Autumn observations

Although it has not been a week since the equinox, our descent into autumn has accelerated. At the summer solstice, in June, we enjoyed nearly fifteen hours of daylight, today we were a few minutes shy of twelve. The layer hens are sensitive to this loss so it is at just this time of year that we begin to extend their day by three hours (with a fluorescent bulb on a timer). We stoked the kitchen cook stove on Monday evening. We hope to put the rams with the ewes this weekend; if all goes well we will be lambing in March. Although the Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts that winter conditions will be colder and drier than normal my entirely unscientific examination of a single Woolly Bear Caterpillar revealed that six of its thirteen sections were brown, suggesting that we would have a mild winter. The younger leaves on this Virginia Creeper had already turned red, a sure sign that change is in the air. These yellow leaves however made for nice contrast against the rough and weathered exterior of a shed which stands along the banks of the Susquehanna.

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