Sunday, October 12, 2008

Yesterday It Was Fall, Today It Is Winter

I have been taking photographs of the slow changing of the season. It is, ideally, a slow process, allowing a late season of harvests in the garden, and time to rake the leaves as they fall. But in one day it has gone from the gradual to the immediate. For weeks we had temperatures over night in the low 50's then the high 40's and last night we were supposed to barely touch 32 but not long enough to do much damage. Snow was forecast for the higher elevations, but not so much for the valleys. Yesterday was chill enough that I wore a jacket when I was gathering the plums I could reach on the lowest hanging branches. I planned to visit my neighbor's garden today to pick green tomatoes, the last of the zucchini and peppers. I'm afraid there is nothing left after the freeze last night. It was a hard freeze last night with snow in the valley. More snow is forecast today. A colder night is forecast for tonight. The only season I hate here is winter. And it has arrived. I must do some things today. I must shut off outside water. I must get swamp-coolers covered and their openings into the houses insulated and sealed. None of this is work I want to do. All this is the work that must be done when winter is breathing down your neck. Winters are harsh in the Mountain West. With our winter beginning before leaves in the valley have changed color, trees will lose limbs because of the weight of snow on leaf laden branches. If it continues this cold and snows often enough it will be impossible to rake the leaves when they do fall.

This shocking change of season has me finally in the mood to read. And it is Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine that I am curling up with.