Well, not short of days by the calendar, but the time goes quickly from the end of September to the beginning of November because there is much to take care of. Cutting back shrubs, cleaning out gardens, putting away summer furniture and decoratoins. We chance the weather will be good as long as we dare, and then scurry to see that it all gets done before the first snow. Of course, the movable objects have to be brought inside before Hallowe'en because there will always be a prankster or two out to relocate them if you don't.
On a drive just north a bit recently, through my favorite rock-lined mile or two of highway, I noticed the rocks have darkened with the colder rainier climate. Most of the striation is muted, proof in my estimation, that rocks reflect seasons almost as clearly as trees. Not long from now cold nights will coat them with frost, which when it melts as the day goes on, will cause tears to flow in stremlets.
The cattails and loosestrife and milkweed have ripened and burst to produce more of the their likeness in the spring. All of the evergreens have darkened and the cones, opened and dry, have mostly fallen to the ground. I saw several cones totally chewed to bits; some squirrel or chipmunk must have had an old fashioned picnic, much as we have corn roasts or clam bakes.
I hope he felt sated and pleased with himself, as I do after a favorite feast.
Of course, the apples have been picked and those that did not sell at the orchard are now in storage, in cool dry sheds where they will keep nicely for people who still rely on them until early spring. I make apple sauce with Macs and am grateful to be able to get good ones all winter. My friend makes apple pies. At $8 for a bag that might have as much as 3/4 of a bushel by my estimation, it's a great treat all winter. Apples grown in Maine are better by far than those grown in other areas. Trust me.
My neighbor has just been volunteering at a co-op kind of farm. I am not sure how it works, but he pays a fee once a year, I guess, and then he helps with the harvest, and all summer he and his wife pick up the "crop of the week" . Anyway, Ralph likes to garden and yesterday he spent a good part of the day harvesting. I asked him what? and he said, "leeks, cabbage, broccoli, something which looked like carrots but was much larger (?), and some herbs. " I asked why beets are so expensive and he explained that it takes one seed for each beet and the soil has to be compatible. Who would have guessed they'd be that fussy. After all that work, good man that he is, he helped me get rid of some annuals that had been in the cemetery, and planted a perennial that had been sitting in a pot all summer.
This is the thing about Maine: People are industrious and alway ready to help one another. I hope not too many people come "from away" and change that. It's a genuinly successful survival system.
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