Nature has one more way of telling me it is time to close my play patio area or at least confine it to the back area of the carport. About this time of the year, August NIGHTS, bring quite a bit of dew and fog - making early morn trips a bit hard to see without wiping all of the windows down. So, I move one table inside by the front sunny window and move the other table to the back after rearranging the rug sideways, and move my wicker furniture to the wall on the side to make room for my car under the carport. I had already moved my little mosaic table inside before leaving for DC.

It is time to do that - trying to figure out how to get the job done without hurting my hurt arm.

Member Since: February 28, 2003 Posts: 278 Comments: 6779
40. calpoppy
2:01 PM GMT on August 20, 2014
When I was in Seattle last year I found out that the state of Washington honors states without sales tax and does not charge sales tax to the people from those states. So my son got everything tax free with his Alaskan drivers license. That was very nice of them ;)

States without sales tax make up the difference somehow, many times it is in high property tax. In Cali sales tax varies from county to county, LA county being one of the highest if not the highest in Cali. But I do most of my shopping in San Bernardino County which is a lower sales tax.

Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 72 Comments: 4782
39. clearlakemike
4:11 AM GMT on August 20, 2014
The other sad commentary, of course, is the plume of particulate matter that is coming across the Pacific from China. :-(

Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 150 Comments: 2587
38. BriarCraft
4:00 AM GMT on August 20, 2014
This, from Earth Observatory shows better than words why it gets smoky in western Washington when the east wind blows. I had planned on a trip to visit the Grand Coulee Dam and northeastern Washington this summer, but I will wait and do it another time. Don't get me wrong. My photo shoot plans are the least of my concerns when so many people have lost their homes to wildfires.

The other sad commentary, of course, is the plume of particulate matter that is coming across the Pacific from China. :-(

Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4697
37. clearlakemike
3:48 AM GMT on August 20, 2014
Interesting...yes, going back to Clear Lake is usually mentioned by G, does have hot summer but brief. The winters were a dry cold compared to the damp cold along the coast and I found that easier to deal with. Hawaii's sales tax is about half of California's but everything is sooo expensive. Oy! Yes, I like visiting Oregon also. My dog used to go ballistic when we had to refuel the car in Oregon, though, lol.
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 150 Comments: 2587
36. BriarCraft
2:18 AM GMT on August 20, 2014
Mike: The heat and dryness is the most comfortable for my health. Of course, G hates the desert and would probably really enjoy the climate where you are. We had our eleventienth million debate again about it today. We might as well just record it and play it back at each other once in awhile while doing other more interesting things.

I think there are places in northern Cali that might suit you both. And I found California taxes quite a bit less than Oregon's because the income tax in Oregon is regressive and hits lower incomes hard. No matter how you slice it, 11% is high for a state, even one without a sales tax. It remains my favorite place to visit.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4697
35. clearlakemike
1:13 AM GMT on August 20, 2014
YOR, yes, I think it is over population and lack of food in the wild. So many of them get hit by cars and it is dangerous to drive at night with them out trying to cross the roads.

Briar, yes, I don't like Lowes either but will hold my nose when I go in, lol...Interesting to learn about your tax avoidance scheme and cost of homes research. If I could tolerate the cold damp winters that might be an area to investigate if I can ever extract myself from here. The desert is still number one on my list despite it being in heavily taxed California. The heat and dryness is the most comfortable for my health. Of course, G hates the desert and would probably really enjoy the climate where you are. We had our eleventienth million debate again about it today. We might as well just record it and play it back at each other once in awhile while doing other more interesting things.
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 150 Comments: 2587
34. BriarCraft
12:34 AM GMT on August 20, 2014
Data: That old adage you quote was a major deciding factor for me when I had had enough of San Diego and wanted to come back to the PNW. My favorite area in terms of scenic beauty and lifestyle would have been the MacKenzie River area in your neighborhood, but I ended up in Lewis County, Washington because of taxes and real estate prices. Lewis County has the lowest real estate prices anywhere on the I-5 corridor in Oregon or Washington and it is just a bit over an hour away from my parents in the Portland area. So I live where there is no income tax and do most of my big-ticket shopping in Oregon where there is no sales tax. Works for me. Besides, I'm just doing as former governer Tom McCall asked, "Keep Oregon green. Bring money."

