View of my copper metal Halloween pumpkin with votive candle illumination
to greet my trick-or-treaters.
Halloween was a beautiful, and oddly balmy warm day of 75 degrees (F) in upstate New York. It was gorgeous and a perfect day for trick-or-treaters, despite the forecast of rain that was due to roll in -- at just about the time when most young, costumed children would be strolling the neighborhood streets. Fortunately, the rains did hold off for most all of the late afternoon and early evening, but the warmer, calm weather was not to last for too long.
The winds didn't kick in in earnest until later that night and early the next day, on the first of November. I had gone out that day to run an errand and never looked into my side yard to see the damage that the winds had wrought on my fairly precarious stockade fence section. This fencing is at least 30 years old and long past its useful life, for sure. I didn't notice the damage until the next day when I had gone out to deal with some of the last of the plants that I had out for the summer and early fall. Usually, we're dealing with a serious frost by early to mid-October, but this has been an extraordinary weather year here in upstate New York. By that point, I typically have brought most all of my plants indoors to protect them from the bitter cold and frost, but not this year. A small number of the most hardy plants had remained outside, but frost was expected, so I went out to move what remained and saw the damage to the fence panel from the intense winds.
My fallen stockade fence panel - view from within my side yard toward the common area
between residential properties. (Note the dog-eared panels at the rear.)
View into my side and back yard beyond from the common area between residential properties.
Replacing all of the stockade sections has been on my list of repairs and improvements needed for my home, as I prefer the look of wood dog-eared panels rather than stockade, but I hadn't been able to tackle them before the storm hit. I actually would like to remove the wood panels across the back of my yard and replace it with a fencing material that allows a view of the natural wooded area just beyond, but that will have to wait until the replacement of these very aged stockade panels along the side yard, which provide me with the privacy I crave.
At the same time as the damage to the fence panel, the powerful, 50-60mph winds that blew through that day also managed to bring down a lot of the leaves still remaining on the disiduous trees - hardwood maple and oak - within, and just beyond,
my immediate yard. I usually tackle the fallen leaves by Thanksgiving and try to get most of them up off of the lawn by December and any significant snow accumulation. This year, it was a much easier task with so many leaves having fallen by Halloween night, and they were drier, and therefore much lighter, than in years past. I've never had such lightweight brown paper lawn-leaf bags as I did this year. A blessing in disguise, I think. All told, I had about 15-18 bags of leaves lined up for the town to pick up - a nice perk for residents. They use them for mulch in the spring, which is one of the nicer features of living here. I have a bit more to do, but now we've got temperatures below 20F in the morning - certainly much colder than usual for this time of year, so I'm waiting until things warm up to do my final raking and yard clean-up.
Something tells me it's going to be a long winter and we're not close to that season starting yet!