So today is October 2nd, and we haven’t had a frost yet. Tonight, we’re supposed to get a hard freeze!!! No fair! Don’t they know their supposed to give us some advanced warning? FIRST we’re supposed to get a few light frosts, THEN we get the really cold weather! Instead, the weather goes like this:
I went out to dig potatoes. First I felt just right, wearing just a turtleneck and a sweater. Then it got even warmer, and I was about to stop and take off my sweater. But, before I could do that, suddenly the wind started really blowing. Wham, cold air rushed in, so hard and fast that it blew leaves off of trees that had barely made a shift from green to muddy orangey green. Then it started to snow! What?! Double no fair! It’s not supposed to snow before we even get a frost! There’s still cucumbers growing, and tomatoes, and there’s cosmos, texas sage, and zinnias and even a bit of flowering tobacco still blooming! You can’t snow yet!
Okay. It relented.
The sun came out. The wind stopped. I kept on working. Soon, I began to get hot, and I considered taking my sweater off again.
Then, the sun went away, the wind picked up, and it started snowing again!
The snow stopped pretty quick, though, and a bunch of us started on the apples. First we picked up the ones under the trees, and then went on to picking from the trees. The weather was pretty pleasant, actually. Supposedly, a hard freeze (28 F or below) will damage apples, so we were in a hurry to get them all picked before the night. Once we got to the last of our three trees, the most loaded tree with the biggest and most apples, the weather started changing AGAIN.
First we argued over what kind of clouds they looked like. Lachlan and Evan said snow, but I didn’t know how you can tell the difference. We kept picking. Then someone said, “Oh, here it comes!!”
Looking towards the North, we could certianly see “it.” What was it? I said snow, but now Lachlan said rain. Piffles. I’ve never seen rain that looked like that. It was incredibly white and very thick. It looked like a more solid sort of a fog, spreading quickly. Whoa. That was going to be either one heck of a rainstorm or a total white-out snowstorm. (But it hasn’t frosted yet!!) So what was it? It was—
Sleet! Hail! Frozen Rain! (What’s the difference anyhow? And what’s the difference between a hard frost and a hard freeze? Is there even such a thing as a light freeze?) Anyhow, that chilled us instantly. Little bits of ice sliding down your neck and then melting into very cold water does not make for pleasant apple picking. And then, the thunder and lightning started up! Rundy started talking about what an idiot he was being up in a tree during a storm, but before he got to a good stopping point, the storm blew through. But now it was colder, and we were all wet and cold. And that makes for very miserable apple picking.
Anyhow, I don’t know where we’re going to store all of these apples until we can make them into pies, crips, applesauce, applebutter, cakes and whatever else we can figure out to do with them. I like pies best, I think, but I like them all. But I am tired of washing out canning jars already, thank you very much!