You may have noticed that I missed our chat on Friday. To those who reached out to check on me... I thank you.
Since we last chatted, I have had the pleasure of watching the land morph from that space somewhere between summer and autumn right into full autumn. Our mornings are quite chilly.
Our days have been a mixture of sun, clouds, and rain. Lately, more rain than sun.
I had a little extra time and began the work of clearing out the summer's leftover garden growth. About a quarter of my garden boxes are now empty and ready to be tucked beneath a blanket of compost for the winter.
While working in the garden, I discovered that my saffron crocuses (croci?) had finally blossomed.
I immediately stopped what I was doing and pulled the three red stigmas from each of the flowers' centers so that I could dry them for saffron. First I had to gently move this little fellow along...
I have been very lucky with this bed of saffron crocus. It blossoms every autumn and gives me enough saffron to last the year. By the way, saffron is the most expensive spice by weight. We have a couple favorite recipes in which saffron is a key element - so growing our own has surely saved us money.
This weekend we decided that it is now time to take our horses up to the upper pastures. The front pasture lasted all summer, thanks to the abundant rain. From now on (except on rainy days) we will use the front pasture for the donkeys, pigs and sheep.... who can all graze together.
And the upper pastures, which are thick with grass, will feed the horses through the winter (along with supplemental hay.)
Yesterday while dumping manure on the compost pile, I found a few new pumpkin plants that just sprouted from pumpkin seeds that had germinated some time in the past week. It's amazing to me that in almost November seeds are germinating. We've still not had a frost. Much will change after that happens.
I picked the last of summer's garden blooms this weekend and brought them into the house to enjoy. I will miss having the ability to bring fresh flowers inside whenever I like. But, there's always next summer!
We had a farm tragedy last week... a huge bald eagle swooped down and attacked one of our runner ducks. So very sad... one less runner. Needless to say, the birds are all on yard arrest until the eagle moves on to another area. This is always one of the challenges when trying to live peacefully alongside Mother Nature. Sometimes nature gets the best of us!