We've arrived at another Monday, the first day of a brand new week. It's also the first day of a brand new month, November. And finally, today is All Saint's Day, a festival or feast day of commemoration in the Catholic Church. I can further report that it's a chilly day here on the riverbank. The official reading is 28˚F, with the day's predicted high being 54 degrees. That's the coldest it's been here since sometime back in the early spring. In fact, it's only during the past week that daytime high temperatures have slipped below the 70s.
Not that I'm complaining. I like cool weather. The invigorating days of the latter half of autumn are lovely, among my favorites of the entire year. Though temperatures this low do mean I'll have to dig my canna lilies up if want to save the root stock for replanting next spring. Besides, it's bright and sunny, with a crisp blue sky that looks fresh washed.
There's frost glittering on the carpet of sycamore leaves in the yard—leaves which I'll need to rake up and move to the top of my compost heap. I don't mind the raking, and I certainly treasure the compost for my flowers and plantings, but I loath the wheelbarrow loading and hauling. On the sorta plus side, last week a windy morning took care of part of the job for me—blowing most of the leaves then on the ground into the river. Of course those leaves are lost to my composting plans, but with well over a hundred large trees on the property, and the fact that not even half the leaves were then down, the loss is relatively minor. I'll still have plenty of leaves to grumble at while moving them about.
By the way, that same windstorm—which lasted less than an hour—was severe enough to prompt the National Weather Service to issue a "wind advisory." Its sustained winds reached 50 miles per hour, with gusts measuring 81 mph. However, here along the river, tucked safely below the surrounding lands, the passing winds were, at most, a bit breezy. The surface of the cottage pool was only occasionally ruffled, and the mallards sat tight throughout. A few twigs and dead limbs came down, though nothing significant. And my leaves—along with lots from trees on the island across from the house—blew into the stream, and were soon carried from view by the current.
Neighbors on higher ground, or situated in a more direct path of the wind, were not so lucky. A few had large trees in their yards come crashing down, sometimes onto houses, outbuildings, and vehicles. Others lost roof shingles, gutters, barn doors, or bits of siding improperly installed. Under the category of "good loss" to my way of thinking, were the small front-yard forests of staked political posters touting issues and candidates for tomorrow's mid-term elections. Some folks display these things by the dozens along the roadway—often by sticking out twenty-five copies of the same poster. Such advertising is, of course, their right, and one I'd defend if necessary. But they're also a sort of temporary eyesore, and I have to wonder if they truly do all that much to sway votes one way or the other.
So to those bemoaning the loss of their yard-art collection of posters, I say consider your lost signs an inadvertant "wiping the slate clean," with several positive possibilities. First off, it not only gives you time to reconsider your obvious public support and leanings, but your neighbors might even come to believe you're a person of unexpectedly deep thought. Hey, they have no idea whether you've changed your mind because you've listened closer to the speeches and delved deeper into the issues, or gotten to know the candidate better and now wouldn't vote for them unless held at gunpoint. Or maybe you've simply realized your man or woman is about to tank, and you no longer wish to be seen backing a loser. This give you an opportunity to save face. Finally, with any luck, the wind that blew down your signs also blew them out of the immediate neighborhood. Who knows where they ended up? But unless you can track them down, you're relieved of clean-up duty and a trip to the dumpster.
See…it wasn't an ill wind after all!
See…it wasn't an ill wind after all!