This is Lisa's* plum tree, down the block from me. I took the photo on October 23rd, which shows what a gentle autumn we had. The bushes in the background have changed color, but not the tree.
It's astonishing how well plum trees hide their fruit. Only when you get much closer can you can actually see the plums:
Part II of this post actually addresses garden-related topics.
Brief Meditation on the Market
We celebrated Thanksgiving with a Harry Potter movie marathon, courtesy of our web-savvy son. We were driven to watching pirated, poor-resolution versions from the computer, because we had typically failed to plan ahead, and you couldn't rent a Harry Potter DVD in this town for any money. We figure that everyone else, like us, was trying to remember the plots before going to see the penultimate installment, in a theater near you now.
Our Malian friend Abdoulaye will be happy to learn that we watched all of this on a new, 32-inch flat-screen television. Yes folks, we are moving up. As I wrote a while ago, when this potato specialist from central Africa came to the United States, he found himself living in a log house without cell-phones, cable, or a wireless internet connection, with a family that had never heard of 24.
I shouldn't complain. After a brief cool spell in late August that left me gnashing my teeth (were we really going to be cheated of autumn this year, after having had practically no spring and only half a summer?) temperatures rose again and we had a long, warm Indian summer straight through October and into November. There was frost several mornings a week, and temperatures in the twenties some nights—after all, this is Montana—but during the day, we'd see fifties, even sixties.
Given that we had a wringing wet spring that culminated with the wettest June on record, punctuated by frequent hail, this long, warm autumn was especially welcome. I was still picking not only lettuce, broccoli, and of course kale, but even tomatoes right into November.
Of course, it couldn't last. Two weekends ago, on an almost balmy Sunday afternoon, my husband and I washed windows and got the storm windows up. The next day it snowed.