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It's About Time - November 2013

Young wild turkey, Meleagris gallopavo

This fall there is a new flock of nine turkeys that circulate through our neighborhood, snooping down our street every other day. Their core must come from the ones that nested on the butte above our home this past spring. The turkey chicks that left the nest in April are now the size of their parents. We are not sure what they find to eat in their foraging; hope their menu includes slugs and snails.

All our garden hoses are rolled up and watering timers put away. I haven’t drained the mower yet because the warm fall might keep grass growing for another few weeks. The zucchini in the garden yielded their last three fingers as I pulled the vines up for compost. I like zucchini because they don’t have to ripen; they taste good from peanut size on.

Working in the garden along the street creates opportunity to talk to neighbors who walk by. It is interesting how folks seem comfortable asking about what I’m growing or comment on the nice pea trellis I have. It would seem that gardening in front of your home is a basic, ancient form of social media.

Leaves fall from our broadleaf trees in November having gone through their best colors in October. Parasites and symbionts like the gall wasps on oaks and tar spot fungi in bigleaf maple will wait out their dormant stage in decaying leaves on the ground. If the leaves get raked up, their life cycle is broken.