LILLIAN CROOK: WildDakotaWoman — Red Oak House Garden Notes No. 54: Time To Pay The Piper

You may have noticed that WildDakotaWoman has been quiet of late. I’ve been to England, Scotland and Wales for that time. Yup, a whole month. It was just as wonderful as I thought it would be and I’ll write about it when I have time.

I don’t have time because I came home to at least a month worth of yard work and it is autumn, with the many tasks to accomplish before the snow. I was delighted to discover upon my return that I had not entirely missed the Washington peach crop at our local fruit stand, and I eat one or two a day.

The tomato crop has been a big disappointment, with too little of the vital ingredients: sunshine and hot temperatures. A meager number of jars in the pantry to prove it. Jim begged for just one more tomato pie and I capitulated the other day. The garlic harvest was good and there is the promise for abundant carrots when the time comes to dig those in a few weeks. Jim brings in a bowl full of raspberries each day and the pollinators are busy in the asters and chrysanthemums. While I was gone, the slugs did some real damage to some of my hostas. We are going to have to take the gloves off and control those buggers next year.

We’ve had more than 4 inches of rain in September, but between showers I’ve been cutting back perennial vegetation these past few days with blisters to show for it. While I work, I listen to nuthatches and jays calling in the trees overhead, and an occasional migrating Red-tailed Hawk passing. Time to get my yearly batch of suet made and hung outside my office window — and to think about projects for the long winter to come.

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