“Steep yourself in a bowlful of summertime.”     ~  Virgil

School begins in two days for many Columbia Gorge students, though I suspect we still have plenty of summer left.  If you haven’t spent much time outdoors this summer, I suggest that you can’t beat September to be by a river, lake or hiking through large woods.

Every summer offer surprises and we have been inundated with many firsts this Summer of 2013:

Fires:  The Dalles, Lyle, and our own property.  I am pleased to report that the blackened meadow is already teeming with green plant shoots, an amazing turn around after only three weeks.

Garden:  No beans thanks to rascally rabbits who somehow managed to destroy two beds of green beans despite netting being placed over the crop.  No cherries due to hordes of aphids.  Luckily, cottontails do not seem to favor red fruit.  If you like cherry tomatoes, give me a call!

The Forest Wins:  The ponderosa pines, where nary a tree used to grow in our meadow, now have taken over a swatch of ground and formed a contiguous canopy from the woodland on top of the hill to the riparian trees at the bottom.

The Bachelor Buttons Win:  The incredibly invasive and fast spreading bachelor button plants, also known as cornflower, have totally taken over my property and the neighbors.  Trying to pick them all this summer was laughable.

Visitors:  No rattlesnakes, and only one lonesome, though large gopher (bullsnake) sunning itself on our path.  Tons of frogs making our home their home.  No achingly beautiful western tanagers.  And the oddest summery change:  our first summer without grasshoppers, which usually appear in locust masses this time of year.  Maybe, I’ve come across one hopper.

Hooray!  Another first, no escapee cows from the neighboring public DNR land.  The fence holds!

What will autumn bring? ~