Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gaggle, Herd or Flock?

Mowing the backyard last Friday evening, a bunch of dragonflies swarmed over the area. They floated, swooped and soared across the area that used to be our original garden. Thanks to loads of manure and organic fertilizer the grass is lush and long. "Bunch"is a poor descriptive term. There were hundreds of the insects. I hoped they were gobbling mosquito's and flies as they moved over the area. Downloading the photo of the flock, I notice the dragonflies look like spots on the sunset shot of the south fence line. I tell myself this is the reason I don't stop during the work day to take a picture of an unusual event. They never translate well in a digital image.

Each day is a different harvest. The cooler weather allows for longer work periods. This third day of a russet spud dig, I'll be dumping another 100 lbs of potatoes on a table in the garage workshop for sorting and inspecting. The wheelbarrow is full with culls that I hope to slice, dice, quarter and blanch before freezing. Bordering on obsessiveness, I won't throw out potatoes that can be salvaged in spite of a four hundred pound russet harvest, a hundred pounds of reds and Yukon golds and an awaiting Kennebec harvest that may top last year's five hundred pound record. Dawn wants me to hang a for sale sign at the entrance of our lane. Mostly I look for people who'd appreciate some good organic potatoes like my friends at the library.

The cooler weather and earlier sunsets foretell the close of summer. Last Sunday's flood waters have receded leaving behind muddy fields. Unable to mow portions of the front field yesterday because the ground is still saturated, I concentrate on spot mowing high grass and blowing dried grass off to the edges. For the past two days, the Amish patriarch's brother and two helpers drive by in an open carriage. The click clack of horse hooves on the highway is a reminder of simpler times.

Occasionally, I'll pick up the Pooch, our cat, to remind him that he's just as special as the attention grabbing dog. We listen for the rustle in the shutters at dusk and he's wide eyed in wonder when a bat escapes from behind the bathroom window shutter. I think he knows he occupies top cat position in the family. I wonder if the dog and cat operate as a team when Mandy jumps up on the bed at 5:30 am and he waits outside the bedroom door. Before I can grab a pair of shorts and a shirt the two race down the stairs heading for the back door.

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