October 01, 2017
It's time to pick out that perfect pumpkin to carve into a jack-o-lanten. I've not always had pumpkins but I've always been able to find something to decorate. One year it was an old watermelon that refused to ripen. This is year I have an unripened cantilope that I poked eyes into and stuck grapes in them, cut a crooked smile, and put half an artichoke on it's head. It's not a bit frightening but it makes you smile. Some years !arge crookneck squash get used.
If you face the stem towards you and put a hollyhock flower on top it's a swan or goose. If you turn it around you can use a sharpie to make gnome faces on them. Lots of folks won't let their kids celebrate Halloween because they think it represents the dark side. I think we should learn to laugh at our fears. Laughing at a demon infuriates it because it knows it has no power over you.
October 02, 2017
October is the month I start seeing lots of orb spider webs. I don't know what they do all Summer, but they sure get busy in the Fall. Maybe the webs are easier to see when the arc of the sun gets lower in the sky. The morning dew really enhances their visibility. Spiders get to sleep in on dewy mornings. I have an orb spider in the grape vines that looks like a walnut and is just as big. I don't know how his web can even support him.
Every day there will be an insect wrapped up in silk hanging on the web and every morning it will be gone. Hugh Mongus prefers to eat at night. The ripening grapes are attracting lots of flies so he's getting fatter every day. The black and yellow garden orb spider is familiar to most gardeners and much less intimidating. Rarely do they sit in the center of their web, but when they do we stop and admire them.
October 03, 2017
We got a killer frost last night. It's way too early but the season is over. The zucchini look like someone took a blowtorch to them. Even some of the fruit got burn spots. As I was pulling up the vines I got a wiff of the sweet cherry like smell of stink bugs and was reminded not to use the vines as garden mulch.
Some part of their life cycle overwinters in the stems so down to the creek they go. Hot composting them works to kill the pest but my piles don't get the diligent attention they need to be turned each time the inside temperature has remained at 160° long enough to sanitize. I won't plant zucchini on that side of the garden next year, but I won't remove the mulch around the mounds either. I'll be adding compost to the mound and straw, leaves or grass clippings around the mounds because soil health is paramount to my gardening endeavors.