Thurs. Dec. 23, 2021: Nameless Day and Changeable Weather

image courtesy of Hans via pixabay.com

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Third Quarter Waning Moon in Leo

Uranus and Venus Retrograde

Nameless Day

Today is known as “Nameless Day” in the Celtic Tree calendar. It’s between the Tree Month of Elder and the Tree Month of Birch. Mistletoe is associated with today. It’s a “between times” day. It’s the day of unshaped potential, and a good day to decide what it is you want to manifest.

The weather is so changeable here. It reminds me of Scotland, where it’s lovely one minute and then stormy the next. We’d been warned that winters were gray and stark here, and we’ve gotten off easy so far, so I am not complaining.

Since we are on the second floor, I enjoy watching the weather from our large windows, or the porch or the back balcony. I love being able to watch the mountains.

The Winter Solstice was a gorgeous day, and I got a good many of my cookie platters delivered. It was delightful to be out and about.

Yesterday was rainy and raw, so I stayed in and baked; that means I have to push to finish all the deliveries and errands by today.

We still have plants on the front porch, because it hasn’t been all that cold. The Mother’s Tongue was getting too much sun, and didn’t like it, so we brought it in and put it in the sewing room, where it’s recovering like a Victorian heroine.

We don’t have a working fireplace in this house, so we couldn’t burn the greens saved from last year. Instead, I took my big cauldron out on the back balcony, and slowly, branch by branch, burned the greens. I didn’t want flames or a lot of smoke to worry the neighbors. But it was done, and a nice psychological tool to release the past year, and the stress of the move, and the life on Cape Cod.

I’m curious to see what this winter brings. It’s been warmer and milder than usual (my heat bill is happy). But we’re supposed to have a couple of weeks of bad weather before it levels out again.

Fingers crossed I can watch most of it from my window, rather than going out in it.

Have a lovely, peaceful, joyful holiday weekend.

Thurs. Dec. 16, 2021: Unseasonably Mild

image courtesy of Vlad Chetan via pexels.com

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Second Quarter Waxing Moon in Taurus

Chiron and Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy and mild

Celtic Tree Month of Elder

We are having an unseasonably warm patch right now. The past few days have been mild and sunny. I took advantage of it by doing as many errands as possible on foot, so I could be out and about, enjoying the weather.

Last night, it rained quite a bit, and it’s supposed to get up to 61 degrees F today.

We’ve been warned there’s snow coming in on Saturday, so I better get as much done as possible before then!

It’s much drier here in the mountains than it was by the ocean. The indoor plants need watering far more often. We should probably have a humidifier on, but they’re all in storage. And, frankly, it’s kind of nice not to have things damp, although I’m using far more hand cream than usual.

Both trees are up. The big one is almost decorated; we still have a few more boxes of decorations to get on there. It’s fun to figure out how things fit in this place.

The big tree completely dominated the living room, and, indeed, the entire downstairs in the Cape house. Here, it just looks normal-sized (it’s 7-1/2 feet tall). It looks good in the space, and it’s amazing how much more breathing room there is, both physically and psychologically, with higher ceilings.

We still have plants out on the front porch because it just hasn’t been that cold (at least not for long stretches). The small tree is out on the front porch, along with lights strung up along the windows. People look up as they walk past and enjoy it. The delivery guy from a local restaurant says the address is easy to find, because it has the “happy lights.”

Soon, I will have to hunt for the seeds I didn’t get to use last year, and figure out what we can and want to plant for next year. It will mean re-reading ALL YOU CAN EAT IN THREE SQUARE FEET, I’m sure.

But first – the winter holidays!

Nov. 11, 2021: November Energy

photo by Anna Rye, courtesy of pexels.com

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Second Quarter Waxing Moon in Aquarius

Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Reed

Sunny and cool

In spite of the predictions we’d have our first snow this week, the weather has been glorious. Cold at night, down into the twenties, with a need to scrape frost off the car in the morning.

But during the day, it’s up into the fifties. It’s been sunny most days, a little bit of rain here and there.

I’ll enjoy every beautiful day I can.

This will be my first winter in the Berkshires, and I keep hearing how harsh they are, so I’m ready.

Last Friday, we drove about an hour and a half east, and it was just hitting peak foliage and gorgeous.

There are still some wonderful colors here, but many of the trees have shed their leaves, and they’re getting into the stark, tree-and-branch that has its own loveliness.

The pumpkin my friend carved on Halloween lasted until yesterday, and it started caving in, so we had to throw it out.

I’m hoping the weather will hold for the next few days, so we can spend some time up at the lake, and walking around The Spruces.

They have the trees up and decorated on the Main Street of town. The tree lighting is supposed to happen the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (or the Friday after, if it rains). I might meander the few blocks down for it. I bet it will look pretty.

