Frost is only called Jack in the autumn

In the autumn, frost is fun, it is a herald and a wee bit exciting. In the Spring the frost can bring frozen tears to your eyes.  When I was writing to you yesterday morning I saw this through the window.And thought oh how pretty, look at the sun rising through those translucent leaves. But we had had a silent mean bad frost. The leaves were transparent not translucent. The Late Spring frost had breathed his wicked breath at them, frozen them, then silently left them to die.

This is one of  the Paw Paws. They are three years old this spring.  There are eight of them. All their leaves are dead.

A Fall frost is kind of romantic and photogenic,  a Late Spring frost … 

.. can kill your harvest. 

Least said the better. The whole crop is black green and falling.

We cannot always have beauty and we cannot always have right.  Fair is often a luxury.  This  a fundamental knowledge. This is why joy is so brilliant and so bright,  if we have the wit to see it.  Because joy comes in short sublime bursts. When things go wrong, when God says No and we have no choice in the matter, it is just a bugger. We must move quickly on. So I will not show  you the pears or the cherries.  Or the hydrangeas. Or my beautiful sunburst magnolia that has not one untouched leaf, every one is freeze dried. But I am sure the leaves will grow back.

All is not lost so I will show you the blue berries….

whose leaves are still lovely.

And the aquilegia are all still beautiful.  

The chicks  have a heat lamp so they are all warm and cosy.

When living the little farmy life,  you have to keep your head above water by Forcing it back above the water when something goes wrong or those frozen tears will freeze in your eyes and make you blind to the joy of the survivors. But that morning was very very cold.  And the frost that ruined our fruit harvest was not sweet at all.

This guy is though.

Someone is sneaking through my outdoor feed station. 

And looking pretty on the drive. Completely unaffected by the fact that all the tomatoes are black. John covered every one but they are all dead.  However he has more in pots that were all brought inside that night, and last night when it froze again. He knew the risks. So he will be replanting this weekend.

I have been trying for over two weeks to take a delicate shot showing why I keep saying Mama must have her lambs soon.  This is hardly delicate but you see what I mean!  Hard not to look isn’t it! Soon Mama, soon!

Good morning. Lots to do today.  The weather man tells me that last night’s second frost was the last one, so onwards and upwards now.  Let’s hit the ground running today!

I am so glad you have chosen to ride the roller coaster of farmy life with me!  Have a lovely day.



88 Comments on “Frost is only called Jack in the autumn

  1. Bad luck about that frost. It is pouring here and my cat Fiona has gone missing again — she was away last night. She keeps getting trapped in a vacant house up the block.

      • She was where we thought she’d be: up in the attic of a vacant house. It took about an hour to persuade her to come down. We borrowed bookshelves to make cat planks and brought food and did a lot of cooing.

          • First people broke into the house, leaving broken windows and doors that couldn’t be closed. Then the new owners sent workmen who leave the house open. The cat goes over there to hunt or look around and always ends up in the attic. We don’t know how she gets up there but she is afraid to come down on her own and just waits until we find her.

  2. Late Spring frosts, Early winter snows.
    Too much rain, not enough rain.
    Tornadoes. Hurricanes…
    These have always been the farmer’s lot in life….
    Whenever it happens, remember a time when there was no option to say, “I’ll just run to the store, then…” And, that for some of our neighbors, that day is still *today*…
    Wishing you warmer days and nights ahead, C!
    (OH, MY….those Mammeries! Mama, don’t you think it’s TIME?)

  3. You’re right, it’s a bugger but there are far worse things in life and you are also right in that we should appreciate all the joyous enchanting things instead. Just the jewel-like colours of Kupa make him a joy to behold all on his own!

  4. Hi Cecilia, Shame about the frost. Beautiful photos.
    Regards Florence x

  5. I know how you feel..
    Spring planting fever hits me in Jamuary
    every year I follow the air flow from Fairbanks Alaska , it is our flow pattern…
    I have been outside for two weeks planting, and yesterday i gave in and planted tomotoes and peppers..We usually have a freeze, light or hard but always one right before Easter….
    This year is the first year we didn’t, I don’t think that has happened before, or so long ago I bock it out
    my gardens are beautiful, or I should say in progress of being more beautiful LOL

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures…yes Mama needs to soon!.
    and the others are (animals) are looking healthy and happy

    Take care…
    have a great day…

  6. Hmm, Mother Nature really does like to test us, doesn’t she! Despite the frost Celi, you have taken magical shots of everything.
    Oh Mama – you poor dear, you must be terribly uncomfortable so hurry up and have them little lambies already. Sorry Mama, didn’t mean to sound like I was shouting at you.
    🙂 Mandy

  7. Oh Celie, I know that life isn’t all hearts and flowers. I’m old enough to have seen and suffered most kinds of freak weather, but your graphic description and photographs made me cry my eyes out. Commiseration isn’t a strong enough word to describe how sorry I feel for your losses. The fact that you still have strength and optimism to find joy in this situation gives me hope for you and humankind.

