The Switch



Merritt in deep thought with his kitty.

Merritt in deep thought with his kitty.

June & Socks.

June & Socks.





The temperature swings wildly in Iowa.  The wind blows.  A lot.  I don’t think I like wind.  I like watching its effects from inside my warm house, with a fire in the stove.  But ever since I took up residence in this state in the fall of 1999, I have had trouble adjusting to the wind.  It is blowing blowing blowing today.  The warm days of mid-week (from which these photos originated) are gone.  Hard freeze tonight.  And June has croup.  Spent much of last night in the cold night air, in that wind, coaxing her to breathe deeply.  Halloween will have to be improvised.

The switch from Autumn to Winter is not my favorite time of year.  I do love snow, especially a nice cross-country ski snow…but the warm leaves of October are such a good friend, I hate to bid farewell.  My husband has successfully repaired his very very VERY old, homemade wood splitter & I’ve been watching him quickly fill the wood stacks this week.  Feederwatch starts next week.  And I readily admit the wind sure does move my big bluestem in a rhythmic, comforting way just beyond the front windows.

November is looking better already.

Farewell October!


15 thoughts on “The Switch

  1. Beautiful post Ruby….feeling the shift here too, snow is on the mountains, if only a sprinkle… reminding me to get winter clothes out. I HATE wind- it makes me crazy…scared the windows will burst and picking up all kinds of out door furniture strewn around in the morning.
    I hope your little one recovers soon from croup- that is no fun, I think every child of mine has had it….like a perennial in our household.
    Thank you for the feeder link…I am trying to attract more birds on the property and learning how with feeders would be great.
    Have a lovely weekend.


    • I hope you sign up for Feederwatch, Camilla! I bet your kids would enjoy it and I would LOVE to see the photos you take of birds! My eldest has learned so much about birds just by watching our feeders twice a week & recording the data online. I think it’s made her more in tune with the ecosystem here in our little slice of Iowa, too. All our feeders broke between last spring and now. I was going to replace all of them but she’s insisting on making at least one herself.

      Thanks for the well wishes for June. Last night was much better, only one trip outside. xx


  2. We do not have this wind you speak of…but I like the thought of it bringing change.
    We get some wind, mostly in March…it is bitter. But it does bring a rhythm and an awareness of the tall trees around us. 😉
    I’m so sorry about Junebug and croup…it’s such a terrible sickness due to the harshness of the cough (and more). Good luck Momma and babes.


    • Growing up in NW Wisconsin I actually liked to hear the wind move through the pine boughs, especially the white pines…an “awareness of the tall trees around us” sounds so beautiful.

      June is feeling somewhat better this morning, at least her fever has abated. I broke down and ordered a home nebulizer for her as she gets croup several times every winter & I’m tired of paying the rental fee. Hope your little ones had a fun-filled Halloween & you aren’t covered in snow yet?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. These photos make me a little sad we don’t live in the country – such a beautiful little slice of Earth you have!

    Growing up nearish Lake Michigan, we had wind, but I never really paid it much mind – my parents put in a pine windbreak surrounding their house, so it was always still there. In our house now we get crazy wind. We have three big trees that drop loads of leaves on our yard every fall and I swear most years I never even get to rake – the leaves blow away as quickly as they fall!

    But… I love the first cold snaps of winter. Love them. 🙂

    I hope June feels better soon! When my son was her age he used to get severe asthmatic bronchitis, so we actually had to buy the nebulizer since there was no where local that rented (we had an insurance complication). I hope you and June can get some rest!

    Oh, and we have to get going with our Project Feederwatch, too. We had our neighborhood hawk terrorizing the sparrows this morning. Pretty amazing to watch that guy as work!


    • I totally pictured you living in the country, Sarah, before I realized otherwise. 🙂

      That IS one good thing about fall winds–Nature’s leaf blower! Ha! Love it!

      Hopefully June’s nebulizer will be here tomorrow–she could really have used it again last night.

      A hawk terrorizing the sparrows? Merritt would, creepily, love that! I would, too, if it was the House sparrows–those birds literally produce 3 or 4–FOUR!–different batches of babies every year in our chicken coop & it drives me nuts when I go in there to collect eggs. I’ll have to tell him your story & maybe his pen pal can give him more details. 🙂


      • I grew up in the country, but we live in a small town now. There’s a lot I like about living in town, but there are definitely times when I wish I had been more open to country living when we were looking to buy our house.

        It’s almost always House sparrows our hawk gets, so — and this may be heartless — but I’m ok with that as we are overrun with them, too. Plus, it’s a very direct example of the food chain right in our front yard! We tease a little that the sparrows are kind of like our hawk feeder. I believe I have some photos of the hawk on our front porch somewhere and maybe even perched on our car. If Merritt is interested, I can have Aldo include one or two of those, too. Aldo is usually the first one to see the hawk (we call him Sheldon), so he’s the resident expert. 🙂 In the winter, we see him almost every day.


  4. I have been enjoying these dramatic sunrises and sunsets lately too – I love how you’ve captured that in your photo. I’m so sorry to hear that your June has the croup -something I’ve not had to deal with but have heard it can be hard on everyone – poor little girl 😦 Hope she is on the mend now. Love the idea of a feeder watch…maybe I can get my act together and join you. Big hugs to you, Ruby. xo


    • I would definitely recommend trying out Feederwatch, Leigh. My kids love collecting the data and uploading it to the site, especially when they can view their data sets as different graphs online & see how their observations have changed from year to year. We also love to bird here which makes it all the better. 🙂

      Thank you for the well-wishes for June! Croup is nasty. She’s the only one of my three who has experienced it…unfortunately she gets it a lot…but I’ve read the increased susceptibility to it starts to decrease at age three…fingers crossed. xx


  5. I agree with the commenter who said your blog makes her want to move to Iowa. Me too!! You make it sounds so picturesque, so homey, so warm and inviting next to your fire. 😊 Also, is that last pic Coralee and June?!?? Dead 😍.


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