Now, as to inquiring minds...
I have two theories. One, the cat is appreciative and wants to thank you for a snug place to sleep and all that food and love. Two, if it is a female cat, she just might be trying to teach her idiot pet human how to hunt. Oh wait. I just though of a third theory. The cat really doesn't want what he caught and figures you'll take care of that mess, just like you take care of everything else.

The second and third theories are based on the antics of Gem, who used to bring live prey into the house and turn it loose: assorted grasshoppers, lizards, squirrels, mourning doves, two rats, and a rabbit. She did put the rabbit in the tub. She got very upset with me when I would throw a towel or bowl over the critter and then take it outside. Despite her efforts, I never did learn how to kill and eat what she brought me, even when she dropped her live prey on my lap! And I did always clean up the mess.

WW: I am not excited about Jane Doe in a good way. There are way too many deer around and their population continues to grow because we got rid of most of their natural predators. I feel about deer like I do about squirrels. They are attractive and make good photo subjects, but they do not make good neighbors. Just last night, Jane munched off the tops of my green pepper plants. :-(

As to canning tuna, it's not that I'm that smart. Or frugal. Just spoiled. Once I tasted home-canned tuna, I can't stand the commercially canned stuff. So I go to added expense and bother, just to indulge in gourmet tuna. The place where I buy fresh albacore also cans and sells home-style tuna for $6 per 6-ounce can. Not counting gasoline to go get it, it costs me around $3 per 7-ounce jar. I don't indulge myself on very many things. Mostly I am frugal. But I would spend twice as much to enjoy that tuna and now my parents and brother have me canning some for them, too.

Ylee: I will make time to read Chapter 5!

Sandi: You're doing it wrong with C. You should have waited until your return to do the housecleaning, since he is not housebroken. Now you'll have to do it twice in a week. Enjoy your trip, too!

Mike: Welcome to the club. I have been boycotting Citibank for over a decade now. The ironic thing is that they now pay me a $10 Amazon credit every month for answering their marketing survey questions, so I got the last laugh with them. I take turns being unhappy with Lowe's and Home Cheapo. Currently Lowe's is on my s&*t list.

For years, I concocted a mixture of raw egg, garlic, vegetable oil, soap, and tabasco. I would seal it in a milk jug and set it in a warm place for a couple of weeks until it got really nasty, then strain it and spray it around as a deer repellent. Problem was, it didn't last long. Then one day, I shook it up, getting ready to spray, and the jug exploded in my face. Ick! Blech! Yuck! I quick turned on the garden hose and doused myself thoroughly before going inside for a proper scrub. This year, I purchased a latex-based spray concentrate that smells just as bad but lasts quite a bit longer. Nothing works 100%, but it does fairly well.

YOR: So Citibank is no better in your country than here, making people unhappy, and yet they are a hugely profitable corporation. That is just not right. For myself, I only have one credit card, which I use for online purchases or when I travel. Otherwise, I use a debit card or cash. And never any piece of plastic from Citibank.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4697
33. YelloworangeRose
10:58 PM GMT on August 19, 2014
Quoting clearlakemike:
They even came up onto another one's deck and ate her plastic flowers, lol. She didn't have a green thumb and put plastic flowers in her planters. I sprayed all my plants with something to make them less desirable. Driving at night was scary too as they were all over the roads and highways. Use to see lots of dead ones by the highway. Occasionally they would fly up through the windshields and kill the drivers/passengers.

They ate plastic flowers?? poor things they must be hungry and not much food to eat in the wild anymore. Perhaps it is why they travel to look for food and on the way gets hit by vehicles and or hurt passengers trying to not get hit. I know some people here in my country having problem with Citibank. It is why i never wanted to have a credit card due to hearing their complaints.

Hi WW, Sandi, BriarCraft and everyone ~ hope you had a nice sunday.
Member Since: April 21, 2009 Posts: 27 Comments: 2109
32. clearlakemike
6:05 PM GMT on August 19, 2014
I have just had a very unpleasant experience with Citi Bank which manages the Home Depot credit card also (along with Shell gasoline cards.) I am now boycotting Citi, Home Depot and Shell. Fortunately, there is a Lowes big box hardware here that I can patronize instead. Easy enough to avoid Shell and their gas prices are much higher here anyway.

