Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Peaches, Pie Birds, and Summer Slipping Away

Forms, files, appointments, commitments, emergencies, and chores have abruptly moved in with the arrival of September, rudely shouldering aside the languid days of summer. But fortunately the weather has been much kinder and more considerate, blessing us with lovely, lemony early-autumn sunshine and temperatures in the high 70s and mid 80s.

Such weather is glorious, at least, on this, the rainier side of the Cascades; fierce wildfires are devouring the eastern portion of the state, and the people there are longing for rain. The smoke smothering their landscape drifts westward to paint ruby and apricot sunsets.

Soon the relentless drumming of rain will drive us indoors for months on end; we'll wake up in darkness and return home from work in darkness, the garden will be a foreign, soggy place viewed through a scrim of water on the window, the sky a wrung-out rag of gray.

So we're scurrying to take advantage of these lingering summery days and the chance to sit in an Adirondack chair in the garden, reading and sipping coffee (morning) or wine (evening) and savoring the bounty of summer fruit still spilling into farmers' markets. The most recent batch of peaches and raspberries went into a fat, sweet pie.

The P-Patch is still gifting us with tiny alpine strawberries and plump raspberries (summer in a thimble!) while their stolid neighbors, the turnips, are just settling in next door to them, muttering to themselves about how nice the garden will be when the frivolous berries leave the neighborhood for good. But mums, asters, and other hardy flowers are steadfastly keeping up the summer fiesta for now.

The dog, lucky her, is blissfully unaware of any emotional entanglements with the change of seasons. It's all fine with her. For Luna, "life is a glorious cycle of song, a medley of extemporanea" (and dog food, treats, walks, fetch, naps, pats, squirrels, and more treats).

Just not ready to have the sun set on summer yet!