It rained on Monday. It was supposed to be our garden day. When we awoke, it looked very promising. The sun was high in the blue sky, and the air was warm. Then suddenly, without warning, fall arrived.
We were outside, River Song and I in our buggy, when the sky turned gunmetal grey. The clouds slipped one under another until the sky turned dark. Then the rain fell as Mommy deadheaded flowers and Daddy mowed the wet lawn. Once the grass was cut Daddy told Mommy, there was nothing to be done that couldn’t wait another week.
Instead of working outside, getting smelly and wet, we were inside, where it smelled clean, pleasantly dry, and we took advantage of our cleared schedule to have a snuggle day.
The next morning it was still raining, but the air smelled crisper. The wet grass was cooler on our paws. The green leaves had changed overnight. They were now red, yellow and orange. They looked prettier. Leaves have that advantage. They are brightest just before the fall.
I wish the same were true of flowers. I don’t like to brag, modesty is my calling card, but we had outstanding flowers this year. They grew taller, bloomed brighter, and spread further than they had in the five years since my parents began gardening. In August, when the air is hot, dry, and stale, it seemed like we were experiencing an endless summer. But all things, both bad, the oppressive heat, and good, the beautiful flowers, must come to an end.
It would be nice if flowers, like leaves, became their brightest just before they wilted. Sadly, they fade away, at first slowly, and then all at once. What was once healthy, pleasing plants began to show their advanced age a week ago, and by Tuesday their stems were bent, their remaining blooms were trying to bury themselves in the warm ground before they expired.
Here are some pictures of our garden in August, when the flowers were in their prime, and it seemed outlandish that the day would come when they would no longer be the dominant feature in our yard.
Thankfully my parents fill the gardens with autumn flowers, cabbages, and mums, to ease the transition from the beautiful summer blooms to the stark winter landscape. Pumpkins, purchased, not grown, are carefully placed in the gardens. Scarecrows also bought, are in the front garden, back by the house, not scaring any critters, but also not frightening me, so they are a neutral presence. There are also jack o’ lanterns solar lights, which do scare me, but we are not outside long enough at night for the fear to linger.
The sun is lower in the sky during our walks, and will soon be gone, making us night walkers, with those little lights on our collars in the off chance we slip the leash. And the air will get colder. Our leisurely, hot, panting walks of summer are in the past, becoming moderate walks now but will soon become hasty travels as our shivering parents hurry us along and deny our sniffing so they can return to the warm house
We are two weeks away from the comforter returning to our bed. We love when it is cold in the house, and we are under the comforter, our body heat mingling with our parents creating a lovely layer of warmth. River enjoys sticking her nose from underneath to breathe in the cold air while she remains warm.