We use to have deer come down in packs on the streets at night where we lived at Clear Lake. Sometimes I would see them while out walking my dog and they were kind of aggressive. I think I remember one neighbor having an altercation with them. They even came up onto another one's deck and ate her plastic flowers, lol. She didn't have a green thumb and put plastic flowers in her planters. I sprayed all my plants with something to make them less desirable. Driving at night was scary too as the deer were all over the roads and highways. Use to see lots of dead ones by the highway in the mornings. Occasionally they would fly up through the windshields and kill the drivers/passengers.
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 150 Comments: 2587
31. sandiquiz
10:04 AM GMT on August 19, 2014
I am all ready to go, the house is clean, and the list of "How To" written for C, so he can look after himself,and Max!

C is not 'domesticated' at all, so leaving him in the house for three days is a little.... worrying!! lol

Hope you have a great time at the coast, and good luck dealing with the fish on Friday.

Safe trip:)

Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 325 Comments: 29649
30. Ylee
2:53 AM GMT on August 19, 2014
Hi! Glad you caught a mole!
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29. WeatherWise
1:46 AM GMT on August 19, 2014
Wow, Brair, love your Jane Does story and photo! How exciting as long as they are not nibbling on your garden.

WOW. you are so smart canning all of that fish. I have never done that...never canned anything other than veggies or preserves and jellies or pickles. You are doing it in such bulk, too! Amazing! Good luck!

You are something else with those moles. Glad you caught him. They can really work up a yard.

Take care and have a good rest of the week before you get that load of fish at the coast - then the work begins! Good Luck!
Member Since: February 28, 2003 Posts: 278 Comments: 6779
28. BriarCraft
12:45 AM GMT on August 19, 2014
Last week, our challenge was more fun than challenging as we photographed Domestic Animals.

See more at Flickr group Compositionally Challenged.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4697
27. DataPilot
12:09 AM GMT on August 19, 2014
Tomorrow, I go visit my parents and load up on sales-tax-free cat food in Oregon. Tuesday and Wednesday are open.

This brings to mind an adage:

"What's the difference between Oregonians and Washingtonians? The way we buy gas, and the way we are taxed."

No sales tax in Oregon, yay. We pay higher income and property taxes than you folks in Washington, though.

No self-service gas in Oregon, either -- that is, unless you're filling an airplane, in which case self-service is specifically allowed by the same law than bans self-service for cars. Go figure.

We haven't had mole problems on our property for several years now, but the pocket gophers are relentless. Not only do they make a mess of our lawn and garden, but they leave dangerous passageways all over my horses' pasture. They're hard to catch, too. It's been several years since I've found a dead gopher on the doormat.

Which brings up the next question. Inquiring minds want to know...

Why do cats feel the need to leave their prey remnants right in front of doors? Our indoor/outdoor cats always leave their "presents" on the doormat by the back door (our main house entryway). We've learned to look before we step out the door in bare feet. Ugh. The barn cats leave their discombobulated prey either by the "people" door in the barn, or next to the horses' stall door. Lately, they've been catching voles and mice, although sometimes they'll leave a half-eaten rat, shrew, house sparrow or garter snake. Blech.

But no moles, or gophers.
Member Since: January 5, 2009 Posts: 11 Comments: 1294
26. BriarCraft
11:06 PM GMT on August 17, 2014
GG: I resisted bringing anything home from the garden center. Nothing fun at Home Depot, either, just pieces and parts that (in theory) will connect a new gutter downspout with an existing drainage pipe. With my luck, another trip or two to Home Depot will be required before I get it right.

Deer may be nice to look at, but their population is really out of control in so many places. If I was a hunter, I could fill the freezer from the deck. Jane typically hangs out here April-October and spends the rest of the year somewhere else.

Lobster Fest is supposed to mean great food, not worshipping the porcelain god. At least you've got plush carpet, so you can be comfortable while you are miserable, if such a thing is possible.

Glenn: Thanks for stopping by! You're right, it is blackberry season for a couple more weeks yet. I love just about any kind of berry, but we have had enough of blueberries for now.

Bug: Cute photo! The most I ever managed was 5 cats in bed with me, but now we only have 4 in residence. I will say, when they get to snuggling I want to throw off the blankets. They put out an amazing amount of heat.

Data: I wish we had some wild turkeys around here. That would be fun, and would keep the cats on their toes. Jane has done a really good job of keeping the pole beans and sugar snap pea vines trimmed this year. There will finally be a few beans to pick soon, if Jane doesn't get them first. I told DH I want a 7-foot deer fence around the garden next year. I'm tired of deer and rabbits getting the best of what I grow.

