Thursday, September 19, 2013

September: The Month of Transition

September always seems to be a very busy month. I think partly because as the school year kicks in, we all try to adjust to the demands that go along with it. Soon enough, we will be buckled down and settled into our routines, and the freedoms of summer will be a warm, hazy memory.

And right on cue, as we switch gears into another school year, the temperatures have also shifted, as they always seem to do. The weather in general, seems as if it's teetering on some imaginary tight rope; the line where summer ends and autumn begins. "Indian Summer", as we always used to call it. These new fall mornings have been freezing. But like many younglings, they are weak and easily conquered by the strength of the afternoon sun. It's as if even Mother Nature hasn't fully accepted the notion that summer is over. 

Our Amaranth just beginning to flower.
With this grossly fluctuating weather comes a chaotic upheaval in the garden. I am seeing the faces of life and death in my plants every day. Some, such as Cucumbers and Swiss Chard, have suddenly taken off like crazy and are flourishing in these final fleeting days of warm weather. (I even have a rogue Bok Choy that has grown marvelously, from a dormant seed planted sometime early summer.) And my big experiment of the season, Amaranth, has finally flowered! A huge success and a thing of beauty. And then we have other plants, namely Pole Beans and Edamame, that have quietly passed before my very eyes. Today, I pulled all the Pole Bean plants, that had dramatically withered away to mere skeletons over the course of a week or so. In their stead, I will plant cold-loving varieties of spinach and lettuce. When the temperatures really dip, these crops will get a cold frame shelter, and I will pray they survive the shorter days. 

September, to me, has always been a month of transition. In more ways than one. It is the bridge from one season to the next.

And so the cycle continues. Yet another year.