The porch is still warm enough to keep plants out there. Tessa is out there as many hours as possible, every day. It’s her porch, and she will miss it if/when we have to close it off for the winter. I admit, I sit there as often as I can in the afternoons, reading and soaking up the sun!

One of the many good things about this place is the large windows with lots of natural light. On any sunny winter day, we will enjoy sunshine.

How are things in your neck of the woods this November?

Thurs. Nov. 4, 2021: First Frost

photo by Devon Ellington

Thursday, November 4, 2021

New Moon in Scorpio

Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Cloudy and cold

We had our first frost last night. Or, at least, I think we did. The temperature was down to 28 degrees last night. The roofs look white, and the grass crunchy, although I didn’t see actual frost on grass or trees.

I’m glad we took the plants in earlier this week. The photograph above shows the plants we pulled in from the back balcony, which has a roof, but is open, to the screened-in front porch. Some of the plants may have to be moved further into the apartment if the porch gets too cold, but, for now, they seem happy there. The porch has a Southern exposure, so when there’s sunlight, it’s still reasonably warm and quite light.

I’ll have to learn how it works here.

I had my first houseguest since pre-pandemic, the close friend who found us this apartment. It was raining most of the weekend, so we couldn’t go out and about as much as I’d hoped.

Thistle at The Spruces. Photo by Devon Ellington

But I did take her to The Spruces, where we found these wonderful thistles, and I felt very Scottish.

Golden Maple at WindsorLake. Photo by Devon Ellington

And we also went to Windsor Lake, which is close by. The golden maple is glorious, and I loved the way the trees on the mountainside reflected on the lake. And the birch trees there are magnificent.

The golden maple behind the house is beautifully yellow, even as the leaves fall. I think this area peaked, foliage-wise, last weekend.

As of Monday, all the porches have buckets of ice melt and shovels at the ready. We are supposed to get the first snowfall next Monday. I’ve heard so many negative things about winter here that I have no idea what to expect. We’ve been told not to expect to go anywhere from November 1 until sometime in March.

I’m still attempting a run over to Hadley and Holyoke this weekend; it’s supposed to be sunny, albeit cold.

I’m excited to see what winter is really like, here in the mountains!

Mountainside reflected in Windsor Lake. Photo by Devon Ellington

Thurs. Oct. 20, 2021: Blooms

photo by Devon Ellington

Thursday, October 21, 2021

3rd Quarter Waning Moon in Taurus

Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Ivy

Cloudy/Sunny and warm

The Thanksgiving/Christmas cacti on the front porch are blooming like crazy! They are beautiful.

The porch gets Southern exposure, so on sunny days, it warms up nicely, and there’s lots of sun.

Still no frost. We have plants out on the back balcony. We figured we’d let them enjoy it as long as possible.

We haven’t hit peak color yet, but it’s beautiful. Last weekend, I took a nature walk with Mass Audubon out at The Spruces. Because it was, at one time, a planned community before it was a community park owned by the town, there’s a mix of native plants and cultivars. The walk was fascinating.

It makes me want a book about local flora and fauna even more!

There’s something rather wonderful about being tucked in the mountains. It feels protected (even though we’ve been warned about the harsh winters). And I don’t miss raking leaves AT ALL.

My downstairs neighbor has cut back her vegetable garden, and prepared it for the winter.

I plan to enjoy the beautiful weather as long as it lasts, although I’ve planned to hunker down from November to March, as advised. If the weather is better than expected, I will take joy in every lovely day.

How’s your weather, where you are?

Thurs. Oct. 14, 2021: No Frost Yet

image courtesy of Mike Greer via pexels.com

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Second Quarter Waxing Moon in Aquarius

Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus, Mercury Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Ivy

Cloudy and mild

We still haven’t had our first frost yet, and might not get it until November, which is late for around here. I wonder if that portends a milder winter, or, when winter finally smacks us, a harsher one?

The Christmas cacti on the front porch are about to burst into bloom. That will be very pretty.

Inside the house, I’m keeping a vase of cut, dark red mums.

The tree outside my bedroom window is turning yellow and the leaves are dropping. I’m not sure what kind of tree it is, sort of an oval leaf. I really need to get a book on the local flora and fauna.

Fingers crossed the weather holds on Saturday. The local Mass Audubon chapter is doing a walk through The Spruces, and I’d like to go and learn about it.

What’s new in your gardening neck of the woods?