Friday and Saturday I did a complete round of mowing, not that the grass had grown much, but to mow down all those dandelions.

The score for this year is now Wally 1, Briar 3.
I spent over an hour repairing that poor flowerbed this morning. I removed the 3 traps and put them away. Then I stomped down mole runs, filled in dirt where needed, and dumped the leftovers around the potato plants in the garden. During the process of all that, I emptied 3 5-gallon buckets of dirt harvested from mole hills. I still have another bucket and a half that I am holding aside for the next time I twist my ankle stepping in a gopher or rabbit hole.

Tomorrow, I go visit my parents and load up on sales-tax-free cat food in Oregon. Tuesday and Wednesday are open.

Albacore has been coming in since late July, so I'd better not procrastinate any more. Brother has jumped on the albacore bandwagon this year, so I will can an extra 12 half-pint jars for him. That brings the total for this year to 60: 24 for us, 24 for my parents, 12 for brother. I have ordered 60 pounds of fish, which will yield about 30 pounds of meat for 60 half-pint jars. Thursday I will head for Westport for a fun day at the coast and then stop at the docks to load a cooler with fresh albacore when I am ready to head home. Then Friday, I will stink up the house processing 4 pressure-canner loads of fish. I checked the forecast for here as well as Westport and ordered the fish accordingly. Thursday will be partly cloudy at the coast. Friday here will be cloudy and mid-70s, so I can have all the windows open and still be comfortable.

Busybusybusy. I'd never be able to get it all done if I wasn't retired. It's all good, though.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4697
25. PugetSoundPost
10:30 PM GMT on August 17, 2014
You beat us last Monday. We ended up with a high of 99.6 - I was sure wishing to squeek out the last .4 degrees! We had it smoky/cloudy all day too; just imagine if the sun had been given free reign to blaze over us what the temperature would have been! I heard a rumor that the smoke was from fires down your way, but I never really did hear any report to know. But that all was followed quickly by a lot of rain (and thunder and lightning that super hot day!), continuing sprinkly rain after that and so much cooler, but today "late" summer is back! It is hot again outside in the bright sunshine. Our high was 87 today.

I have a lot of tomatoes that are ripe and I need to pick them and use as many this week as I can. We travel this coming Saturday and need to have them mostly gone. One son will still be here but I am not thinking he will do a lot of harvesting of much. But I will encourage him to do so. Anyway, up and down weather and we're in the golden days of late summer.
Member Since: October 8, 2001 Posts: 198 Comments: 1137
24. DataPilot
6:44 PM GMT on August 17, 2014
Hi Briar! I haven't been posting much due to technical difficulties at my home (slooooow WU and comments getting lost before I can finish writing them), but it's gotten a bit better over the last few days. Fingers crossed that it stays that way.

This really has been a strange year, weather-wise. We're supposedly in a moderate drought, yet it's greener than I remember it ever being in mid-August. We had a high of 101 on Monday, followed by 81 on Wednesday and an incredible rain deluge. We still a few small puddles left over.

When I lived in south Eugene, we were overrun by black-tail deer. A small herd literally took up residence, for years, under the decking of my condo building. Mr. Pilot and I were very surprised when we bought our little farm in the country and learned deer are a rarity on the property. Perhaps that's because they know that they're in danger of being hunted, whereas they're safe among all the humans in town. Wild turkeys are a common sight, however; we currently have a mama and her two "turklings" roosting in the oak tree right next to our house.

For me, the start of the changing seasons means sweet, ripe tomatoes. Hubby and I graze on them whenever we are in the yard, then pick more for dinner.

The other way that I know seasons are changing is that the horses start shedding out their summer coats. Both Vicki and Zelda are shedding away, so I expect that they'll start growing their shaggy winter coats soon. Oh, and I need to remember to call my hay supplier tonight. The hay that I ordered for my "big girls" should be ready any day. I consider summer to be truly over when my barn is full of second-cutting local hay.
Member Since: January 5, 2009 Posts: 11 Comments: 1294
23. palmettobug53
4:30 PM GMT on August 17, 2014
I've not noticed much of a change yet, other than the slightly shortened daylight hours. The sun has sunk to the point that it's right in my eyes during my morning commute. It's worst right in that one area where I need to change lanes on the bridge.

Cuddling with the cats?

Like this?