    • Oh Viv, honey don’t cry. It is just bad luck. Nothing we can do. But I know you know that too! Have a lovely restful day though I know you hate sitting about!! c

  8. Good Morning Celi! Frost is the downside of our early spring. I will go out later to survey the damage … then again, plants are very resilient.

    • Morning frank, yes they will come back but such a shame after such a good run, but there you are, thats life! c

  9. Thanks for this thoughtful post. I was thinking of such things when I was driving in to work this morning and appreciating the beauty of the frost. I was aware that it likely meant bad news, and so did not relish it as much as a fall frost. “We cannot always have beauty and we cannot always have right. Fair is often a luxury. This a fundamental knowledge. This is why joy is so brilliant and so bright, if we have the wit to see it. Because joy comes in short sublime bursts. When things go wrong, when God says No and we have no choice in the matter, it is just a bugger.” That is a pretty profound set of sentences, as well the acceptance to move on and be thankful for the “survivors.”

  10. Such a big big bummer (old hippie word) about the frost Celi! So sad to see and hear about it. Will the asparagus revive with the sunlight, or send out new shoots? I sure hope so. Maybe the second time round the plants and trees will be even hardier? We can always hope. I’m sending positive energies your way to lift the spirits of you and Our John.
    On a positive note, we are picking and eating radishes daily down here. That’s exciting! xo

    • Our Johns radishes are still small but we had some the other day too, isn’t it exciting. Your garden must be a delight in that rocky soil.. The asparagus is over for this year as are the fruit trees, even the walnut is covered in dead leaves now. I am especially upset about losing the artichokes, they need a long summer but there you are. As the old ladies say. No use crying over split milk. c

  11. So sad, I’m sorry you had to lose so much after all of the hard work you’ve put into it!! Hopefully Mamas new babies that are coming SOON will soothe you!


  12. Yesterday, you said it was bad and you certainly weren’t exaggerating. Sorry to see that, Celi.Your photos are usually so joyful it’s hard to look at the reverse. But you’re right. It’s the lows that teach us to enjoy the highs. Like you, I hope that’s the last of it. Today will be a better day.

    • Yes John, head up and today will be a great day and it is going to get as little warm again too.. hope you have a sunny morning spot to have your coffee, this sunshine is gorgeous.. c

  13. I feel sad for you, even though I know too that Mother Nature doesn´t publish a fixed timetable for us to consult. You are pragmatic and optimistic I think though and you will handle whatever she decides to hand out to you. Poor old Mama, she really must be so near her time.

  14. We had two, or was it three, nights of horrible, hard frost here in Minnesota, too. I covered my bleeding heart and my fern peony and they survived. As for the other plants, I haven’t had the heart to inspect them or to even think about the budding trees or the wild raspberries. Except for spinach, no vegetables were planted yet. At least you’re trying to stay positive in light of your losses.

    • I know what you mean about not having the heart to look! Hopefully that will be all for now! fingers crossed.. c

  15. Ha, Mama knew something we didn’t … just how many is she expecting to be feeding 4? 6?. And noooo I’m not making any comments about that asparagus:) Celi it will all bounce back you’ll see. thanks for the pictures they are stunning none-the-less.

    • Morning Ksenia, I am confident that the trees will recover, and grow new leaves,, but yup our asparagus is over for the year! and just when you are doing a month of asparagus on your blog!! c

      • Hi, C:) That’s good to hear about the trees though not as much about your asparagus crop! You did make the most of it while it was around though!

  16. Beautiful life includes all things. May today and tomorrow be warmer and brighter for you and the farm.

  17. So sad about that frost! You wrote so beautifully about it though, and your photos are great as always. You’ve taken something crummy, made something lovely and even managed to end on a high note. All in a morning’s work!

  18. Not your hydrangeas too!! Ok, trying not to be sad and have frozen tears.. can I tell you that you’ve described your (this) feeling so poetically it was very touching. You’ve really captured how it feels to have a bugger of a day disappoint us and still go on.. Ok, I’m no longer not looking, because that will cheer me up! xo Smidge

  19. Your frost must have been harsher than ours. We are in a valley so we got some but it doesn’t look too damaging. When the sun hits the garden I will check it. From the house the peach tree looks okay. Some flowers wilted, but with the sun again they perked up. The lilacs and honeysuckle still look good too. They are hearty.
    I’m not noticing many bees. Though my kids say they have seen some. Still doesn’t sound like many. Wondering how this early blooming, then frost, will affect them and the pollinating process.

