Friday, January 1, 2016

The End of an Indian Summer

Even the frogs have emerged from their winter hibernation holes. Probably thinking spring came early this year. From the back porch I can hear them at night at the upper pond, croaking in saxophony-like voices to possible mates near the creek and lower pond from which a more alto-level choir responds in return. 

Off to work in late October.  
Although we had one day in November and only one in December so far where the mean daily temperature cruised below freezing point, it has been a magnificent prolonged fall, week after week of Indian summer weather.

You won’t hear any complaints from me. The longer the fall, the shorter the winter, the better.

This is why I built the back sit and watch the incredible Kentucky sunsets.

An Indian summer is technically a short period of above average dry conditions in mid-fall, late November or early December. Usually lasting a week and there can be several Indian summers in a single fall. The last of our current Indian summers, which occurred over the Christmas week, was rather wet but temperatures were in the high 60 degree Fahrenheit and very pleasant outside. Most years we had some snow and definitely moderate periods of cold spells by Christmas. There has not even been a hint of snow this fall.  


The drawn out warm weather’s only negative was the dreary display of fall colors. With no gradual decrease in temperatures and associated loss of chlorophyll from the leaves, there was no mass display of fall colors at any particular time. It was mostly just isolated patches of color from trees that hung on to their leaves for as long as they could, contrasted by the many grey, leafless White Ashes that quickly lost their summer coat in one sudden cold and windy spell in late-October.    

Alas, the frogs will have to learn to move back to their muddy holes and do it very quickly because by New Year’s Day the bottom will fall out and winter will arrive with its icy nights, frozen windscreens in the mornings, and bone-chilling winds during the day.


During late spring we got some sheep and they settled down quite quickly and enjoyed the ample pasture available to them. But they quickly mowed the grass down to very short stubs.

Just before Christmas I created a temporary fence for the sheep to roam and eat on a green patch of grass near the barns.

The day after Christmas while we were inside the house the sheep broke through the temporary fence and this was the sight that greeted us when we walk out on the back porch. It seems for sheep the grass is always greener on the other side.  

Barely 20 minutes after I put the sheep back in their paddock and fed the chickens, dark clouds settled overhead and at dusk it felt like winter had suddenly arrived.

As far as I can remember this was only the second Indian summer that I have experienced since coming to America. But 2015's was by far the longest.

No complaints from me!

I just hope winter is not going to take revenge for this...

Happy New Year!!! 2016...