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Signs of fall

Teasel and zinnias
I've been feeling autumn looming all week.  Don't get me wrong --- I love autumn --- but on the farm autumn means that winter will be here soon.  No more drifting through summer.  It's time to get serious about stocking up the harvest, burying our water line the rest of the way, finding firewood, and building our shed.

For this weekend, though, I'm just enjoying the floral abundance.  The seeds I tossed in the ground this summer are finally starting to bloom, like the brilliant red zinnia on the right.  At the edges of the woods, goldenrod, joe-pye-weed, wingstem, thistles, jewelweed, and ironweed are blazing.

In the garden, we're eating our first crisp lettuce with none of the summer bitterness.  Butternut squash vines are dying back as sugars concentrate in their fruits and the last of our staggered corn plantings is starting to tassle.  Even the air is starting to smell of autumn --- that first tang of falling leaves.  The dog days of summer are over.  It's all downhill from here.


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