Autumn Here

I’m recovering from a nasty cold I picked up in Paris. I am so over city living. I know my happy life here depends in large part on the efforts of city dwellers and to them I am grateful but still, it is no longer for me.

Anyway, as I say, I am feeling better. Jacques, noticing stirrings of life from me, just the faintest signs, decided it was time to try a doggie kiss of life. His preferred method is to walk on my tummy and chest, so there’s a bit of shiatsu thrown in, then stand there for a while, staring intently, maybe to check if I’m still breathing. Then he plops, as hard as a little dog can, and starts licking my face. The nose and eye lick will get me moving every time. Maybe that’s why he does it.

The weather has changed since I last paid attention. I spent much of my summer saving my newly planted Japanese maples from full sun during a heat wave. Trees are planted that will, one day, give them dappled shade, but not yet. Now we have 100% humidity but no rain. It sounds like I’m living in an aquarium but no. It is seriously overcast and seriously damp. They love it, as do I and, I think, most everything out there. The photo above is of the sumac I’ve been trying to eradicate. Days like this make me rethink the plan.

My expectations are still set by coastal California weather. All this dampness is welcome, but not at all what I’m used to. I’m finding every kind of thing going on out there. The tomatoes are putting out the last of their summer produce. They look a bit desperate, as if they know it’s just about their last chance. The squashes are coming into their own, even as their vines are shrinking snd their leaves are rotting. so, ripening, rotting and recovering from a brutal summer, all at once. it’s a fascinating time of year.

8 thoughts on “Autumn Here

  1. Dogs can be very comforting should you be ill…but once they detect a sign of life they want you up and about…chop chop. Those are super photographs of Jacques….he has quite a presence.
    It might be an idea to get rid of that ragwort….it’s toxic to livestock and the seeds spread like wildfire.

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    1. Thanks. He has learned to pose for photos. I love that.

      Ragwort is the one with the yellow flowers? I’ve been trying to get rid of it for years, now. I bought a wildflower mix that turned out to be mostly flowering weeds. Most of those wind up putting out nasty burrs and all. My specialized weeding tools are getting a lot of use.

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  2. I found the summer awful. For almost two months the garden looked terrible, and that was despite watering daily to keep things alive. The word I used to describe it was crispy. And no one wants a crispy garden 😦


    1. Yes, plus it was crazy hot. I was actually a bit surprised that the Japanese maples made it. But there is a dogwood out there that was, given that everything was newly planted, pretty well sheltered. It did better than its buddies back in the garden center. Then, when it cooled and started to rain, everything went brown. It’s awful. Garden Center Guy, who knows his stuff, says keep it in place. It will recover. We’ll see.

      I’ll be planting more citrus trees. They loved the heat. No such thing as too much. I have them — a Meyer lemon and a Cara Cara orange — in pots, so I can bring them into the kitchen in winter. I have a big window, so it can serve as an orangerie, plus the blossom scent is another reason the kitchen is such a delightful room.

      Yes, crispy is not attractive. I’m putting in either regular maples that love sun and create shade or things that live happily in dappled shade. Let’s hope they all grow quickly.

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        1. Sometimes you do what you have to do. If this keeps up, I may have to have my heating system reworked to allow for cooling, too. Right now I have a swamp cooler that I put in the room with my keyboard and the bed where I sleep in summer. I’m north of you guys, plus I’m nearer the ocean. Most nights it cooled down, so I could open the windows to cool the house and collect cool air for daytime. In a few years the maple trees should start to shade the house. That should make a huge difference.

          I don’t know how dry it is where you live. I’m looking for drought-tolerant everything. Plus it sometimes gets to -5 in winter. My new plants will have to be pretty tough.

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