Thursday, September 1, 2011

The spinning

Lynn's Bear

August is nearing the end, it's been a quiet and dry month compared to the months before, but some rainstorms have ventured in. I watched the other day as the Mother Nature drew ropes of clouds across the sky from the North to the south, while the sun which was beginnning to set in the west, surveying all the action. Her fingers deftly pulled the grayish white clouds into her wheel....which looked like wool roving, as they gently glided past my window. The golden glow from the setting sun filtered down upon the tree tops like glistening flecks of gold dust, as if she were shaking out all the excess color out of the sky to spin the ever darkening clouds in the South. The sun refused to hide ….even tho the fabric of dark gray material began to creep across the sky from her spinning wheel and the wind from the wheel picked up speed... threatening to blow all the gold dust deep into the woods. The weeds underneath the sitting bench out in the lawn began to play tag….your it… your it…as they nodded to the glistening rain drops starting to fall. Eventually the sun lost its battle and gave in to the beckoning call of the evening, but not even the moon came out to play that night, as the rain continued to fall and marinate the earth once again with the brine of the wondering storm.

Upon going to feed the animals in the early morning, Avi stood at guard looking strangely at something in the tall grasses that border the paddock fence. This was an unusual stance as usually she tackles anything that moves….so I hurried on to see what the fascination in the grass was. There…, caught in some tall grasses was a beautiful tiny golden-brown bat… each time Avi nudged it … it emitted a strange cry that made her jump back and stare. We had a powerful wind storm the night before, so it must have been blown off course and became entangled in the fence and falling to the ground. Gently picking up the drenched small creature, I carried it across to the gate and left it outside the predator area to recover. It laid there on the glistening rain drop grass, quiet, not moving a muscle checking out the territory in case another wet nose would come thunderig down.  I continued on with the chores and upon checking later, it was gone… dried by the sun and had flown onward to his night residence to wait until the darkness again gave its permission to sail among the stars..

The Homestead suffered some losses this month, as one of the creatures of the night crept in through the open chicken door to find a tasty meal or two. The female goose startled at its appearance flew straight thru the screen on the door leading into the yard, followed by two of the hens, as the gander tried desperately to defend his flock. But it was useless, as my Avi awakened by the hostile action going on in the chicken coop, flew outside to find the goose in her territory and lo and behold a couple of chickens too, and proceeded to make quick work of the invaders on HER lawn. By this time however, the two big whites were bounding  out to the coop, and whatever entered in that night made off with another chicken, leaving a trail unknown and only a telltale scent as to what or who the invader was. The big gander is now alone, as his mate of many years is gone, and he travels the paddock with his lonesome call….. throughout the day in hopes that his pal will reappear and had only gone for a walk in the pasture.

The mysterious invader had visited before, this time chasing the alpacas out to the pasture, leaving them huddling in the far corner, unwilling to come back to their shed. It was late into the night when the barking dogs awoke me again, only this time the bark was different, so taking my trusty flashlight and trotted out in silky night air… my bare feet leaving a trail in the dewy grass……to see just what the disturbance was. The alpacas were nowhere to be seen, including the goat. The dogs had their noses up against the fence line, their loud noisy , waling bays carrying across the ravines, echoing against the tree and sending bats carrening  even faster in the night air. Scurrying across the yard, I got into the truck and turned on the headlights as I directed my attention across the fields, the tree lines and the pasture. The guys were there in the far left corner, not moving, not making a sound, looking toward the west hill tree lines, intent on what was stationed out there. As I circled the pasture, nothing was to be seen, the fields were empty, and the quiet sounds chilling. Eventually the guys came back to shed, early in the morning hours… when all effects of the visitor had left the air and the pasture. The stranger was gone, at least for this particular night, leaving no trace in its retreating path……. fading into velvet darkness of the night safely…… giving no notice of its departure.

The domestic apples hang ripe on the trees in the front yard and must be picked in the coming week….the giant wild crab apple trees are dropping their bounty and carpeting the ground below…., the garden has given up most of its produce, and I have left it to the weeds for another year. It has been so wet, that there is moss growing among the onions which must be pulled and dried. Sweet corn is in the freezer, herbs have been dried, some crops faltered and faded back into the soil, while others maintained their dignity and grew to their potential. The strawberries that had been planted in spring are reloading and springing forth with huge red fruit delighting not only me but the birds as well. Purple bunches of grapes hanging heavy on the vines covering the trellises will be picked; the Indian corn gathered in the month of September, jams put up in the pantry, corn stalks pulled up, to make way for the tiller later in maybe October. I have given up trying to keep the grass cut, with the heat and humidity, having won its battle to grow thick and tall while I wait for the frost to take it out of its …..Or maybe my....... Misery.

Old Fashion Tiger Lillies
Meanwhile there are plums on the counter to be processed and they say we are having a heat wave coming in for a few days. It has been the longest short summer in many years… as Mother Nature has spun and knitted a strange type of season leaving me in awe of what has been and what is still to come…..and looking forward to the colors of the oaks, and the lonely call of the winter winds……WOW …did I really say that……after last winter…..Yes, the spinning of tales.......... never stops!.