New Foreigner Book!


a few hardcovers and pbs available from Closed Circle, signed. Latest: Moonlover and the Fountain of Blood, Jane Fancher short story. Chernevog, part 2 of the Rusalka trilogy co-written by CJ and Jane; and Orion's Children, a tetralogy from Lynn.

Frost on the roofs in Spokane. Freeze this coming Sunday.

Breakfast on the patio was nippy this morning. The pond is frothing up islands of white foam—lest you think picaresque, it’s dead bacteria, dying off from the chill, as the summer bacteria give up. The koi were all resting deep this morning, not interested in food. I didn’t test the temperature: I doubt it’s 60, but it’s headed there. The koi will be out to eat once the high sun warms their bodies: they’ll swim near the surface for solar heating of their non-self-heating bodies, and then they’ll be hungry for a few hours. This is why we give them only wheat germ, which digests very rapidly. Should they be caught by night with food in their tummies, they’d be very unhappy koi.

Jane got her big bee-friendly Rudolph plant in: it’s brand name is Rudolph, but we don’t know it’s genus and species: green flowers, and the size of a wash tub, ie, a yard across. The begonias are coming in to dry and die for replanting next year. The Kalinchoe is coming in. The rest are on their own. It’s about times to start feeding the birds.

When the water temperature falls below 60, I’ll be adding winter bacteria, for the health of the pond during winter months. We’re still debating whether to pull the pump for the winter: I’m thinking yes, because that pump is not easy to replace, and the seals and gaskets are rubber.

We still haven’t gotten back to our ice skating—there’s just more to do here than any two people can manage, since we were so crazy as to pull the lawn in front. On the other hand—next year will be easier, because all we have to do is move plants and build some earthen ridges, lay some rock, and build a retaining wall: that is such a small list compared to where we started, with a scruffy lawn and weeds.

Today I’m going to take the wheelbarrow about the front and back garden paths just gathering stuff either to be stored or thrown out. The garden fairy (Toscano) comes in before her wings crack. And the Great Wall comes in. It may be resin, but we’re not taking chances.

20 comments to Frost on the roofs in Spokane. Freeze this coming Sunday.

  • smartcat

    We are experiencing typical fall weather for this area. Temps mid 60-70, sun with a few clouds and showers. The morning glories I planted by the house after cut worms got the plants on the tower have finally started to bloom. I hope frost holds off for a while. I’m starting to bring plants in for the winter. I am trying to be bit more sane this year and do it in stages. 😆

    The pond filled in the last week of rain. I think we are going to trim the liner and put a leaf net over it and finish in the spring. Then we have to make the rest of the yard look as nice as the pool. These things have a way of feeding into bigger projects! 😉

  • smartcat

    P.S. I Googled Rudolph plant…wow! It’s a euphorbia if that’s any help. Spectacular and, I assume, hardy.

  • philospher77

    I just got through having two cherry trees planted. Took out the peach tree… it was half-dead and badly infested with peach borer. Went with a Stella and a Bing cherry. The Stella is supposed to be a self-pollinator, but apparently both trees produce more when cross-pollinated, and the Stella blooms a bit earlier and thus attracts the pollinators into the area for when the Bing blooms. This is, I am told, the best time of year to plant trees in my area, except for citrus, so we will see in the spring how well they are doing.

  • chondrite

    The tiny Italian cypresses have gone in about a yard from the fenceline on the W side of the house. It will take years from them to get tall enough to shade that side of the house, but I couldn’t afford $42 (!) for a 4′ tall one. I hope they ‘take’.

    • CJ

      Coffee grounds and azalea/rhododendron food. They come from acidic volcanic soil. Your water will almost certainly be alkaline—we nearly lost ours until we figured that out. Now it’s recovering nicely.

