First Freeze

This morning marked the first freeze on our five acres. Our outdoor thermometers tell me the temperature has lingered at 29 degrees Fahrenheit for at least four hours, possibly longer – more than enough to signal that autumnal preparations for winter should be nearly completed.

Deciduous leaves of tulip poplars, sweet gums, sourwoods, red maples, black gums, dying green ashes (victims of Emerald Ash Borer), spicebushes, beautyberries have already discarded at least a third or more of their summer leaves. Oaks, always last to leave the party, are only just beginning to release their leaf bounty to the forest floor.

Strong winds ahead of recent cold fronts ripped off many leaves before today’s freeze. Swirls of dancing red and gold would leap into stormy air, then tumble down together, a few leaves plastered by raindrops to windows.

This morning’s freeze brought an entirely different kind of leaf fall – a peaceful release. First singly, and then more and more as the morning sun kissed them, trees gently let go, their leaves drifting as they floated to frosty ground.

It is time for extra blankets, cups of steaming beverages, and winter meditations. May the season bring peace to all.

Do not disturb until spring.

  1. #1 by tonytomeo on October 20, 2022 - 12:13 am

    Gads! It is not even November! (It was over ninety degrees near here today.)

    • #2 by piedmontgardener on October 20, 2022 - 6:20 am

      Hello, Tony! In terms of meteorological averages, our first freeze was right on schedule. However, in recent years, the freezes have been coming in November. The killing cold was downright nostalgic for this “experienced” gardener. I hope your temperatures cool soon. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. #3 by Donna on October 20, 2022 - 1:25 am

    Such lovely writing. I feel like I am there.
    I’m looking forward to a slower time.

    • #4 by piedmontgardener on October 20, 2022 - 6:20 am

      Thank you, Donna. It’s always lovely to hear from you. Slow times sound good to me too!

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