The frost advisories of fall have begun, so there may not be much time left for this year’s garden. I’ve purged all but one of the containers because most had become partial casualties of repeated late summer and early fall heat waves. What is left is more stalwart, petunias planted in flower beds and echinacea that offered a surprise late blooming.
The nights have gotten chilly. I may need to turn on the heat in the house this week. I am ready for the cold, as long as it doesn’t get too harsh. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and felt chilled enough for a second blanket. I have longed to be just a little cold, as if I need that chill to settle into my bones for just a little while.
This week we’ve endured one of those Ohio hairpin turns of weather. The temperatures ranged from 87 to 36 degrees. The leaves aren’t quite ready for a massive change, but sugar maples well exposed to sun on curb lawns are well into their color changes. Some tree canopies on forest margins have already shed their leaves.
I did a fall photo walk last weekend, too, but I wasn’t pleased with a single picture. Such displeasure is an occasional hazard of photography. It’s like a bad hair day, a phrase I seldom hear nowadays, as if we as culture had conquered that problem, despite evidence to the contrary.
As for other flora, some wildflowers still linger. There are purple fall asters who didn’t yield to my lens in their disorder. Some wild sunflowers persist as well.
The construction phase of the yard sidewalk project is now done. The crew took an entire month to finish this job, but a small percentage of this month represented actual work. I have been stewing in irritation over that fact all the while. I admit that the majority of this anger was irrational, but I did not appreciate the time of their actual work at all. For example, I had just three days of true vacation this summer. Of course they did 60% of this project’s labor during those three days.
I could vent on this matter more deeply than is healthy for me or my readers. My enthusiasm for this project has been indifferent at best, and I feel selfish that I haven’t been more supportive of something that is important to my husband. Why is it that I can’t just be smooth in enduring things that don’t interest me but matter to someone I love? Why did I have to be the mom who was secretly relieved that my child quit band?
The garden is enduring the late summer heat. This weekend I pulled some of the flower pots. They hadn’t fared well with the contrasting heat and rain of this past month.
The hibiscus bush is blooming at a different pace this year compared to the last two years. While it had a mass flowering in July and October during those years, this year it hasn’t stopped blooming since it started.
The music of childhood can resonate for years. There are some songs from those years that can evoke just how I felt the first time I heard a particular song. Al Stewart’s “Year of the Cat” is one of them.
I think I was watching a rainstorm from the picture window of our living room in suburban Indianapolis when I first heard that one. The photo above was taken right around the same time; Snoopy was my likely companion for this reverie, too. I recall that the song transported me to a wistful feeling that was novel at the time, like I was longing for the future as someone older might long for a time in the past. I sensed that rainy days were good for solitude so one could reflect on curious feelings and things, like what happened to the toy elephant in that made several appearances in the pictures of my sister taken before I was born? One of my earliest memories was breaking something, like the sound of its shattering awoke me into conscious memory. Had I broken that elephant?
The song itself seems to be just as lost in time as my feelings were on that day. I feel like there’s an underlying sense of the British trying to find their place in a postcolonial world. That has little relevance to a American in the Midwest, except that sometimes I do feel like I am living in an outpost of a bygone empire.
Today has been just as rainy as that afternoon when I watched the storm from the picture window of our living room in the late 70’s. I heard this song as I drove home from work today and knew that it was the right music for this day that was 40 years in the future from that afternoon.
Each year I take a few days from work to help my daughter get ready for school. This morning I made a quick walk through a local public garden to capture some late summer blooms. Bumblebees attended sunflowers both tame and wild. I also spotted dew on some dark caladium leaves that looked like something from a dream:
I will close with a few other pictures from today’s walk, and then I will return to the yearly ritual of the back to school. The next step shall be the haircut. At least the hairstyles nowadays are simple and free of the perms and big hair of my school days.