Thursday, November 10, 2022

November Hill farm journal, 169

 We’re well into autumn here, with the dogwoods, tulip poplars, hickories, and maples mostly done with their shows of color. The oaks are still shifting and we’re bombarded with fallen leaves, which, by the way, I actually now leave where they fall, knowing that between wind and rain and horse hooves they will gradually decline over the coming winter and spring. The most important reason to leave them though is to allow all the beneficial insects who are pupating in them to overwinter and emerge in springtime. 

When Doug Tallamy talks about keystone species, the oak is one of top hosts, with several hundred species of insect living and growing and reproducing in its foliage. Think about how many birds and small mammals those insects feed. Leaving the leaves is one of the most important things we can do to positively impact the ecosystems in our properties.

And remember, you don’t have to leave them exactly where they fall - if you want some lawn, gently rake them onto sheets and move them to areas where they can be through the winter.

In other news, we have a lot of spots of color still happening around November Hill. A number of my native plantings are shooting up new growth and even flowering right now. Yesterday I saw green-headed coneflowers, goldenrod, and several herbs blooming anew. The pollinators are busy on our warmish days collecting as much pollen and nectar as they can before winter. And the late-blooming asters are also providing late season nutrition for bees of all kinds.

A few images with some color:

The herd is doing well, though I’ve had to absolutely insist they eat their feed tubs and hay each morning before turning them out. They are slightly obsessed with acorns this year and when the gates are opened each morning, Keil heads in turn to his favorite oaks to forage. The only good part about this is that they are all moving constantly all over the entire farm, but I want to be sure they’re getting plenty of wet feed into their guts! 

This week we’ve had some very warm days for November, but I see that after Hurricane Nora goes through we will have more normal November days to come. I’ve been doing some cleaning in the feed/tack room in advance of the cooler weather, and got all the stalls bedded yesterday for tomorrow’s rain and wind. 

Writing and seeing clients and getting ready to paint the bathroom this weekend! May all stay safe in this late season hurricane. 


Grey Horse Matters said...

Glad to hear the herd are doing well. Ours are too. They are enjoying the warm weather, except for Blue who is sweating with his heavy winter coat and has Cushings. J. is seriously thinking of giving him a hunt clip.

Your colors are pretty. We have some leaves left on some trees but they're mostly gone. The weather was almost 70 for a few days this week. Crazy for November. I see it will start getting cooler this coming week though.

Sounds like you're busy and the bathroom is almost done. We haven't started the ones here at the farmhouse. Seems the contractor is busy until after Christmas. So we'll have to wait a while longer. These guys are like celebrities around here, no one works and when you find a company that does show up. They want top dollars and name their own hours. It's enough to drive you crazy. Stay safe too during hurricane season.

billie said...

Blue in a hunt clip! Gosh, I would love to see him - I bet he will look sporty and handsome! We’ve been near 80 a couple of days and ugh, it is so not what I want this time of the year. Nor do the horses.

Got on a clearing out binge in the feed/tack room yesterday and today which has delayed my painting but I finally got my painting stuff sorted this evening so I have no excuse tomorrow a.m. :)

Glad you’re all hanging in there with bathrooms and contractors. It’s crazy how hard it is to get people to come and earn money!! :)