  20. hi celia! ouch…mama looks like i feel! what a shame about the frost. i’ve lost some things too but we can’t fight mother nature and this sure has been a strange year! joyce

  21. Oh Celi, I am sorry to hear about your fruits and tomatoes! We were out at sunset with frost blankets here. I think they worked for us because we were only at 32 deg. this morning… if had been any colder, well, who can say.
    I am in love with Kupa! ~ Lynda

  22. Your perspective and resilience, although I know it is absolutely necessary, still shines through in a way that really touches me, Celi. I know how much love goes into every one of those flowers, trees, bushes and vegetables. The “life” on the farm is the heart of it, and to see it damaged is tear-worthy, but to remember “frozen tears” blinds to the joy! Wow! And I love the indelicate photo of Mama…I wonder if she’s uncomfortable! Bless you in your repair work today, Celi! Debra

    • Morning debra nd thank you for your lovely words, thankfully I only have to deal with a frost, not a real crisis! c

  23. Definitely is looking like a government (closed road) & nature conspiracy to keep you from selling asparagus. I always thought they could have two cuts a year? Maybe that’s just in warmer climes. I’d still be tempted to go out and cut before the rot goes to the roots, and hope for a second go… The pears and cherries are a hard loss for storing fruit for the winter. I guess it will be a lot of blueberries…

    • I have mown them, it is a huge patch, but maybe that will be it for the year.. ah well, definitely a conspiracy .. asparagus sales are doomed this year! c

  24. That Jack Frost, he’s a SCUNNER (and a toerag, not to mention a scallywag). However, he hasn’t got the best of you, there is still beauty and life on the farmy – those chicks, for one thing, look unbearably soft. They are going to be a big hit when you go visiting.

  25. It is something I am not used to anymore, frost, we just do t have it by the sea, we get a bit excited when it drops to 5C. Shame about the crop, such a late frost too.

  26. Frost definitely sucks. Awww look at the little chicka dees. They look so darn cute. And look at Mama showing off her good side in the photo :).

  27. oh, life on the land can be so harsh1 But that’s the reality. In the past, this was people’s whole livelihood and they would starve if the elements were too harsh. I hope the leaves grow again.

    • Absolutely Juliet, imagine if we really were completely dependent on the land.. the loss of the fruit would be terrible! c

  28. I may be a bit daft, but this post reminded me of a Christmas song…”Put one foot in front of the other……lalala” Perhaps it was a Christmas show….
    There are always set backs…we just have to keep moving forward. I hope winds of change are a bit warmer. 🙂

  29. We all rejoice in the early or fair weather but the reality can be rather cruel. We have had so many hard frosts and had sleet and hail today. Even when my tomatoes go into the ground on May 28th in Maine there is still a chance of a frost. You just have to take your chances sometimes. We win and sometimes we loose. Sorry for what you lost but happy that some has survived.

    • You have much much worse weather out there, it must be an endless struggle.. soon we will be into summer then it is plain sailing here.. just hot!! c

  30. I’m so thankful for your attitude of gratitude. My brother had a late frost one year, in June! Lost everything. A few years ago, the deer ate a lot of it. The seeds are sown with hope, and sometimes all that is reaped is tears. It can be a tough life on the farm. I tried not to look at Mama, poor thing.

  31. It will kill some of the bugs too, but it is a hard thing to lose one’s fruits in one fell swoop like that, frost, I hope the rest of the growing season brings some different joys for you xx

  32. Good morning Celi!
    I know, I know, this is yesterday post….sorry!
    I hope soon stop frost and the crop is not affected drastically. At least the animals look great, including Mia 😉

  33. I know that I’m late with this; you’re probably up and typing your next post for today. I just wanted to say “Resow, replant, trim back the damage, have a cup of tea.” You’ll find that most plants recover from a late nip of frost. What doesn’t recover, just resow or replant. Chin up.

  34. I so understand what you’re saying – it’s part of life – and it’s a good life – though the frustration/sadness is still real! My asparagus was frosted/killed, too – thankgoodness there is already more coming up…my mouth is watering for it! Makes me so sad, though…those poor dead stalks…

  35. Beautifully written. Love this:
    We cannot always have beauty and we cannot always have right. Fair is often a luxury.
    I remember one such spring frost that killed all my roses that I had kept alive all winter with homemade cones filled with hay and then banked with snow.
    But you’re right, it’s important to notice what survives. That affirmation helps in our own starkest times.
    Peace from the land of Aloha.

    • Oh so sad to lose those roses, after all that work, but you are right.. it happens.. we go on! .. aloha! c

  36. It’s best when weather conditions keep to their particular seasons and the seasons stay a while and not switch about every few hours. I mourn your loss. 🙂

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