Friday, September 1

Daily Farm Photo: 9/1/06

Happy Hour In The Garden

The heat wave that held us prisoner for most of August has finally set us free. The misty summer mornings that always look so cool and refreshing in my photos actually are now. There are still plenty of warm days ahead, and yet everything, including us, has instinctively begun to slip into the next season.

A gust of wind sends a shower of tiny yellow leaves fluttering into the hayfield. This morning I spied a squirrel scampering away with a giant walnut clenched between its tiny jaws.

The ridiculous ritual of chasing the sheep around the fields in the semi-darkness for half an hour (cajoling, cursing, begging, pleading, and, finally, screaming at them to "Get in the @#$%*&! barn, and I don't care if it finally just cooled down enough for you to graze!") has been replaced by a willing flock ready to tuck itself in well before nightfall.

Joe keeps his eyes up during our walks through the woods, making a mental note of each dead tree in the forest that he will turn into our winter warmth. The fans that have been blowing throughout the house all summer have been switched from high to low, and a quilt has been tossed on the bed. I stock up on tea, luxuriate in a brief morning chill, and look forward to baking bread on a much more regular basis.

You can feel it. The entire farm has breathed a collective sigh of relief. Plants, animals, trees, people--we have all survived another Missouri summer. The windows are wide open, and at night the air is thick with the joyous sound of insects who sing us to sleep (now that we can hear them over the quieter fans). It is happy hour not just in the garden, but everywhere.

A year of Daily Photos ago:
Don't Build Your Nest Deep Inside The Hay Baler


  1. Another photo to put up on the desktop background as I pretend that I could endure a Missouri summer (or winter for that matter) long enough to be a Farmgirl. My husband assures me that I could not (having grown up a Kansan), but I still fantasize about snowy winters and fall foliage.

    *Living vicariously*

    Big fall hugs for you and Cary.

  2. The cool down here in Ohio has me making bread too. THe oven heat almost feels good on my old man knees.

  3. My name is Kirbie, and I check your blog every day because I LOVE the pictures you take. I just wanted to comment on what you wrote - you truly have a way with words. Reading what you wrote gives a feeling of warmth and comfort. Keep up the wonderful work. =)

  4. Lucky you! Here in west Georgia it's still very hot & humid. However, today it was only 85 degrees, so there's some relief in sight. It probably won't be your type of weather until the end of this month.

    I bet those herbs are overflowing your garden right about now! Mmmmmm, pesto...

  5. While it's not quite that cool around here yet, it's getting to be, so I can completely understand how you're feeling. When the cooler weather comes to this area it's a blessing indeed. The first nights I can open my windows at night rather than running the AC (which is a MUST here in the South) is my favorite time of late summer/early fall.

  6. It's cooling in Wisconsin, too -- and I baked bread today. What a wonderful post!

  7. We wallow in the seemingly unending depths of a particular season, not allowing our brains to remember that a change is coming. And then one day, the change is simply inevitable. Not damning, not dangerous, but "due."
    I'm still basking in Northern California's late summer, but every day the sun changes a little. Here it comes.
    Nicely put, Susan.

  8. I was out in the woods last weekend, and I can say that my usual chores are much more easily accomplished in this cooler weather than in the scorching summer that just passed. Could use more rain down my way though. Probably won't be much color in the fall foliage.

  9. Susan,
    I look forward to you baking bread on a more regular basis. BTW, did you see my bacon buns?

  10. I hear ya'. We're right there with you out here at Apifera. Funny how all those projects on fencing, barn beams, field clearing, etc, seem do-able again once it's beloe 80...I laughed at the cussing at getting sheep in description. My favorite line is [when talking to the lovely lady goats, who we all know love to take their time], "Ladies, come on now, let's go...ladies, I said let's go, Ladies - don't make me come over there!...followed by whining, expletives...buckets falling...goats chirping"

  11. I'm with Miss Kitty--it's still pretty hot in our part of Georgia, and will be for some time. But finally the nights, at least, are cool and misty. And this morning, imagine my pleasure at going to the farmer's market in 77-degree weather instead of 95-degree weather. It makes all the difference in the world.

  12. Its cooling off in North Texas and today we have been under clouds all day.......the cost of gas has come down a bit and man and beast are breathing a sigh of relief. My Cardinals and Blue Jays have returned along with the neighbors cat :^) Wishing you a happy and cozy country Labor Day weekend. Thanks for all your wonderful posts and pics. They have made a hard season a little easier. Peace.

  13. Our heatwave ended sometime at the end of July, but then, being England, that was our summer! We are running headlong into Autumn now and, as if to prove it, this morning I made Blackberry & Apple Crumble made from berries picked yesterday in the rain and windfalls from my friend's garden.

    Your words, are as always beautiful - enjoy the switch to that season of 'mists and mellow fruitfulness'. X

  14. What a lovely description, I am ready for Autumn now...

  15. Like Missouri, fall in Atlanta came in suddenly, on six white horses, blowing a horn. I just opened my office window for the first time in months and the smell of the freshly-dug garden bed right there distracts me from my work almost as much as the hammock gently swaying in the suddenly-cool breeze just a few flip-flopped footsteps away. How will I ever work?!

  16. I know you wrote this 4 years ago... but I love it! Peaceful.


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