It is raining. The plants are happy. Me? Not so. Finally felt well enough to garden, but no use stirring up mud. It compacts the soil too much.

Still, the fence is holding up well. Tom made one minor repair Thursday, and we have small squash forming already. There is a cuke ready to harvest, and probably some tomatoes… though they were not quite red a couple days ago and the sun hasn’t been out to ripen them much.

Blackberries are showing their age — when they are sweet and ripe and good, they are plump and slightly shiny. When they are a little past their prime but still yummy, they begin to dull a bit. Once they have started to shrink, however, they’re past their prime and all but unusable (not to mention less palatable).

There are still a few blueberries, and Tom’s mountain huckleberry bush is loaded with lovely fruit. It’s time to get the rest of the apples off the trees, and to start watching the pear trees. One of the Asian pear trees is pretty well done. Three never had a chance this year and after an average of four years in the ground are still whips (I will move them into the garden for next year so they can develop a bit more). The other, a large, russeted Asian pear, has three HUGE pears that look almost ready. The European pear is at least a couple weeks away from ripening.

Dahlias — the ones that finally emerged — are lovely, but not as exuberant as in years past. I think I will lift them all (that means, I will direct the menfolk to lift them for me) and store them in the wellhouse over the winter. Will need to put them in something the mice can’t get to. But I really want them to survive and then I can remake the beds and replenish the soil in the spring.

The ash trees around town are turning yellow now. The cedars have loads of small cones at the tips. The stores are full of chrysanthemums for sale.

The air is a bit crisp in the morning, a touch of woodsmoke in the evening, and the sun shines in the afternoon at the lower angle that diffuses the light.

Autumn starts this weekend.

We are ready.

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