Honey, I'm cold.....
Member Since: October 7, 2005 Posts: 246 Comments: 26343
22. GardenGrrl
10:05 AM GMT on August 17, 2014
DEER! How cool to have mama and the fawns show up....well if they leave you some of the garden that is.
I am so happy to be up and about. Friday we went to eat at fancy restaurant that was having their August lobster fest. MIne was a bit tough so I complained and they took it off the bill. A few hours later I was appreciating that we just put in soft plush carpet in the bathroom because I could barely get off the floor. My thoughts were: "I so better not die while I have that particular blog up." Anyways, feel great this morning which is good because I'm starting the long work week. Type to ya later.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 290 Comments: 11494
21. GlennPaw
8:57 AM GMT on August 16, 2014
I need to be picking blackberries. They are fresh, delious, free, plentiful, and so good!! Plain or ala mode' All is a go except my energy level.
Member Since: January 7, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 9
20. GardenGrrl
7:13 PM GMT on August 15, 2014
Oh you had the big store run. Home Depot is always a favorite. Did you bring home anything from the garden center? It is hot again here. The pigeons are depleting the bird bath almost as quickly as the sun is. Going to have to get out there and fill it soon.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 290 Comments: 11494
19. BriarCraft
5:03 PM GMT on August 15, 2014
Thanks for tending my blog for me. I can't believe it's been 4 days since I was here.

Poppy: When the fall rains come and shop time returns, you and I will need to put our heads together about cold frame design. I have seen cold frames, but never paid that much attention to their design. As the plant woman of the high desert, I have hopes that you will have some ideas for me.

WW: I'm glad you got to have a nice vacation, but glad you're back. I will come visit your blog soon, to see photos and read about what you saw.

No one would want our greenhouse, as this would have been the year to replace the plastic if I hadn't decided it was time for the whole thing to go.

YOR: It is not good that your rainy season is hot and dry. I hope you get some good rainfall, but not from any typhoons.

GG: Yep! 102° was the high on Monday. Our hottest day of the year, and a very strange day because I never saw the sun. The sky was cloudy-smoky and I could see no more than a bright spot in the cloud cover to indicate where the sun was hiding.

Nobody waters their lawns here in summer, so the grass turns brown by sometime in July and stays that way until the fall rains. We still have plenty of green in the form of dandelions, which are one of the most drought-tolerant plants I have seen.

Ylee: I suspect that regulating the temperature in a cold frame is not much different than with a greenhouse. Open it up when the sun shines. Close it up at night. Turn the heat on if it is going to get cold. I have seen a cold frame kept above freezing by the heat from one incandescent light bulb. Now that incandescents are out, I will probably have to rely on heated mats to keep seedlings warm at night.

Mike: I followed your link. Cool that you get to experience something that most of us never will, with the sun exactly dead-center overhead. And I find it interesting that you can feel the subtle shift of seasons in Hawaii, which I never thought of as having much in the way of seasons.

Sandi: It is nice and cool here now. We had some thunder showers Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. Only 2/3 of an inch total, but enough to settle the dust. Unfortunately, now it is humid. I absolutely do not like it when I break into a sweat while toweling off from a cool shower. :-(

Okay, status report time:

While I originally planned to empty the greenhouse this week, turned out it had to get done on Tuesday. DH was drafted as my helperman and I couldn't have done it without him. It had to get done in one day, because the contractor said he would be here first thing Wednesday morning to demolish it.

Thursday, I had to go to Longview for a dental check-up and cleaning. The back seat and trunk of the car were jammed full of black plastic nursery pots -- some of which came with the greenhouse and the rest accumulated over the past 10 years. Greg's Gardens in Longview was thrilled to have all those pots for free, and they got quite an assortment of sizes from 1-gallon pots to 25-gallon tubs. While in town, I bought some new leather gloves, as the fingertips of the old ones are wearing through. Also on the agenda was the Franz bread outlet store, Target, and Home Depot, so I went home with quite a load, too.

And now I simply must go mow down some of those dandelion flowers and fluff.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4697
18. sandiquiz
12:24 PM GMT on August 15, 2014
It has turned really chilly here. I had to put on a jacket when I went out first thing, it was only 55 at 8am:(

We are finally dry today, though, unlike my sister, who is in Wales and climbing Snowdonia as I type and according to the radar, it is raining in Wales! Hope she took her waterproof!!

