The Beginning of the End

Pumpkins are filling out and beginning to harden off.

Pumpkins are filling out and beginning to harden off.

March 1—first day of autumn here. It is appropriately autumnal today, with a grey sky and brisk, cool wind.

But it didn’t take a cool day, or the calendar to tell me summer was coming to a close. I have been milking in the dark for weeks—a sure sign the equinox is coming. Last week, the first of the elm leaves crunched brown and crisp underfoot. The poplar trees are looking sparse. The dry beans have started to senesce—pods bleaching, yellow leaves plopping to the ground.

The coming weekend will be full of harvest activities—no time for the beach, regardless of how hot it is. Soy beans, dry beans, and corn will all need harvesting. We’ll make the year’s summer soup. I’ll make another batch of pesto for the freezer before the basil is finished. I’ll dry some tomatoes.

There will be plenty more hot days, and likely a few trips to the beach. There will be many more tomatoes, eggplants, beans, and melons. Summer’s not really over. But it’s beginning to pack its bags and get rid of whatever it can’t take with it when it leaves for the Northern Hemisphere.

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