Thursday, August 26, 2010

Skywatch Friday: Winding Down

Even the moon is now diminishing, after the Full Sturgeon Moon two days ago. I only got one shot before my camera's battery died, but I rather like the odd effects one gets whilst trying to hold the camera steady and change settings in the dark.

But the title of this post more accurately applies both to the season and to me. The weather finally broke yesterday, and today's been more like very early summer than late. It's 88 degrees out, as opposed to a record-setting 107 on Tuesday, and since most of the mosquitoes were done in by the heat, I managed a nice sit in the garden this morning--enjoying the weather, the paper, the dogs, and a damned good cup of Joe.

There's even chicken soup a-stewin' on the stove. I had the remains of a big fat pullet to deal with, and thanks to the weather I didn't have to freeze it and wait for later. Which means that I finally had a chance to defrost the chest freezer in the potting shed so I can start putting up things to save me a bit of time (or maybe guilt) as the quarter itself winds down and I get too busy with accreditation visits and student projects to cook supper.

Some seasonal activities seem almost instinctive: slowing down, cleaning up, sorting through, clearing out. I've had a hankering for doing some of this for some time now, perhaps due to wishful thinking (Fall is my favorite season, even though most folks I talk to like Spring better) during the hot spell when the heat bore down like a weight. Lethargy is probably also instinctive in such times.

As I enjoyed my garden for the first time in weeks, I noticed that there are still surprises to be had. One clump of chives is blooming mightily, and the steadfast cucumber plant is showing signs of renewed life. The big pot of tiny basil (like minette, but it drapes more) I bought on a whim last spring is still with us, and the sweet basil is starting to come back as well. The mint family is blossoming, and even though my big mess of catmint has pretty much gone under from heat exhaustion, its babies are showing up all over the yard, thanks to a couple of rain showers. My tomato plants have survived--only just--so if the weather stays cool I may actually get some fruit out of them.

I've pretty much resisted the urge to prep for classes today, so I should be able to enjoy my tiny Friday afternoon class (about fifteen students left, I think) and save the real work for Sunday. Thursdays are becoming my Sabbath, offering a moment of rest and recuperation from the heavily laden beginning of the week. Like the garden, I'm slowing down, but showing signs of new life as well. If I can avoid watching the news and get another good night's sleep sans air conditioning, I'll be considerably less curmudgeonly than I have been for the last month.

Enough weak metaphor. On to the weekend, and the lovely skies people share from all over the world. Have a great one, Skywatchers.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful moon photo, all crispy and brown even in the night.
I agree 100% about the "winding down" ! Autumn is when I feel the need to clean, sort , toss out clutter in general. I think it is better than "spring cleaning" because we are about to spend a great deal of time indoors and the house should be clean for that reason!
Autumn id the beginning of the year in my heart!

Sylvia K said...

Terrific moon shot! Today here feels like fall, it's in the 50s, raining, gray. Driving around yesterday I was sad to see the leaves on so many trees turning and lots of those leaves blowing around on the ground. I kind of wanted to jump up and down in middle of street and yell, "we haven't had that much summer yet!" Ah, well! I really don't mind the fall though, once it gets here, it's still a beautiful time of year! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comment, you have a good eye too, the first photo on my post is looking directly toward Riverside from about 6 miles away in Corona!

clairz said...

Spooky and beautiful picture. I, too, have been enjoying the garden in this change of weather. Everything is so beautiful and I am a lot less surly and am starting to feel like moving around a bit. You've captured my feelings exactly!

Eds said...

your entry looks mysterious!

Jim said...

Good shots.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Martha Z said...

Your part of the country is cooling while ours grows hot. After a relatively cool summer in California our weather has now turned hot. It was even hot in Tuolumne Meadows Monday, can you believe it? I hope you get your tomatoes, this year I didn't have to wait until fall.

Shey said...

I like the effect too. Mystical moon.

You have a nice garden, esp love the thriving chives. :)

jabblog said...

Moon shots are among my favourites. I'm pleased for you that the weather has broken - heat is so enervating. It's heartening to see plants reviving in the garden - I hope ours will when our canine visitors have gone home. One of them clambers all over the tubs and pots and tramples the mint. It makes the garden smell sweet but it's not much good for cooking. I like your bottle border!

Unknown said...

Gorgeous garden shots. My grandmother used to garden, and i use to remember her (like you) enjoying when temps were cool enough for her to get back out there. She actually lived in Louisiana so they really saw the seasons (unlike in California). I like you enjoy fall most of all, espically now since experiencing a texas summer, i am so ready for the temps to drop and the AC to go off.