Today is cool, damp and gray. Not normal for our mountains this time of year. This past week we have had temps in the upper 70's and one afternoon we enjoyed a brief reminder of what 82degrees feels like. Though at night we are dropping down into the low 40's and high 30's. The few nights that mother earth has taken off the blankets (cloud free, clear skies) we have had frosts. My poor garden has been nipped by jack frost. Leaves are starting to die back, and it appears that the rest of my tomatoes will have to ripen in a newspaper and cardboard shelter. I'm trying to decided if I should transplant my herbs into pots to be brought inside for the duration of winter. I love being able to gather what is needed for cooking, fresh. I love even more the fact that it is all free. And always tastes better than that bought at the market. Our small house won't hold all my potted herbs, so I'm thinking rosemary and parsley will be the ones I try to overwinter inside.
Yesterday morning the kiddos played outside, kicking soccer balls all over the lawn, climbing up crab apple trees, feasting on many. Free-ranging the rabbit. Digging tunnels into the hillside. Making forts complete with grass roofs and separate rooms. It is so great to see them at play. Enjoying nature and all it has to offer. We must get into the mountains before trails become muddy and then icy. We have time, at least several weeks.
In the afternoon winds and rain whipped out of the canyons, soaking the ground and blanketing the peaks with a fresh white layer of snow. This isn't the first snow our peaks have seen this fall but the first time the snow lines came down past the high alpine rocky slopes and into the trees. I suspect we will start seeing the larch trees starting to turn their tell tale yellow. I say keep on snowing(up high) and building up our base layer, last year we enjoyed a really fantastic snow year. Skiing was great. And even better was the lack of smoke from forest fires this late summer and early fall.
I helped a friend who was catering a wedding at a 'summer cabin' at the base of the mountains. A couple of observations; 1-cabin?, try huge log house in the woods, 2-high heel's and silky dresses are a tough gig to pull off on uneven, unpaved mountain terrain (and just perhaps the 12 glasses of wine don't help much either), 3-when setting up a ridiculously huge tent to feed 134 guest, use all the stakes and tie downs, they are there for a purpose, 4-it is entertaining to see folks scramble (in heavy winds and spattering rain) (and high heels and suits) trying to tie down a tent that is catching gust's of wind and threatening to take flight, 5-when in Rome/mountains - do as the Romans do...wear jeans, layers of fleece and aggressive tread shoes, especially if you are consuming LARGE amounts of alcohol and are a city slicker in the mountains. Really folks who you trying to empress with your prada and kate spade wear. For the love of pete return to your city homes quickly. Now, please. Rant over. All of us locals did get many laughs all evening and night long, ya gotta admit it's interesting watching humans (especially when they are so far out of their comfort zone).
It felt great to crawl into bed last night. Under our wool blankets with windows wide open and cool breezes blowing in. I refuse to shut our house up just yet, when we will be with out fresh air moving about our house for the better part of 5 months. And no, my dear kiddos the heater may not come on, but feel free to put on a sweater and a pair of smartwools. Cold noses are healthy noses, or at least that's what Grammy used to tell me, so it must be true.
Now for a warm dinner-let's see what the pantry has for us.