The vegetable garden is winding down. Just a few chard and the last run of tomatoes left. The mariner canned apple pie filling today and it looks like more will be canned tomorrow plus a few jars of applesauce. Unlike many, the mariner doesn’t add cinnamon or nutmeg to the applesauce; just a few tablespoons of malt vinegar to heighten the apple flavor.

The flower gardens always look a bit tattered this time of year with only the marigolds, chrysanthemums and fall color of the spirea showing energy. The mariner may have mentioned that a strong storm destroyed three wonderful, old Ash trees. Having a tree service drop the trunks on the lawn means that a new lawn will have to be laid in the spring. Where the trees once stood looks like a landfill. Piles of wood chips from grinding the stumps are everywhere. The compost pile, about four feet high, adds to the dump motif.

The mariner had dug about half of a water feature that was to be an attractive pond with a small waterfall (when there were big old trees). The remaining trench has become home for four leopard frogs. They have become pets of a sort – depending on the ugly ditch to sustain itself. They pay their way, though, thriving on mosquitoes, gnats and crickets. He will give them winter quarters but in the spring, they must move on; restoration begins in earnest then.

Soon, projects will turn to cleaning the activity of summer. The shed, well let’s say the shed isn’t orderly and would appreciate some reorganization. Further, the mariner must harvest frost-sensitive bulbs and prepare the winter lamp garden. Cuttings will be taken of frost-sensitive plants like geraniums; seedlings of herbs and a few vegetables will be planted for winter growth. The rabbit fence must be completed before spring so that another vegetable bed can be added.

Otherwise, the job jar waits with many, many tasks too numerous to mention. The mariner has decided to take a vacation….

Ancient Mariner


2 thoughts on “Autumn

  1. A time for storing and restoring, preparing and despairing, fattening and battening. The Iowa autumn was always my favorite two weeks of the year … hope you can get out of the job jar long enough to enjoy it!

    • A fine sentiment, Ben. Alas, those two weeks of autumn in Iowa, the mariner will be on the east coast visiting good friends. More or less as a ceremony, he will join a friend to look, once again after all these years, for gem stones in river beds.

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