It’s official. The National Weather Service has us under a Winter Storm Warning through Saturday evening. They’re saying we could get up to six inches of snow. Or, sleet. Or, maybe just rain. That’s a fairly typical winter storm prediction for this area, which commonly sees snow, rain, sleet and ice in a single stormy winter afternoon.
But, as typical as the weather report is, the timing is just bizarre. It’s October, and this is Virginia. Sure, it’s nearly Halloween, but some of the trees are still more green than yellow. We haven’t even had our first frost yet. But, here we are, facing our first Winter Storm Warning of the season. Makes me wonder what the rest of the winter holds for us. Actually, makes me wonder what the rest of autumn holds — after all, we’ve still got 55 days to go before we hit the Winter Solstice, which is the official first day of winter (December 22, this year).
I’ll be honest. I’m really not ready for the first snowfall. It’s much too early for this kind of seasonal foolishness. Shouldn’t we be raking our lawns, admiring the foliage and jumping into waist-high piles of leaves? Snow shovels shouldn’t be a worry yet (speaking of, where did I leave mine last spring?). Snow? Nope, just shouldn’t be a part of your vocabulary in October. Maybe in Montana, but certainly not in Virginia.
Luckily, while I’m not prepared, the garden is definitely ready. We had our first frost advisory last night, so I spent the evening hours harvesting the last of the green tomatoes, ripening peppers and wilting basil. The frost never arrived, but my kitchen is now filled with more produce than it’s seen since August. If it snows tomorrow, that’ll be the meteorological backdrop to a busy day of pesto-making and jalapeño-jam-canning. Bizarre. Yes, I know.
Here’s how the garden looked yesterday, before I did my pre-frost harvest. Am thinking things will look a little bit different by tomorrow afternoon: