Monday, September 20, 2010

Sometimes Summer Lingers

Isn't "linger" a beautiful word?  I've decided that I should use it more often.

On second thought, I think I should live it more often.

Sometimes summer lingers.  Like this year - here we are, about to enter fall; but except for slightly cooler temperatures at night, there's hardly proof that the season is about to turn.  As I sit in my rocking chair and type this, my window is wide open, letting in the peaceful night air; and I can hardly believe we're nearing the end of September.  Some years, we've had a fire in the stove by now.  Some years, it's too chilly to have the windows open, even during the day.  Some years, we've pulled out jackets and sweatshirts and put away shorts.

Not this year.

I savor this.  This extra inning of summertime, this abundance tacked onto the end of rich July and August.  I don't mind the thought of winter coming because that, too, has its unique delights; in fact, the only reason I'm sad about winter's approach is because I think there's no way we'll have such a wonderful winter as we did last year.  Despite the feelings of many locals around here that there was exceedingly too much snow last winter, I loved every bit of it; and if I had my way, we'd have as much, if not more, snow this year.  But in this part of the Shenandoah Valley, snowfall like that is not normal; and I can't imagine that we'd be so fortunate as to get it two years in a row.  And so, I'm a little sad.

But winter is still months away; and when late September days are still warm enough to sweat in, it's hard to think too much about winter.

This afternoon, I took a little walk out to the garden, camera in hand, to see what there was to see.

The flashy cayenne peppers snagged my attention first.  They may be small, but they are bright - and multitudinous!  Jeff has canned bunches of these, but hundreds (thousands?) remain on the plants.  Any of you who live nearby, would you like some?  :)

The tomatoes haven't slowed down much.  Even though the vines look half dead...

...they still produce profusely.  I keep thinking I'm going to can some more, but when will I find the time?

Oh well, even if I don't get any more put up for winter, at least these run-down scraggly vines are providing nourishment for us (since we eat some fresh ones nearly every day)...
...and fun for bare-chested boys who reach for them to eat them straight off the vine.

I found a watermelon still growing in our garden...

...and a little baby cantaloupe.  With this wondrous extended summer, will it have time to reach maturity before frost comes nipping?

One portion of the garden looked like fall had come:  the corn.

No longer green and limber, the stalks and leaves were mostly brown; and they crinkled and crackled in the wind.  No longer sweet and juicy, the kernels were dry and hard, the cobs worthless except to be thrown to the goats or chickens to be gnawed or pecked.

The neighbor's field, which lies between our garden and the patch of forest in the distance, lies bare, stripped of its luscious rows of corn.

(photo by David, cropped and edited by me)

Our scrawny corn still stands, a rattling reminder of summer's fullness.

(photo by David)

We should cut it down, and we will - eventually.  But for now, it lingers...

...just like summer.


Anonymous said...

Summer is lingering here, too, in a pleasant way. The heat is not quite as HOT and there is often a cooling breeze. The lake across the street from our house beckons to us. We don't like to go there on weekends when it is crowded, so I wish for some days off from school so we can have it all to ourselves.

Love hearing what the season is like in your part of of the country. I enjoy virtual "traveling"!

mamajil said...

Summer is still lingering here as well!! Actually...its still pretty hot in my neck of the woods :) It was breezy here today teasing us of potential cooler weather...However the highs were still in the 90's but that's okay by me! Loved your pictures your pepper plant looks amazing!! I was amazed at the tomatoes too!! That is pretty awesome!

Stacey said...

Here in Utah we still have summer lingering on. I am so glad that I am not the only one not wanting to put up any more tomatoes but I have thousands of tomatoes out there. I am giving them away as fast as i can and eating them with every meal as well.
Your pepper bushes are gorgeous!!! try drying them and then saving them in plastic zipper bags. you can also grind it after they are dry. I Love Harvest time as much as I love summer. Thanks for sharing!

Scribbit said...

Oh how jealous I am. I tell Andrew that I desperately wish I could grow lots of fruits and vegetables here. I dream of an orchard.

And those peppers remind me of the pepper fields we saw in India last March.