And now the dog days of summer. So far we have been spared the August haze that often engulfs such mornings as this one. I look out, right this minute, and it is sunny and bright. I open the door and it is a furnace blast. I like a little warning for that, thus, my surprising disappointment at no haze to alert me.
The sun, though, if we pay attention, is signaling change, hanging at a different angle, but just barely, as it makes its way to the perfect slant of September. I love September light best of all. Love the way it is bright and sunny, then golden by afternoon. The wind,too , not cool, exactly, but whispering fall.
But now, right now, dog days.
There are mimosa trees trying to grow between the bricks of my patio. I let them. They won’t survive anyway, and frankly, I just don’t want to bend over to take care of it. A bit more satisfying is pulling up the spotted spurge that also grow between the bricks. The spurge spreads and grows at an alarming rate, but gathering the long tendrils all in a bunch, I can work my way back to the roots and with an easy tug, dispatch the weed handily. As easy as it is, I only have about seven tugs in me.
Then I turn my attention to water. In particular the water from weekend rains standing in an old wash tub at the back of my yard. I forget it is there, and I need to go right now to tump it out, but I dread what might turn up there.. So every day I ignore it, the chance of finding something disgusting and awful increases.
Produce is coming on, and while I have grown and harvested exactly four of my own poblano peppers, friends and family have loaded me down with plastic bags full of cucumbers, tomatoes, corn. I have gotten into my piggy bank to finance the purchase of several pounds of bacon. Yes, the irony.
I never thought it possible, but I have foundered on BLTs. I have enough new bacon grease to get me through the winter. I can’t imagine eating one more slice of tomato, or this premium country white bread. I no longer want to lick the knife with Miracle Whip on it.
Some days I dispense with the bacon and bread altogether, and eat tomatoes whole, leaning over the kitchen sink, wondering where all those tiny little bugs have come from. The microscopic ones, moving fast and disappearing.
From gardens in south Daviess County, east Daviess County, Mclean County, that’s where. They hide in the corn silk, crawl unseen to be carried home on cucumbers.
The scattered rain has revived my potted plants, which is good, because I sure haven’t.
Oh, I have scooted the big germaniums in their big pots to the edge of the porch so they might catch a few drops, but that’s about it. Watering my plants while thinking deep thoughts? That thrill is gone.
Now I am turning to thoughts of autumn, and wondering what I might plant for fall color. The only thing I come up with is asters, and I only know about asters because I work crossword puzzles. I’ve tried chrysanthemums, but I can’t spell it, which makes me mad, and also, I can’t get them home without breaking off crucial branches. The chrysanthemums I took a half hour to select for its perfectly round shape, looks more like a loaf of bread or football by the time I get get it out of the car.
So, there is little left for me to do but wait until the sun reaches that perfect autumnal glint, then wander out into the yard to survey the damage and release the withering plants from their pots, turning them into compost in a spasm of renewal. It is my contribution to the circle of life.
It is all I can muster, and you know, it’s just about enough.