Meteorologists have been calling it an autumn heat wave in the desert southwest: the unseasonably warm, dry days and nights stretching right into second week of December.
I have been enjoying the warmth and spending much of my time working on infrastructure projects in the back garden.
A junkyard find of a cast iron double bed headboard has been installed as part of a trellis structure for pole beans next spring after the garlic harvest. Work is continuing on extending the grape arbor.
My plan is that the tall pole beans and grape vines will shade the yoga practice area aka cement slab which occupies the middle of the back area.
A batch of damaged cement pavers, picked up very cheaply at a local hardware store, have been giving me a rigorous physical workout as they were installed under the washline. Most just had a corner missing, though a few were broken in two. I still need about 12 more to complete the job. I bide my time and keep my eyes open.
There are still flowers: the tail end of cosmos, marigolds, calendula and happy nasturtiums. Spears of Dutch Iris have shot up - I am hoping not too early to compromise flowering in spring.
Leaves are falling fast: the fig and apricot are completely bare now, while the Rio Grande cottonwood gently offers up its last brilliant flare of gold, providing a lovely blanket for strawberries.
A plateful of beautiful purple potatoes was even unearthed.
With temperatures predicted to swoop now into more seasonal mid twenties lows overnight, I’m not holding out much hope for ongoing potato survival. I might have to dig the entire autumn potato patch, who grew themselves from tubers which I must have missed in my summer harvest.
The garden and I got lucky with the warm autumn and, along with all the backyard gold and enamel blue skies, I am pleasantly surprised to be enjoying a second harvest of one of my favorite foods. Potato pancakes, anyone?