Golden sunflowers and bright lights cosmos have given way to fall asters and goldenrod. My flower bouquets for the farmers market turned from bold candy colored blooms to airy displays of delicate pastel forms. The sun has dipped south and now 3 pm has a fainter light than 7:30 pm had in early august. I could smell fall on the wind near the end of July and now, in October, the earth is bathed in diffused warm light complimented by a crisp blue ceiling. The hummingbirds left but there are plenty of nuthatches, finches, chickadees, titmice, downy woodpeckers and the large pileateds, jays, doves and owls. If you are not deeply in love with the world in fall, then you are truly hopeless and you have my sincere pity.
I had a delightful weekend blog summit with cyber and material friends who share this creative process of filling a blogger compose box. With my guests safely ensconced in the little cabin, I took to the freshly completed studio for my bedroom. My bathroom breaks were under a milky way as clearly defined as the deer path through hemlocks just a few feet away. An owl called from the woodlot to another on the edge of field and the waning moon was bright enough to make shadow. The early morning stars are the best of all as it truly is darkest before dawn.
Trout, and one of the chickens, watched over my guests as they (i hoped) slept peacefully to the sounds of flowing water and whirring night insects. Trout took advantage of having a house full of dog lovers but managed to be tolerable and possibly even charming in spite of her mercurial nature. She shined on the prey trail and flunked out totally at dinnertime as she silently moved in on unsuspecting guests, her snout inches from their plates. I had to correct her often which highlighted the fact that she is more of an independent contractor than a pet and that i am a lame and inconsistent pack leader.
The chickens were great of course. They free-ranged as always and greeted my guests when they arrived. They are just the most companionable little creatures, happily scratching out a living while us bloggers lounged about in lawn chairs discussing other bloggers over gimlets and a tequila shot. Easter always charms as she thinks she should be afforded the same privileges the dogs have, and inserts herself into the cabin often. On Saturday night, I actually allowed her to stay in for the night so she could hang out with the girls.
I managed to get some watermelons all the way to ripe this year by fencing them off from whatever critter ate them last year. I left one to harvest during the summit, and then forgot. We looked at the baby watermelons and felt sorry for their lack of light and the forecast of 40 lows to come that eve. These cute little late bloomers wont get any bigger so i will pick them and at least add them to some sort of gourdy pumpkin fall arrangement. I cant bear to just chuck them into the hedgerow like i did with all the extra too big cucumbers, which i never felt any tenderness towards. I don't really care about them so next year i'll do something else. There just isnt that much summer food I like. It's spring that has all the good stuff.
There wasn't a lot going on in the garden. We did eat some of the romaine, read leaf lettuce and spinach. Tomatoes were scarce but there were still peppers. Nasturtiums were loving the new cool air but the zinnia had grown leggy and the foliage had silvered with age and a light dusting of powdery mildew. The next few weeks i will prep the garden for winter and try a few experiments with my makeshift garden cloche and peruse the seed catalogs looking toward the new year which with each birthday, comes so much sooner than the year before.
About a million years ago, Buzz won a contest correctly guessing what art i was making with the leftover triangles that were the by-product of my studio stairs. Buzz, here are a few of the available designs:
Of course, i can make any color combo or chicken breed you want so just say the word and i will send you your prize. You could use them as a door stop or as a handy weapon, or even as a folk art decoration. ;-)
And finally, some jewelweed. Hanging on to summer.