1 It's mid-October and here in Westchester County, New York, the autumn colors just aren't all that spectacular. Most of the trees seem to be turning a deep yellow and gold. This past week, the terrace umbrellas were put in winter storage.
2 This tree, next to the corn crib, looks alike an apple from afar, but it is a quince, the fruit of which looks like a cross between an apple and a pear. However, the flesh is very hard and astringent and really benefits from being cooked.
3 Quince skin is quite fuzzy and the fruit contains high levels of pectin, making it an excellent choice for jelly. At my dinner party on Saturday night, I served a delicious homemade quince ice cream, made with quince syrup.
4 The road leading to the stable is flanked by a boxwood allee that has been pruned with an undulating shape.
5 The crew has been busy giving the boxwood shrubs one last pruning, to shape them nicely before covering them over with burlap for the winter.
6 A view towards my house from the boxwood allee
7 Inside the stable, Billie, Rufus, and Clive were waiting patiently for their stable to be mucked and lined with clean bedding.
8 What an adorable face!
9 You know the season is changing when white pine needles drop en masse.
10 Or when you encounter large piles of leaves
11 The guys have been busy keeping on top of the leaf-removal chore.
12 With so many leaves, a large leaf vacuum saves much time and labor.
13 The leaves are sucked up by the large hose and fed into the back of the dump truck. When the dump truck is full, the leaves are taken to the compost area, where they are piled up and will decompose to form composted mulch.
14 Meanwhile, Wilmer has the task of removing the giant tropical ferns from the decorative urns outside the stable. The ferns need to be placed in large plastic pots for winter storage. This one doesn't quite fit.
15 Wilmer knows what needs to be done.
16 Using a sharp knife, he began trimming the root ball, decreasing its size.
17 He also used the flat edge of a shovel to cut through the bottom roots.
18 Back into the pot
19 And we have a fit with a bit of room to grow - The green foliage at the base is baby tears, a wonderful ground cover that looks great around the base of potted plants.
20 Gyurme and Wilmer loaded the fern into the back of the Kawasaki.
21 And headed to the winter storage greenhouse
22 You may recall a year ago when we were desperately trying to complete the construction of this greenhouse. You might remember that we had a devastating early snowfall in October, which took the northeast by total surprise.
23 At that time, so many of these tropical plants were still outdoors and suffered snow damage.
24 However, the greenhouse was finally complete and the plants were moved indoors. With a good pruning, the damaged plants came back nicely over the winter.
25 Every day, more plants are brought inside and soon, this structure will be filled to capacity. The heater is checked a couple of times each day to make sure the temperature remains comfortably warm inside. Too cold, plants will freeze - Too hot, plants will rot
26 Outside the greenhouse, the sky was very dramatic.
27 The yellow leaves were glowing against the stormy clouds.
28 The view across a hay field
29 Rather ominous looking
30 The breaks of clouds and blue sky were amazing!
31 The clouds just kept rolling across the sky.
32 Turning in the opposite direction - more ominous clouds
33 The popcorn patch has yet to be harvested.
34 Dolma led the Friesians to their run-in paddock where they spent the night.
35 The temperatures were dropping and this was the first time this season that the horses wore their warm blankets.
36 The horses enjoy their nights outdoors and have only been kept in the stable if there is a threat of a storm.
37 And they're off!
38 This is the run-in, if the horses want shelter.