Saturday, October 03, 2009

Falling Rain, Fall Foliage

Saturday, October 3, 2009

47 degrees out, off-and-on heavy rain and a six mile an hour wind that comes in gusts along with the heavier rain. Been up most of the night with Alex and a cold virus he has. The virus is all over the northeast I hear. Illnesses are more difficult for kids on the autism spectrum because of numerous sensory issues they deal with regularly, even before they get sick. He seems a little better than last night and just went to sleep for the first time in more than a day.

Gail just left for the town community center. Our librarian of eight years is leaving. Unlike many, when she says she is leaving to spend more time with her family, she really is. She has been a great librarian, has grown the library by usership and physical size, and has coordinated so many terrific programs you couldn't possibly get bored in this little town of 1600 people. Gail did a very nice fall arrangement with echinaceas, anemones, asters, phlox, Canadian cherry branches, rudbeckias and various fillers. The townspeople will turn out in numbers as they always do to show their support for one another.

As the rain pours down, I've had to realign my work schedule today. My "to do" list cannot afford to lose too many days over the next couple weeks as on the 16th I'm having carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand (left was a success in January!) as well as a trigger finger repair on the same hand. One would think I enjoy dentists and doctors as I have been going in one direction or another for a couple months now. It's all coincidental but all the things I enjoy doing in life require two strong hands so there wasn't much of a decision here. If you live within 90 miles of here and have a similar need, I can recommend a super surgeon at Mary Hitchcock close to Hanover NH and Norwich and White River Jct, VT.

I am still transplanting hostas in the lower garden and was counting on today to get another 50 clumps transplanted. The temperature is ok for me but kneeling all day in the rain is not good. Tomorrow looks a little better so I'll get all the plants that need to move dug today, cleaned up, labeled and then layed out where they will be planted.

Don't know if I'll make it or not today but I'm in the mood for some wild mushrooms. The cooler temperatures and the rain have pushed tons of shaggy manes up along roads and in the pastures and on lawns. These are a choice mushroom that must be cooked soon after they are picked or they will turn inky black in a bucket or pan.

I have seen a quantity of oyster mushrooms on the sugar maples up on the hill and these are a joy to harvest as they are always in good quantity. I look over each one carefully as they often have a little black beetle hidden inside the gills. Once cleaned, I boil once quickly, pat dry, slice and fry in butter and fresh garlic. Plate those next to a fried or baked brook trout or a steak off the grill and accompany with a fresh garden salad and some fried Russian Banana potatoes and glory will prevail!

Boletus edulis, hiding under fir balsams, and Honey Mushrooms, Armillariella Mellea, are also on my "real good eating, easy to find" list. This time of year there are many tours available, some free, some for a few bucks, to walk with an experienced mushroom hunter and learn what is good. Some even go as far as to take the prizes home and clean and cook them. Do not pick mushrooms on your own until you know what you are doing. There are some varieties out there that will put you in a funeral home real fast.

Have to get some mail ready for Lois, our mail lady. Until I am back, here are some foliage pictures Gail took. Enjoy!

View from Route 2, Marshfield

Peacham Pond from boat access

Ricker's Pond from dam

Maple on our lawn at home.

Fall gardening wishes,

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener

Vermont Flower Farm: where fall mail orders are still shipping


~ ANNE said...

Gorgeous George!! Again excellent narration. Thank you so much! ~ ANNE

Allison said...

you painted a lovely picture both visually and verbally. last year we were robbed of our oyster mushrooms by some mushroom hunters, ironically a mere hour after i had just photographed them. this year we'll be more on top of things :)

lynn'sgarden said...

Your writing is always a joy to read, George! And you know I go gaga over the photos, too! Have a great day and bundle up!