Before the sun came up this morning, I found myself wandering around our backyard with a little bit of spare time on my hands…
That hardly ever happens, especially this time of year. It seems like nearly every single morning I’m running like a madman to get the chores done and then rushing through some urgent gardening task or another, then sputtering my way through a cold shower, grabbing a handful of fresh produce for my lunch, and finally sprinting out the door so I can catch the bus on time.
This morning, however, things were markedly different.
There was no pressing garden task to take care of. Lindsey and I had picked all the beans, squash, tomatoes, and cucumbers yesterday, I had already showered the night before, and there was a bag full of green beans waiting for me in the fridge.
So, with an extra 10 or 15 minutes at my disposal, I decided to spend my time meandering quietly through the garden.
The air this morning was cool and fresh; almost jacket weather, as a matter of fact. It was a VERY welcome change from the withering heat we’ve been experiencing the last few weeks. And there was just a hint of sharpness in the air. I swear you could almost smell that Fall is on its way. Just like how the sun tends to announce its impending arrival by splashing soft colors on the undersides of the clouds, Fall is right on the horizon.
Sure, we’re still technically in summer. The afternoons are still hot and dry, and the garden still has a fair amount of growth ahead of it (especially the pumpkins), but change is in the air.
The ‘yotes know it’s coming. After slinking through an unusually quiet Summer, their Fall choir practice has started back up again (warm-ups usually begin sometime between the hours of 2 and 3 o’clock in the morning).
The pheasants know it’s coming. They’ve been cackling and crowing up on the hillside at all hours of the day and night.
Heck, even the deer know it’s coming. I’ve noticed that a few of them are already beginning to shed their tan colors and put on their warm, gray winter coats. And unfortunately, they’ve also been getting bold enough to sneak into the garden and snatch a few tomatoes each night, even with Ryu leashed up just outside the garden!
Shaking my head, I decided to go check on the tomatoes — to see what damage they had done this time.
I picked my way carefully through the tangled squash and cucumber vines, and although the early morning air felt cold and misty on my face, the tired ground was parched and crumbling beneath my bare feet.
I’ve been going barefoot a lot more lately. Almost constantly, as a matter of fact. It started out as a way to toughen my feet up for the Logan Peak ultra-marathon I signed up for in June, but even though the race came and went, I just kept going barefoot. I realized that I really enjoy pattering around unshod. It’s amazing the things the ground will tell you, if you’ll just take off your shoes and listen.
I really am turning into a useless old hippie, aren’t I?
A hippie. Or a hobbit. You can take your pick.
(I am fond of a good second breakfast every now and then…)
At any rate, when I finally got to the tomato plants, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had been left untouched by the deer. Ryu must have been extra vigilant last night.
Just then, the sun finally decided to peak above the horizon and send her first shining rays scattering across our sleepy little valley — and the tall sunflowers were among the first to catch the early morning sunlight.
Gosh, I love sunrises!
Isn’t August the best?!