Thurs. Oct. 7, 2021: Mist and Mountains

image courtesy of Eberhard Grossgasteiger via Pexels.com

Thursday, October 7, 2021

1st Quarter Waxing Moon in Libra

Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus, Mercury Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Ivy

Misty and mild

It’s been raining for the past few days. So, although the leaves are turning colors, everything is damp and a bit muffled. It’s still very pretty. And, as we drive to our errands, watching how the color palette changes on the mountains around us is beautiful. I worry when I see the river getting high against the banks, but the locals aren’t worried; I figure they’ll let me know if and when it’s time to be concerned.

We brought in some of the plants from the back balcony. Some of them are now on the front porch, at least temporarily, like the Christmas cacti, which are about to burst into bloom. The front porch has southern exposure, while the back balcony faces north.

The red geraniums are still blooming like crazy.

The apples are plentiful this year. I’ve been baking with apples: muffins, cake, etc. I indulged in my favorite apple cider donuts, too, from a local orchard, and they were wonderful.

The days are shorter. It’s too dark to sit on the front porch and write for my first writing session of the day. I write in the living room, on the couch, with the light on. The cats are still curled up with me, though. It’s usually dark when I start my morning yoga practice, but fairly light by the time I finish it. I like the way it lightens as I progress through the sequence.

I’m learning the rhythms of this place, which is so different from the rhythms of the Cape.

The farm-to-table movement is huge here, with plenty of local farms, which means lots and lots of harvest festivals all around. Each has a unique personality, which is why they can all thrive in the same region.

The town re-instated their Fall Foliage Parade last Sunday; we were lucky enough that some of the floats and marchers came down our little street at the end of the parade route, and we could watch from the safety and comfort of our front porch. Still not comfortable around a lot of people, even if we’re all masked and vaccinated. So much work went into the floats; it was delightful. There was a sense of humor and fun about them, and bright colors. Everything’s felt so drab for the last eighteen months, that people want to create and wear color.

Since we keep hearing how hard winter is here, we have every intention of finding lots of joy in autumn!

Thurs. Sept. 16, 2021: It’s Starting to Turn Colors

image courtesy of RebekkaD via pixabay.com

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Second Quarter Moon Waxing in Capricorn

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Vine

Cloudy and humid

The weather has been all over the place this past week. Some days have been cool and crisp; yesterday was hot and humid and summery again. Plenty of thunderstorms coming through, although I don’t live in constant fear of flooding anymore.

One of the Thanksgiving/Christmas cacti on the back balcony is blooming like crazy, as are the red geraniums. The maiden hair fern has berries, which I’m sure the birds will enjoy. The peace lily continues to be a drama queen.

The leaves are just starting to turn to glorious shades of yellow, gold, and red. It’s already beautiful; it will be stunning in a few weeks.

Whenever I can, I walk to my errands, so that I can enjoy the beauty.

I was worried about being able to access fresh produce all winter. We’ve gotten so spoiled here with the farm-to-table commitment. But some of the farms have heated greenhouses, and, as for other produce, we’ll lean more on what’s seasonal.

Autumn is my favorite season anyway, and I’m excited to experience it here in the mountains.

How is your autumn, where you are? Or your spring, if you’re in the Southern hemisphere?

Aug. 19, 2021: Hurricane Season

Photo by Devon Ellington

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Second Quarter Waxing Moon in Capricorn

Pluto, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Chiron, Uranus Retrograde

Celtic Tree Month of Hazel

Rainy and humid

We’re in hurricane season, and it will be a very different experience here in the mountains than it was at the coast. I worry about the river flooding, because of so many years of the brook flooding in Rye, but no one else around here seems too worried.

The photo above is from The Spruces, a local community park just over the town line into Williamstown. The Spruces was a planned senior community of trailers, begun in the 1950’s, that was destroyed in floods in either 2011 or 2012. The town bought the property and turned it into a community park.

It’s overrun with wildflowers and is just beautiful. We took a bit of a walk in it over last weekend, in the good weather. Hopefully, I can spend more time there before winter sets in.

I think today’s rain is from Hurricane (Tropical Storm?) Fred. The weather people are more worried about how Hurricane Henri will hit the coast at the other end of the state this weekend (although we’ll get some rain and wind).

Batten down the hatches, get out the candles, get in more wine, I guess?

Thurs. March 18, 2021: Celtic Tree Month of Alder Begins

image courtesy of Petra Geistler via pixabay,com

Thursday, March 18, 2021

First Quarter Waxing Moon in Taurus

Celtic Tree Month of Alder Begins

Windy and cloudy

Alder is about release and determination. It’s a good time for hopes and dreams. Time to sow the seeds of success.

I could use that right now.

Nothing to report on the garden front. The weather’s been wacky. We’re supposed to get another snowstorm tonight. Lots of winds until tomorrow.

No planting; just taking care of the houseplants we have.

I have to start cleaning out and packing our pots soon. That will be a big task. But I’m going to wait until it’s a little warmer.

How’s your garden doing?

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