New England’s Prize

Autumn. The best season New England has to offer (in my opinion) and my favorite season by far. Years ago, I would have had to consider spring, since it’s always a nice awakening from a long cold winter. Lately, our winters have seemed a little milder, but the cold wet days have lingered into March and April. May seems like the only bit of true spring we get some years. Autumn, though, well Autumn is a refreshing time to be outside after months of heat and humidity. This year, we had several weeks where we were in the upper 90s (above 35°c) and those were miserable.

It may be age catching up with me, you know the thing where you remember walking to school in knee deep snow and baling hay in the hot summer sun (I did do that a few times). It may be age, but I seem to remember having one long hot spell every summer – usually at the end of July or beginning of August. This year, we had weeks of hot sticky weather in June, July, and August. We had the second highest amount of rain in July than we’ve had since the Puritans started keeping track. They left England to escape the rain, among other things, so they kept track.

Although I’m not a person who enjoys yardwork, it was nice to cut our front yard last week (the Editor cuts the back) without needing an infusion of cold water and electrolytes. I dug some post holes for a handrail we’re installing alongside the deck, and I worked one day in jeans! I’ve still been wearing shorts but working in long jeans is a sure sign that summer is over. That and the condensation on the windshields of our cars. The latter is also a reminder that I need to get my stuff out of the garage soon…before that condensation is frozen to the windshields.

The handrail has been a long time coming. We bought the handrail with the railing system we installed in 2013, but I never got around to installing it. That wasn’t only procrastination. My plan was to install it on the posts supporting the railing going down the ramp. We discovered that those posts, with their fancy-schmancy anchor to the Trex supports, aren’t the kind of thing you want to count on if you’re falling. We decided to put the handrail on the other side, supported by 4x4s buried the requisite 42″(1.1m) deep so as to rest below the frost line. I had planned to install the rail last year, but pressure treated 4x4s were difficult to find. Yes, if you’re doing the math – which very few of my Monday readers are wont to do – that gives me a solid excuse for one out of eight years, but I’ll take it.

In any case, having a solid handrail to grab onto when the ramp is slippery will be nice. The spacing of the poles are close enough to provide more than enough support but far enough apart to let me push snow off the ramp. Lifting a snow shovel over the railing is not an option – my shoulders have said so.

From here until Thanksgiving, outside work will include a few projects, a lot of leaves, collection and storage of some outdoor stuff, cleaning gutters and the installation of stakes to mark the paths for snow-blowing. Once those stakes go in the ground, we know winter is right around the corner.

67 comments

  1. I said I better catch you in your favourite season before I catch up with your summer and your back posts, or I’d miss your autumn fun as it happens. Lovely glimpses, especially Maddie and her foot, and “On top of the world” tops them all. I wish you a happy autumn. We still didn’t have any rain to speak of since, I don’t know… May. For tonight heavy storms are promised and I just noticed that amore forgot the ladder on our (flat) roof. I don’t think such an invitation is necessary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you get the rain you need, but maybe the ladder could be moved to a safe position. I’ll have plenty of autumn fun to share, along with Maddie interrupting my creative attempts. We are having heavy rain as I write this. It wasn’t expected yet, but it’s here. I hope you have a good week, Manja.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your autumn mark is the move from shorts to jeans, and mine is the addition of a long sleeve tshirt under my short sleeved one so I don’t have to grab a jacket ‘yet.’ I hope you will post photos of the new railing because I’m trying to figure it out. Is it going to be higher than the current one or is it bracing the current one to make it more stable? Love the Maddie and the flag photos. Happy Monday, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I move into long sleeve tshirts as the temps dip a little farther, Judy. These days, I might start with a flannel shirt, but it comes off quick. The new rail will stand on its own. I hope to have pictures soon, but I need a critical part that.I may have to order. There will be pictures. No walk today, we’ve had over an inch of rain this morning, starting around midnight.

      I hope you have a nice week,

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I always loved autumn in the northeast.

    I recently wrote of an situation where I had a new job with an old company fall through after I’d resigned from the (then) current job. The practical thing would have been to rescind my resignation and stay in Tallahassee, though I gave into the impractical thoughts:

    “My impractical thoughts raced to my youth, in Connecticut and Massachusetts: the fall colors, the fluffy snow, the topography, clam rolls, Fenway Park, apple orchards, the rocky coasts, Lexington and Concord, aunts, uncles, and cousins, …and cooler weather. I decided to make a big change.”

    A couple of weeks later, I pointed my Mazda north, toward cooler climes.

