Late Summer Light

late summer 4

compost bin shadows

The weather’s not very different from last month, but the light has changed. You can tell, even in the face of coronavirus time-fuzz, that summer is sliding gently into fall. The blueberry bushes sit leafy but fruitless inside their net cages. Soon I will take the nets off; there’s nothing left for the birds to loot. Tomatoes are rolling in, and every morning brings an armload of cosmos and zinnias to late summer 1bundle into the house for bouquets. The flowers mostly grow in their raised beds, but a few volunteers decorate random spots and edges of the garden. Volunteer cosmos: a lovely phrase.

In addition to Charlie, I’ve had a crew of bunnies trimming my lawn. I’m happy to see them eating clover instead of the flowers edging my deck. In early June there were three bunnies; now there’s just one. What has the summer done with them? Are they eating greener clover somewhere else? Bunnies are a prey species, making them a sort of clover for hawk, owl, and eagle. Everyone has to eat.

late summer 2

scented jasmine tobacco

I always thought animals knew what to eat by instinct, but the fawns have changed my mind. They wander through with their mamas and you’d think they would eat what their mamas are eating. Not exactly. I’ve seen them nibble my foxgloves and jasmine tobacco, both of which are poisonous, and neither of which a smart mama deer will touch. But lately they’ve been leaving the foxgloves and tobacco unmolested. This, I suppose, means they’ve learned something in their first summer on earth. Telling the good from the bad is a skill that comes with experience. I hope they didn’t get too sick learning it.


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