August 27, 2017 – The morning is cool and clear. The air is light–unusual for August in the midwest. The crickets are still singing even though the suns’s light is creeping over the trees in the east. Before long, cricket song is slowly drowned out by cardinals “chipping” and squirrels scolding as the morning brightens and warms.
Athena, our visiting cat, pads softly across the back deck, heading out to the birdbaths for a quick drink.
Inside, Duncan monitors her movements closely.
Athena and Duncan don’t get along, but I hope they will work out their differences eventually. But for now, there is much muttering and hissing as the “conversation” moves from window to window.
The sun is up beyond the trees now, and the bright light reveals a late summer garden, somewhat rejuvenated by the recent cool weather. The usual August heat is a harsh reality for the flowers and vegetables. Everything wilts by midday, and there is no energy left for growth… only survival. The bugs seize the opportunity to really wage an all out attack on the vulnerable leaves and petals. Squash borers weaken stems and stalks, and the yellow and black spotted cucumber beetles chew away at the beautiful green leaves. Even the tough prairie plants, with their deep, deep roots, look pale and tired. At this point, it seems like it’s time to wrap up the gardening for another year.
But, the resilience of Nature is not to be underestimated. On this morning’s garden walk, I notice a renewed vibrance in the greenery and a freshness to the flowers. Next to a dried, chewed stalk, a new green tomato hangs quietly, and young green leaves and small yellow flowers hold the promise of more to come. The fallen seeds of bolted cilantro have sprouted and reach for the sun.
The zinnias look refreshed and ready to face the rest of the summer. Just a small preview of fall is a real boost to the heart and soul of the garden, not to mention the gardener. 🌱