Hope you have cooled down somewhat :)
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 325 Comments: 29649
17. WeatherWise
12:24 AM GMT on August 15, 2014
Briarcraft, I bet someone else would love to have your greenhouse. My younger son and his wife had one and used it for quite a few years. Recenltly like this year, they decided to put in a paved driveway in place of the gravel drive. They needed that area for something, so they gave it to a friend. Their greenhouse has a happy new home!
Member Since: February 28, 2003 Posts: 278 Comments: 6779
16. GardenGrrl
5:23 PM GMT on August 14, 2014
Hi Briar, it is still hot here. We know it is August even in non drought times by the browning of the fields. By the end of August everything is cooked to a golden brown. Am awaiting September so I can go outside again.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 290 Comments: 11494
15. clearlakemike
12:15 AM GMT on August 13, 2014
The turn of season is very subtle here but I did feel it this morning just after daybreak...slightly cooler and the light is starting to shift just slightly. I think we passed "Lahaina Noon" about a month ago.

I think the El Nino is passing by in the Northern Hemisphere as you experience dryness, heat and wildfires and we experience an increase in tropical storms. Hopefully, it will persist long enough to bring poor drought stricken California some desperately needed rain.
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 150 Comments: 2587
14. Ylee
4:41 PM GMT on August 12, 2014
Maybe Bill the Cat could be our mascot, Briar! :' ) I had a cold frame my grandma gave me, but something like that requires proper placement(I put it facing the east, which in retrospect, was wrong, I think), and making sure you regulate the temp in the box properly. I know I failed in this when the dial thermometer inside melted!

Hope it cools off soon!
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 115 Comments: 20031
13. GardenGrrl
10:11 AM GMT on August 12, 2014

Saw that yesterday while lurking at work. WHAT! that is crazy hot for your region.
Member Since: March 25, 2007 Posts: 290 Comments: 11494
12. YelloworangeRose
10:42 PM GMT on August 11, 2014
Hi Briar, I totally agree with you. July and August is supposed to be our rainy days, We had gentle rain once in a while but the other day it just started to get so hot.. and we been told we are going to have the dry spell. So Yesterday I told my office mates It is time to continue making paper charcoal as we have had lots of shredded papers ready. Hope you had a nice week end.
Member Since: April 21, 2009 Posts: 27 Comments: 2109
11. WeatherWise
10:32 PM GMT on August 11, 2014
Hi Briar, I love your new blog entry and your photos. It is always interesting to hear how weather patterns vary from area to area. We have had a fairly mild summer this year after the long early heat wave earlier in the spring/summer.

I know that my parents used to speak of August nights. The August nights are cooler down in NC.

That is not always the case in VA - I have had the SUPT to walk in my room at 9 am here and walk straight into the principal's office and call school board office to announce school's closing before the days of air. And school did not open back then until Sept.

However, this summer has been quite mild with only a few early morns that the temp had not been between between 65 and 70. Most July's are killer for us both daytime and nights. That is why I say a fairly mild summer.

The weather was quite mild while we were in DC - hardly over 80. Was a good trip but quite strenuous for me.
Member Since: February 28, 2003 Posts: 278 Comments: 6779
10. calpoppy
9:13 PM GMT on August 11, 2014
Cold frames would be very practical for you. I used to have a couple of them long before we built the greenhouse.

We actually do have a winter, with cold and wind and snow here. But this last winter was very un-winter like! Remember we are high in elevation so we do get cold. Our temps usually dip down into the 20's and the teens during normal winters. So this last so called winter was a great time for projects. Usually our projects wait until spring, summer and fall.

Good luck on your greenhouse dismantling project!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 72 Comments: 4782
9. BriarCraft
8:30 PM GMT on August 11, 2014
Karen: Nice to see you out enjoying beautiful SoCal. It looks like you had a lovely day of it.

It is definitely hot here, but even last night I could feel fall in the air. I went to bed with the window wide open, ceiling fan on, and just a sheet over me. By 3am, I pulled up a blanket. A little later, I was snuggling a couple of cats, enjoying their higher body temperature.

Puget: I sometimes think the seasonal changes are so subtle that they are difficult to notice. Sort of like looking in the mirror every day and not noticing anything, and then one day, seemingly all of a sudden you notice new wrinkles. They didn't appear overnight, but the subtle day-to-day changes weren't noticed.

I've seen over at your blog the progress you are making on replacing your deck. Pretty impressive. And not a sign of any procrastination.