    It was a great decision, though I’m still puzzled about how I became a Midwesterner.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was going to ask when you turned left. I still think four seasons are better than one and a half. I almost had the same job experience. I had moved criss country for a job that became unnecessary while I was on my way. The company took pity on me and honored their agreement.

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      • The Westward migration was unplanned. I loved it in DC area, but decided to look for work in Boston area. I had planned to drop anchor at my sister’s house in Middletown, for a couple of months, and decided to make a trip to Chicago for “a week or two.”

        I landed some freelance work changed my plans to staying a few months. I delayed my start date a day just so I could go to Cubs game, on a work day….because that is what is expected.

        One of a clients hired me, and met my wife who is from West Michigan at company, and eventually ended up in this area.

        The story of have a job offer pulled back, during your relocation sounds familiar. Was that in one of your previous posts.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I may have shared that story in a comment, but I’ve searched my posts and I don’t see it in the posts that reference Airborne Freight. Maybe I’ll dust that story off and share it next week, It was right about this time of year.

          Plans change and people adapt – at least that’s the way it should be. You ended up a solid citizen of the Midwest. Boston will eventually be gobbled up by the sea – you’re better off.

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  4. I love the bee photo, Dan. Bonus points for getting down that low to capture the shot 😉

    I too have found myself wearing long pants again … especially in the early mornings. It’s a bit nippy. Definitely a sign of what’s to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love fall and all it has to offer. Except maybe raking endless leaves! Love when the sun turns Maddie’s feathers to gold. The shot of the bee on top of the world is great.

    Yes, I see the bronco rider! Ride ’em cowboy! Wonderful shot of Old Glory. And the tale of Maddie and the Pinecone….
    You could write a children’s book with that photo Dan!

    I think MuMu is ticked off because you seem to have cleaned your trash out of Maddie’s space, but are now filling up MuMu’s space with your stuff! Gotta get with the program Dan. 🤗
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    • They all seem to enforce their territory when it comes to my stuff, Ginger.

      I’m glad you saw the rider. Maddie and the pine cone was not my idea. I could see that, if I acted fast enough and managed to get down low enough, I could get a picture of the pine cone directly in front of the sun. Maddie just wasn’t having it. She kept putting a foot right in front of the pine cone, until she finally kicked it out of the way.

      Our new neighbors have been trimming the mature trees in their yard. These have been the biggest source of leaves in our yard. I’m hoping raking is a little less arduous this year as a result.

      I’m sure the coming weeks will have many photos of those golden feathers. She seems to know that I’m “capturing her beauty” – it’s about the only time she stands still.

      Have a good week.

      Like

  6. The photo of the pine cone and Maddie’s paw is so pretty–and then sunlit Maddie. She looks beautiful, Dan. The bucking horse leaf–yes!!! haha! I like that! We are still in shorts down here. The temps are supposed to drop at night but the daytime humidity is too much. November is our cooler time and I am so looking forward to that. Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you saw the bucking horse :-)

      Depending on how hard I think I’m going to be working, I’ll still put shorts on, but I do like it when I can work in long jeans. I actually like it through the time when I am wearing my construction vest. After that, I’m done. It’s time to sit inside.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Autumn has been fabulous this year because I was also getting tired of the heat and high dewpoints, and now I can live with the windows open and breathe cooler fresh air. It’s great! I only wish the 60’s of fall would last into November or December. :-)

    I love the photo of Maddie and the pine cone. It made me laugh. Maddie is your photographic muse, whether you want her to be or not, and she says “you’re welcome.”

