October 27th, 2012



“Is Glorious—um—a usual sort of name for wolves?” asked Summer timidly.

“Yes,” said the wolf. “My sister is Strong and my brother is Splendid. We call ourselves what we are, or wish to be, or could be again.”

Fall is in full swing, and damn, it’s glorious.

This was Thursday:


NC Botanical Garden

Today it’s overcast, by contrast, and fairly breezy.


View over the back gate

You get that occasional wash of cool air, and then all the yellow leaves from the pin-oak and the hickories come drifting down around you. The wild grape has gone bright yellow and the paw-paw has shed all its leaves already. The sweet-gum is making up for being an obnoxious shedder of caltrops the rest of the year, and one of the other oaks is going burgundy. The ground is the color of a red fox. (One of which I saw trotting by the other day, and of course you can’t move for deer. Haven’t seen the wild turkeys yet this fall, but they’re probably out there somewhere.)

Days like this are just ridiculously glorious. “Crisp” was invented to describe this sort of weather. It’s nature’s equivalent of newly washed sheets. The air feels clean and–I don’t know, friendly, even to a gardener, who knows perfectly well that Nature is a mother.

We opened up all the windows until it got too cold. There is local cider in the fridge. I harvested the last onions for dinner tonight and the scarlet runner beans are drying on top of the toaster oven. (Not a big crop. You’re supposed to harvest them all year and eat them like string beans, but since I didn’t keep up with it, it’s just a couple of cups of dried beans now. But I’ve got enough to plant next year, and maybe we’ll get a nice side-dish out of it, at least.)

Tomorrow I’ll take down what’s left of the basil and make basil oil. Since there’s a very small crop this year—the nasturtiums got very out of control—I may try a lemon verbena oil and an oregano oil, since I’ve got plenty of that too.

My thanks to everybody’s who’s expressed concern about Hurricane Sandy—I appreciate it, but worry about the people farther north! The storm is currently tracking to miss us completely. (The Outer Banks may get whomped, mind you…) We’re slated for maybe a quarter-inch of rain and some gusty winds here, but odds are good it won’t even keep me from having coffee on the front steps in the morning.

I have two truckloads of cow manure to be delivered Monday or Tuesday, and then life will be glorious indeed.

Originally published at Squash's Garden. You can comment here or there.


As Good An Explanation As Any

There is another kind of hunter, who never carries a weapon, who always sees the wildlife around him. He goes forth to discover and admire, not to kill. And since all living things, even plants, like to be loved and told how wonderful they are, they are not reluctant about showing themselves when this person comes along.

– Alexander Key

Heh. Just tripped over this quote and liked it. Call me sentimental, but frankly, when people ask me how I manage to see so many things in the garden, this is as good an explanation as any.

(Mind you, I would also accept “entertainment value” as an explanation, since lord knows, it’s not stealth or skill that’s doing it. For all I know, the caterpillars are having a good snicker behind my back… )

Originally published at Squash's Garden. You can comment here or there.