Saturday, October 03, 2009

Summer's end

The grass is still green and the sun is shining, but it's definitely not summer anymore. We had our first light frost a week ago and a killing frost last night. I'm relieved, frankly; no more trying to keep up with the beans, tomatoes and cucumbers in the garden. I will miss the sunflowers though. It really was an amazing year for them in my garden. This spring when I was laying out my beds I just didn't have the heart to take out very many of the volunteer sunflowers that had popped up. As a result, by mid-summer my corn was stunted from growing up in the shade of so many sunflowers, but I enjoyed the luxury of giving away huge bouquets of dazzling blooms all summer long. Now this year's flowers are dropping their seeds (the ones the chickadees miss, anyhow) all over the garden, so next spring I will face the same choice: the garden I've planned, or the garden that volunteers?

Another sign of fall that I am enjoying is the finches foraging for thistle seeds. Among the clover and vetch that we planted as a cover crop on the someday-to-be orchard grew a large number of big purple thistles. All summer long as I drove down the driveway I would look at them and think "Man, I really need to get out there and cut those before they go to seed." But, I never did. Inevitably, the thistles went to seed. However, I had not counted on the army of finches which has descended upon the thistle patch and is just loving those seeds. Now when I drive by I enjoy watching the finches spook and fly off, and I love knowing that my laziness actually resulted in a bonanza of seed for these birds. There's probably a pithy saying that sums this up, but I can't think of it.

It's very very windy today, and cold despite the sun. Still, it's not raining so Conan and I are going to bundle up and go over to the Cloud Mountain Farm fall fruit festival. I expect it will be a lot of fun! Perhaps I'll have some pictures tomorrow...

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