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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Ten Day in September...

      A Ten Day. Surely you’ve heard of them. Not just a mediocre kind of day, or the same-ole-same-ole, not even just an okay day. Nope. It’s for sure a Ten Day.  Blue sky, bright sunshine, a little breeze now and then, with comfortable levels of humidity—now I’d say that’s pretty near perfect.
     Took a walk in the garden last night to pick some potatoes and greens for dinner. I have to say it’s looking pretty grim. The tomato vines are hanging like discarded dish-rags, brown and limp, and there are more green tomatoes (red ones too!) still clinging to them than I will ever be able to process this year!
     The potato vines are hanging over the wash tubs where they’re planted, the spuds pushing up from under their roots. The chard and beets are sprouting greens faster than I can pick them, and the freezer is chock-full already! And besides what has been preserved, let me tell you we are sufficiently beeted and charded ourselves! Cleansed livers and kidneys abound! Now didn’t you just want to know that?
     I’m not complaining mind you, except maybe for my inability to be the master-picker, slicer-dicer, blancher-stewer, canner-freezer that this end of the season requires. Nope. The garden is winding down and so is my energy!
     Then there are the flower gardens. Now that’s just sad. Despite the long stretches of no rain, the waning daylight and some crisp nights, there are a few blossoms peeking out here and there on tired plants. I can almost hear them groaning a little with the effort.  At first frost, I will cut them all back, tidy up their beds and tuck them in for the long winter ahead, but for now, on this perfect-ten day, I simply smile at their valiant efforts and appreciate their persistence. What wonderful lessons there are in the garden.
     MouseHouse Village is positively bustling these days. At any given moment, a person can stand still and gaze at the comings-and-goings from bush to briar. They never stop! You have to pay attention of course, but soon you’ll see a darting blur of tawny fur, cheeks full of bounty, flag-staff tails standing straight up, or maybe you don’t see even that much, but rather disturbance in the leaves under a bush, the ferns waving when there wasn’t a breeze. Like I said, you have to pay attention, but you can be sure great things are happening in the underbrush, and underground. More than we can imagine.  Pantries are being filled, new cubbies made for snoozing, tunneling and insulating continue and the purveyors of walnut-woodstoves are extremely busy these days!
     We commented—Papa Hare and I—at how still it was this morning on BackPorch as we sipped our morning cuppas. Then we listened a little harder. For sure, there’s not much singing going on right now, but lots of scurrying and bustling, scratching and rattling, collecting and stashing. Can’t afford to laze away even an afternoon, rather they keep focused on what must be done, and their purpose is firm.

     Good lessons for me at MouseHouse Village, even on Ten Days. Good to be focused, purposed and eagerly preparing for the winter ahead, and yes… beyond.