All the Leaves Are Brown and the Sky is Gray

And I went for a walk, on a November day…with my apologies to the Mamas and the Papas, but it was entirely appropriate today.  Unlike the song, though, I am well content with our Michigan November weather and wouldn’t trade it for California’s drought.

Cold, gray, rainy, but despite this there were a lot of dog walkers out taking their fur people for what looked to be a thoroughly exciting day snuffling in the wet leaves. The wild life weren’t scarce, either, as I startled a couple of does out of their beds. They didn’t move far, I assume they were going back to their warm (and presumably) dry nests.  Our high was in the mid fifties, and it looks like more of the same throughout the week.

I came back and helped uproot the last of the annuals and pitched them out onto the leaves for grinding and eventual composting or mulching.  The ashes and maples are almost all completely denuded now; the Norways are clinging to their leaves, much to the bitter disgust of the neighborhood at large, who want to be done with their leaves by now. I have some Tulip bulbs to plant, and I have my Calla seed pods to figure out, They finally separated from the parent stems and now the pods themselves are slightly squishy. This is what I read they are supposed to do. My next steps are to plant these babies and hope they’ll grow for me.  The Red Raspberries need to be pruned back as the floricanes are done and the primocanes need to get pruned to become floricanes.

Today I added the woods and resins to my macerating Juniper berries and Sultanas for Kyphi incense. They smelled amazing as I mashed everything together. Interestingly, things really didn’t come together till I drizzled in the teeny bit of honey the recipe called for, at which point the entire recipe just set and achieved a great consistency to roll into tiny incense balls. They are down finishing and drying out and will be done in a 3-4 weeks.

I took my reading for my Master Gardener class to the voting polls but was surprised to get processed through very quickly. I was in and out in under 10 minutes, which included time for the harried young father ahead of me to figure out where to drop his privacy sleeve.  In any event, schlepping along my 80 pages of reading made not much sense in the grand scheme of things. Then I bopped over to the local mega grocery store and scored a gorgeous Phalaenopsis for mom’s birthday (of course, I bought it for HER but we know who will be caring for it…) and snagged some Kalamata olives and wheat germ for some herbal projects I want to tackle.

My November homework still has some 31 questions to answer but thankfully only a couple more herbal experiments. They take the most time.