Sandi: After looking up a "tog" I have to say that I wish our blankets and comforters were labelled with their tog weight. It would be so nice to know just how warm a cover is going to be before putting it on your bed. I have bought thin blankets that were too hot and thick comforters that didn't keep me warm in winter.

That is too bad about the worm decimating your chestnut trees. It seems every few years, there is a new something to kill off another sort of tree. Perhaps 40 years ago, something came through and killed off all the elm trees. 15-20 years ago hazelnut orchards were devasted by some disease. Now bark beetles are killing conifers in many parts of western North America. And now chestnuts. Pooh! I just planted one last year and it is only about 4 feet tall now.

Prose: Perhaps we should have a WU's Greatest Procrastinator competition. What fun that would be! I'm sure we will get around to it one of these days...

Poppy: Yes, I know you do have lovely "winters", or rather, you don't have winter -- just long fall and spring seasons. You probably have a different way of ordering your projects, with the winter months being your prime project time and the hot summer months are the time for you to stay indoors. Here, when summer finally arrives, there is the hurry-scurry to get so much done that I am usually glad for the arrival of the fall rains, so I can stay indoors and indulge in cooking and hobbies.

Ylee: Ack! That must be our new motto. Or we could call ourselves the Ack Pack. Kinda catchy, don't you think?

WTS: I am waiting for this little heat wave to leave. Luckily, only a two-day one this time. Tomorrow will be 10-15 degrees cooler and Wednesday will be downright comfortable. It is already 94° on the deck and only 1pm. We might 100 for the first, and hopefully only, time this year.

Yesterday evening when I went outside to do some hand-watering, it was not pleasant. Usually, that is my favorite time of day, but not yesterday. The temperature was still in the 80s and the air was very heavy with wood smoke. When I looked for moonrise, the Cascades were hidden beneath a blanket of the stuff. And perhaps strangest of all, as the sun went down, the wind whipped around from different directions and did several abrupt reversals. Photography of the Super Moon rising was impossible and, truly, I couldn't wait to finish up with the watering and get back inside.

My goal for this week is to empty the greenhouse and sort the stuff into 3 categories: keepers to store in the shop, plant pots that might be given to a nursery for re-use, and garbage. The Rubbermaid tubs I have used to mix and store potting soils and fertilizers are all disintegrating, so I will also need to make a stop at Home Cheapo (Home Depot) for replacement containers. Then I need to clear a shelf or two in the shop storage room to hold the plant-starting supplies and move them there. That should keep me out of mischief for the rest of the week, don't you think?

Why am I intent on emptying the greenhouse? Because one of our big un-started summer projects is to demolish it. The trees around have grown so much that no sunlight reaches the greenhouse until late March now and that will just get worse as time passes and trees grow. There is no place on the property suitable for a new greenhouse, even if I wanted to spend the money, which I don't. Any potential spot is either too soggy in early spring or it doesn't get enough early spring sun. As one of my winter projects, I intend to build 2 or 3 cold frames for starting early veggies and flowers, but I won't even think about that until November or December.
Member Since: June 21, 2004 Posts: 94 Comments: 4697
8. WatchinTheSky
4:53 PM GMT on August 11, 2014
Signs of Autumn approaching down here - the hillside vegetation gets a little more crunchy (more this year than most), the water bill gets a little higher trying to keep a few favored plants going 'til fall (there's some optimism!).
I'll third the 'Ack'! Definitely projects left to do, but they are better done with some coolness in the air ;D
Member Since: September 20, 2005 Posts: 150 Comments: 3116
7. Ylee
4:27 PM GMT on August 11, 2014
Ack, indeed! I still have summer projects unfinished, with more fall projects looming on the horizon! :P Good luck with yours!

You have lots of berries... :' )
Member Since: February 3, 2011 Posts: 115 Comments: 20031
6. calpoppy
1:47 PM GMT on August 11, 2014
Days are shorter, night temps have gone down to a more comfortable level, so yes a hint of autumn! August is the downward slide for us even though daytime temps are still in the 90's.

