At the end of a long season of hot temperatures, the onset of autumn is a welcomed change. For me personally, I jumped for joy when I looked out my window and saw that the current temperature was only 15 degrees. Why? Because this meant that I could go outside and do a little yard work without having to worry about heat exhaustion (which I am prone to). It also meant that the foliage would soon be turning into beautiful colors of gold and crimson red!
Autumn, like any other season, is a time for change. If the world outside is doing it, I figure I may as well follow suit. Here are some things I like to do when the temperatures start to dip:
I start by going through my closet and take all my summer clothes (i.e.: tank tops, shorts, skirts and dresses) and put them into a box, tape it shut and throw it into the garage. Then I take my winter clothes out, sort and donate items I no longer care for, cut up the items that are ragged so to be used for shop towels, and then wash the rest and hang them up in my closet in place of the summer clothes.
Now is the time to trim back walkways. I take the trimmings and put them in a yard waste bag (or throw them onto my compost pile). Lilac and rose bushes need to be trimmed back as well, which can be done by simply cutting all of the dead flower heads off (or the entire branch can be trimmed back as far as the last offshoot). Then I trim back all of my perennials and cover them up with something like bark cuttings or hay (or if you have space, dig them up and put them into pots to be stored in your garage or greenhouse).
Saving on heat bills:
I also turn my attention to how well my house is insulated. With the rising cost of utilities, I find I really need to be diligent in energy conservation. Last year I did this by stapling plastic sheets onto strips of wood made to fit inside the window sill. While it looked horrible it worked well to keep the draft out. This year I plan on putting in some form fitting plastic (the kind you blow on with a hair dryer). I shouldn’t walk by my windows and feel a draft; otherwise, all that heat is just flying out the window, quite literally.
Last but not least, this is my favorite time of the year to make soups! Yesterday I took some butternut squash and threw it in a pot of turkey stock with some carrots, onion and celery, added some rosemary shoots and let it simmer for an hour, and blended it when it was soft. It makes a very warm and comforting (while nutritious) soup on those really cold days.
Letitia Goerlitz is a freelance writer and works full-time as a Licensed Practical Nurse in Penticton, BC. Born and raised in Prince George, BC she moved to Penticton with her family in the late ‘90’s. Letitia thoroughly enjoys the beauty of the outdoors but also enjoys spending time listening to music and/or getting wrapped up in a good book.