      • chondrite

        They will be growing IN volcanic soil — I wonder if ours is sufficiently acidic for their liking? I have an old bottle of aspirin from our emergency kit that is decomposing to acetic acid. Maybe dissolving a couple of aspirins in their water every week or so would make them happy. Our water is hard, as is evidenced by the lime scale I have to remove from the shower enclosure. Coffee grounds are not a problem 😀

  • AngryMike

    What sort of retaining wall are you planning on building? My pop graded his back yard from being significantly sloped to level two summers ago, which involved building retaining walls ( and then cosmetic fences on top of it ). I wound up responsible for a large share of the digging portion of this, since any wall that’s going to hold back a backyard needs to be sunk plenty deep, and the purpose of having a son seems to be as a source of manual labor ( he spent my teens remodeling his house; I honestly could not count the number of trash cans full of plaster and lathing I lugged out to the truck, then drove the truck to the dump, then dumped them at same.)

    In any event, I would recommend not doing it in summer. Serious digging plus the summer heat is just awful.

    • CJ

      Welcome advice! And Spokane summers can be hot. This will be one of my first spring projects, because though ours is a small wall, it’s going to require some mattock work and tilling to get the ground prepared—mostly mattock work, since it runs right the other side of the gas line for both houses, us and the neighbor!

  • philospher77

    My advice on trees is to always plant the largest you can afford (taking the planting costs into account). If it’s going to take 50 years for a tree to get to its full size, I want a lot of those years to have been spent already growing when I put the tree in my yard!

  • purplejulian

    no frosts here. Dahlias blooming away. I went sailing today in our local estuary, I did wear a hat, gloves and over-trousers – it was about 12 C and not terribly windy ….. looks like the UK is having a mild autumn so far, so not much colour around yet.
    and planting trees – I was told that if you plant a young stick, in the winter, but not during frosts, obviously, (about a 2 yr old, I think) , it will catch up with the 10 year old tree others plant, because there is no damage to its root system. I gave mine (all UK native trees) bone meal, and they are doing really well, 9 years later; the silver birch is well higher than the 2 story house.

  • CJ

    We got all the fragile plants in. There’s some dispute about the hardiness of the euphorbia, but we are bringing it in, and found another, a baby. So we plant that in the hole from which we removed the other, and we’ll see if it survives.

    we have the 400 w CFL fixture over the first plants we took in, and they’re beginning to grow. We set all the others but the heavy euphorbia on the kitchen table, and are installing bright white CFL in the basement over the place we’re putting other plants.

    Now if we don’t get raided by the police in the theory we’re growing illicit things (white light from the basement windows), we’re good!

  • tulrose

    Beautiful weather here in the Okies. No frosts yet and the squirrels are burying their pecans in the lawn.

    Ugly day otherwise; my operating system went belly-up and one try at a restore didn’t do it. The next option is to wipe the disk. No problem with my data as it is all backed up offline but to get to it I need an operating system, a network and a browser. I hadn’t planned on this today. I had planned to read school registers on microfilm at the library – can’t get to my genealogy notes unless I install genealogy software and evernote on DH’s system.

  • purplejulian

    daughter just had to have a total wipe – she managed to download something nasty. it’s a dell, so she had to pay £ 130 extra for software help, although we had the warranty, she spent 3 hours on the phone with them the day it happened, which did restore it to a point where she could rescue everything, which took most of Sunday, as it was still pretty sick, transferring onto faithful tiny toshiba laptop, never allowed contact with the outside world …. then dell just reformatted it through the phone line. this all probably due to having the free version of AVG for security. 🙁

  • Microsoft Security Essentials is all I have running now for security and I love it. It’s free and has been completely worry free and doesn’t pop up to bother me constantly.

    It’s been unseasonably warm here in Indiana, we have records temps last week and hit 85 over the weekend. It’s supposed to start cooling off again next week.

  • tulrose

    Well, wiped the drive and still have problems. Next step is to take it in to a repair shop to see if they can swap the drive. It’s a Sony Vaio all-in-one desktop and a difficult beast to take apart. Sony want as much as a new computer to fix (of course)and their nearest repair outlet is DFW. I can’t get it up far enough to connect to a network so it’s pretty shot.

  • chondrite

    As a cultural sidelight, for all you OK expats and current residents:

    Anyone notice this one?

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