The Shift.

Though we have had drought conditions for some time now, I cannot complain about the temperatures. Most days recently have been in the 80's, but the nights have cooled down into the 50's, which is lovely for sleeping. Even so, despite those warm days, I felt that shift a few weeks back...the one we wait for, the one that makes us remember that summer is so very, very short here in the Northeast. It begins with a change in the light, and leads to crickets chirping all day instead of just the evenings. I feel as if I can actually smell it on the wind, and feel it across the surface of my skin. Every one of my senses is aware of it, every time it happens. And it doesn't seem subtle to me...it always happens overnight. The scales tip toward fall.

And, at first, I think "I am not ready", and I am very sad. But, somehow, in the course of the following month, I gradually live my way into being ready. Though I could happily have my hands in the dirt year-round, I am usually prepared for a rest by the time autumn arrives. 

We have some new faces around the farm, much to our delight. Meet, from left to right, Minerva, Zelda and Ophelia.

These sweet girls are very shy, and we are working to get them comfortable around us. Lots of treats, holding them, talking to them, and just sitting with them. They have been here about three weeks now, and Minerva allows us to pat her all over now. Zelda is quite precocious, and is no shrinking violet when it comes to food. Ophelia has been the last to earn our trust, and is still pretty nervous.

Otherwise, we have generally just been trying to squeeze in bits and pieces of "summering". It seems to get harder as the children get older, to find whole days when we do not have an agenda of some kind. With either swim team or soccer five days out of the week, plus animal care and gardening/harvesting/canning, I have felt this summer slide by us a little more quickly than past years. But, we have snuck in some lovely days with friends and trips to the beach.

And the garden. My favorite place. Every year we expand it a little, and every year, just when I think I've got it under control, mother nature reminds me that I am, in fact, not in control the majority of the time. This year it was potatoes. We were gone for a week when the potato beetles were at their worst, and in those seven days without the resident bug pickers at work (ahem. my children.), they moved in and took over. Oh well. 

 The look we all get when squishing potato bugs.

The look we all get when squishing potato bugs.