Quieting Down

The roar of tomatoes in the garden is dialing down to a low rumble. They ripen very slowly now, but on the positive side the squirrel has stopped eating them. I’m guessing cooler weather has inspired him to gather more walnuts and acorns, things he can stash for the winter. Mucking around in my tomatoes is all very well in late summer, but it’s October, and time to get real.

The squirrels need things to eat all winter because they’re up, out, and running around. They have this deal with the trees, where the trees give them all the nuts they can haul away, and in return the squirrels plant them in ridiculous places the trees could never have come up with on their own. The squirrels plan to dig them all up and eat them as winter proceeds, but as you’d expect from their louche and scatterbrained behavior, they lose track; thus establishing the next generation of trees.

Woodchucks, on the other hand, hibernate. I can hardly wait. Once there’s a frost, ours will tuck into her burrow and stay there, offering me relief for a few months. Until then, she is havoc incarnated. I caught her in full wallow yesterday, lazing in


tired October garden

my plumbago groundcover, scarfing down all its pretty blue flowers that she scorned just a couple of weeks ago, when there were tastier options. Would that she would scorn them now, but she is dedicated to padding out her waddly flesh so that there will be something left of it when she wakes up after her long fast.

There are still cosmos in the garden, and some zinnias, but everyone looks so tired. It’s time to take down the berry nets. It’s time to bring in the cushions. But the end of one cycle is the beginning of another. It’s time to plant bulbs.

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