We got most of the projects done this summer. Of course our winter was like a continual spring so that certainly helped with all the projects. We are almost ending our latest project, that has been a little to labor intensive. But we got through the worst!!! I have some fall projects lined up for when it is cooler. You would think we would be done with projects around this place, but we always think of something else we want to do, LOL!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 72 Comments: 4782
5. Proserpina
1:41 PM GMT on August 11, 2014
BC, I sense Autumn here as well! Unusual cooler days for August, lawn covered with dead leaves (due more to the drought than Autumn process), flower plants with dried seedpods,.... I hate to disappoint you but I am the greatest procrastinator in the world! A bit of hyperbole you say? Perhaps not! I used to be a super efficient human being but recently I am perfecting the art of procrastination! See you here and there...
Member Since: May 6, 2008 Posts: 188 Comments: 19252
4. sandiquiz
12:11 PM GMT on August 11, 2014
For the first time in three months the outer doors were closed yesterday. It might have been something to do with Bertha's rain, which made the temperatures drop below 60 for the first time in weeks and weeks! Last night I had to drag a blanket out of the wardrobe to throw over the bed, as I was cold. All summer I have used just a sheet and if need be, a 1 tog duvet. If these colder nights continue, I shall have to get out the 4.5 duvet, which should see me through until the end of October, when the 10 tog will come out!

In this country we have a worm that is decimating the horse chestnut trees. It has been happening for about ten years. T hey flower, set fruit and green leaves, but begin to turn gold in July and by the end of August all the leaves have dropped off, whilst all other trees are still wearing their green mantle! When you drive towards the city shopping mall you could imagine it is already October, as dried crunchy leaves are all over the road.... the roads are lined with horse Chestnut.

Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 325 Comments: 29649
3. PugetSoundPost
5:11 AM GMT on August 11, 2014
Hi Briar! I often feel like the only one who "tunes in" for subtle season changes, so I am intrigued by your new blog. I am usually keeping a keen eye out for "the season change" - especially from summer to fall, and I typically look for it in mid August. I have to say that I haven't particularly noticed it yet for us - it has been blazing hot each day, it seems, and no real change there. I do notice the shortening days, (wow, losing 3 minutes per day now!) however, and that is an early sign. Evenings are shorter than they were not long ago and the mornings are showing the change too. A couple of mornings ago we had our coolest temp in quite awhile, but it was only a couple degrees cooler than all the rest have been recently. However, our "crops" are early. We have a bumper blackberry crop (wild ones around the edge of our yard that borders onto greenbelt, mainly) has been ripening now for a couple of weeks and they are usually not ready till the second half of August. I'd say around here they are maybe close to a month early. We have a lot of apples coming in now, too, and I know these are early. Even some peaches now in the first year of their production. Also, my planted garden went fast and now there are lots of ripening tomatoes and peppers and usually those aren't nearly so advanced until later August or even September - more likely. I have attributed these early harvests to just how hot it has been, and dry overall, but all of that could just accelerate everything into early fall as well - maybe? I know I have been beginning to think about the coming of fall and how it won't be long now at best. But so far I haven't really "felt" or noticed a different "look" yet. It always happens that one day I will suddenly notice that the sun has a different look, or color, even on a brilliantly clear and warm day, and then I always say "it is fall". I do appreciate your sensitivity to the changes and writing about your observations. Not everyone observes so well.
Member Since: October 8, 2001 Posts: 198 Comments: 1137
2. SBKaren
12:39 AM GMT on August 11, 2014
Well, it's certainly still summer here. We've had a hot one this year. I can't remember the last time we closed our back door at night. We leave it open, with the screen closed, because it just gets too hot. I do pull the quilt up over me sometime during the night, but mostly it's just sheets!

They say we are in an El Nino pattern, and I'm beginning to believe it. We recently were up in Tahoe and had a lot of rain. I had friends that were there a couple of weeks before us and said the same thing. I keep checking their weather and they are due to still get more. It certainly wasn't enough to help the drought, but it can't hurt.....right?

Even we have had more monsoonal moisture than normal. Had a couple of sprinkles for us as well. It's still 72º out at 5:30, and it's been in the mid to high 60s at night. That might sound cold to some, but it's warm for us!

I wish we could grow berries. We have tried, but they just don't do well here. Now tomatoes? That's another story. They grow in abundance. I'm also on my second crop of red peppers!!

All that said, I do know what you mean about that sudden shift. It'll happen here too. One day, some evening, it'll just seem cooler. The quilt will be pulled up right away at bedtime and I'll want to close the door. Soon enough, my friend, soon enough!

But, it's still hot.

*Picture from today. Rode our bikes to Long Beach with my daughter and her boyfriend and had lunch at Tequila Jack's, which obviously included a beer. Then we rode the Aqua Link (boat) back home. It was a beautiful day!

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