Fall is certainly upon us. The shift in seasons has started, one day cool another warm. It is like an accordion sometimes playing a note sometimes just taking in air. It is quite wonderful to open up all the windows and be able to enjoy days that are not cold or hot. The garden has a way of flowing through the house with the wafting of fragrances from the last of the flowers of the season. The garden looks and feels true. It is as shaggy as it can get and still look nice before the frost will kill it off for another year, but that is still, sometime away. For now, it is just me, the birds and the mosquitoes enjoying the lush vegetation and the errant and overgrown shrubs that block my view down the gravel walk.
Fall has brought the prospect of new employment as the economy seems to be coming back to life. I have several prospects that appear to be lining themselves up. I am old enough to have lived through some of these economic downturns before. Bad periods are followed by good ones; otherwise, we would not have words to describe their differences and historically this is an ongoing process. Our memories seem to only know the present and easily forget the past. When September 11 occurred and the economy came to a screeching halt I lost a wonderful job. It was not the first time, so I was better prepared emotionally to handle the time alone away from my professional colleagues and my creative pursuits. It is never easy to lose a job under any circumstances, but we recover and adapt and in turn make new friends and connections and start another process where we become creative and productive again. If you are out there like me, don’t give up. I may be optimistic but you have to be!
Autumn Clematis fully re-established on wire trellisGraham Thomas fall flush
Fall has brought some revelations about the summer. While I was traveling in Florida visitors to my garden had dined on fine sushi! Three of my most beautiful kois disappeared from the pond; one was even photographed for an article in the Philadelphia Enquirer. I was suspect of all kinds of treachery ranging from the beautiful hawks that regularly visit in a neighboring towering oak to a tiger like large cat that skulks in the garden. I also even considered human truancy during my absence. The answer was much simpler, as it always is. I had forgotten about similar disappearances in the past when the fish were smaller and more numerous. Now that they had grown to respectable sizes, the largest almost a foot long, they were quickly and sorely missed as they no longer aid create the kaleidoscopic ballet on the water.
The answer, as I said was much simpler. Years ago, a house two doors away had stayed empty for quite some time. Somewhere during this vacancy between owners, raccoons had set up housekeeping in the soffit of an outdoor porch. I managed to trap the father in my garden and he was relocated to the New Jersey Pine Barrens, a wilderness area of great beauty with thousands of acres of pines and other native species thirty minutes away. I have no idea how long raccoons live, but I suspect that the mother found herself another husband and returned regularly to raise her babes in the soffit. This year she must have been working hard to raise three pups, for she consumed my largest kois. Unfortunately and fortunately my neighbors was aware of her residence in the soffit and hired a trained professional to capture and relocate the family. All should be happy looking for trout and shad in the Pine Barrens.