    Happy Monday, Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. There is nothing like the shifting golden sunlight of fall. We have much needed rain on deck all week. This is a perfect time to get outside when the heat index doesn’t feel murderous. Hubby is ecstatic because Duke Power showed up early this morning to trench and install power from the pole to his new building. It has taken so long to get things done when dependent on outside resources. Love all the photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Speaking only for myself, I can agree that your Monday readers are not “wont to do the math.” However, I was smug indeed that there were two things I actually understood: a tape measure and a level. My kind of technology. Ditto the bucking horse in the leaf shadow — something else I understand. Your photos are great. I wouldn’t want to be out walking that early, but I sure enjoy the photos of someone who does! As for season changes, we are in some weird episode of warm, heavy, wet air. I think the current crop is mold. I will be chuckling for a while about Maddie and the pine cone. Maddie is in cahoots with your muse, if your muse is anything like mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you recognize the basic technology on display today. I’m also glad you saw the horse, Maureen. I haven’t been planning to be out as early as I have been, but instead of shifting to a later time, Maddie seems to want be out earlier. My muse, her ideas, who knows.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Autumn doesn’t last long here in Nebraska. If you miss it due to a busy weekend well you’ve probably lost your chance. Gets to 30 degrees quick. We are having a hand rail put in at the church. (The meetings have been many and brutal for decisions.) All we need is a way not to slip and fall. Ha. Also, snakes should love winter. I’m in and they are out. Sounds perfect to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love all the seasons, Dan but like you, Autumn is my favourite because there is a sense of completeness, of harvest time, of preparing for the winter by restocking my tea and adding more books to the ever increasing TBR stack. Autumn is the beginning of school, of exploration, thanksgiving and remembering. And best of all, pumpkin pie! A great post to begin my week. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Dan, I know what you mean about yardwork, and the some also applies to indoor work for me. I do the cooking here, and my husband is Mr Fixit. While that might be a fairly traditional, or even old-fashioned, division of labout we have the more contemporary element of two teenagers who do very little around the house, especially in the productive sense.
    Everything you talk about there, is moving in reverse here. It’s Spring here and as you’ve seen, I’ve been enjoying bushwalks out among the beautiful wildflowers, which are particularly good this year. I’ve occasionally ventured into cooler clothing have a t-shirt with long pants today, which could we where you’re at as well.
    I have also ventured onto the dark side of doing stuff around the house, and am back sanding that table again today. I am a born optimist and sometimes it bites me in the backside. Thought I’d have had it done by now. I’m not sure this is a good thing but my upper body is getting quite a workout and and I’ll be looking like a surfer soon (dream on!) My son has popped by a few times since I started this break and is pushing me to get back to it. I glanced up at the clock and it’s now almost 5.00pm. Time sure flies when it’s daylight savings. Meanwhile, the dog has other ideas. He’s sleeping across my lap and telling me to stay put. I’ve been calling him “The Productivity Manager” since we went into lockdown. He’s doing a great job. Not sure if you knew his full name . It’s Isaac Newton. He gets Zac for short but that’s what appears on his collar.
    Take care and best wishes,
    Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

    • That all sounds wonderful Rowena. I hope you are able to finish the table. I love Zac’s full name, and I’m glad to hear he’s keeping you focused. I find any kind of physical activity makes me feel good. We’re entering the intense cleanup season followed by the lull of winter.

      I love the fact that I can read about the activity of people now experiencing spring. I always knew our seasons were reversed, but I never fully understood what that means.

      Take care, and thanks for stopping by and sharing the seasons from the other side.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Dan. It’s quite a difference between knowing the seasons are reversed to experiencing it, isn’t it?!! I find the latter quite intriguing.
        I am still working away at the table. The top has now been sanded and I’m about to apply the second coat of decking oil to the surface. It’s brought out the grain in the oak beautifully and it’s looking great. Even after all of my vigorous sanding, there are still some residual; marks to give it character. Can’t wait to set it up, and a 1000 piece jigsaw arrived in the mail today so it looks like we’ll be eating outside for a few days.
        Hope you enjoy what’s left of your week. Catch up soon.
        Best wishes,
        Rowena

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Your photos and comments on them are awesome. It is HOT here and we rarely get rain. I am the one out early to play with the dog and get chores done. I love working outside. When I can, I dig holes, paint walls, spray pain thrift store finds, weed my gardens, and water, water, water my plants.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Autumn is my favorite time of year. Although the days may still be warm, and sometimes even hot, there’s a hint of crispness in the air that’s marvelous both physically and mentally. It’s a transitional time that is more pronounced than Spring, its opposite.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Dan – I love our Autumn here … but can see yours vicariously … it’s good to see you’re organised and with more time – so you’ll finish your projects … and keep everyone happy … four-legged ones. All the best – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I have that same headset. Mine are old and cracking so I bought some pink (with detectable cat ears) gaming headset. I haven’t put on the ears yet. I don’t know how the cats would react to them. Cool shadow of the leaf. I think we are going to add a rail to my uncle’s back porch.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Beautiful photos, Dan. I would have been in touch earlier, but I’m not receiving your posts. I don’t know what has happened, but I’m on a quest to figure it out. Happy Autumn!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Every season is great I personally loved the winter season the warmest food, warm cloth with snowfall wow in the winter season people usually don’t do anything they don’t travel at all because of cold in the winter season we can give much time to ourselves we can do more workout we can change our time table

    Liked by 1 person

    • Winter is a very special season. I do enjoy getting warm on cold days, and I actually enjoy clearing the snow from the driveway. I write more during the winter, too.

      Like

  19. Happy pictures and video! And, speaking of happiness, tell your Happiness Engineers I’ve dropped off your radar again. Or do I mean you’ve dropped off mine? ANYWAY, I’m not getting notifications of your new posts.

    Liked by 1 person

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