Too cool to swim

The weather celebrated this final day of September (if you’ll allow me to personify the climate) with a brilliant and clear sky, slight breeze, and general superbness. I could not sit inside any longer and just look out at it, so I took a long meander around the place, checking on the apples, wandering the beach, and generally poking my nose here and there. I also pruned back some dead branches (pruning saw plus dead apple limb over limb removal equals warmth while sawing, just as Aldo Leopold—I think—observed).

The Marquette station predicts a low of 24°F in some places, but hopefully not here. Still, that’s the end of tomatoes and other fragile veggies in peoples’ gardens. I’m trusting that it will improve the apples!

The apples are so heavy on the boughs (no culling, heavy spring bloom that set well) that some limbs are snapping. Cr-ack! The deer should be gathering soon to enjoy this bounty. Meanwhile, I gotta get the picker-basket-thing and nab a few of the rosy high fruits, the better for applesauce!

Leaf-peeper report


Short version: it’s begun, but just barely. The expanses are still mostly green, with some gold (I don’t dare write “gold leaf”!), and a few brilliant branches glowing in orange-red and deep maroon-red.

Stay tuned!

A rose by any other name…


1) …is soda.

2) …is pop.

3) …is soda pop.

Conclusion: Dorothy, you’re not in Kansas any more!

Spartan existence


So, what is it about autumn in East Lansing that makes me want to don a flannel shirt? The hang-out-in-coffee-shop thing is relatively new, but the flannel urge, that’s been around….

How sensitive this plant?


I find it oddly compelling to stroke the leaves of this modest plant, and then watch as each leaf folds in on its leaflet stem.

I write this off-line, so no scientific name or links….

In which a GIB appears


After lunch, I did the usual dull-minded wander across the parking lot to my destination-vehicle, and reached down to grab the door handle, and, whoa!, something moved in my peripheral vision! I suppose if I were an Ancient One, I might wonder if a visitation from this Green Insect Being were an omen, a sign, a portent.

If so, of what? I wait….

Portent, that’s an interesting word. Its meaning, back in the sixteenth century when it began to be used (according to the Apple Dictionary), it was from the Latin verb portendere and noun portentum, meaning omen or token. As used early on in English, however, it meant an exceptional or wonderful person or thing. The dictionary’s example: what portent can be greater than a pious notary? [Cracked me up!]

This much!


Look at that little hook over the last few days. That’s feet and feet of water across a good-sized reservoir, from all this rain we’ve been having, across the upper Chattahoochee Basin—and beyond!

You can check the level here, and see if has kept rising! (I expect it to for a few more days….)

Of course, the courts have ruled against Georgia/Atlanta relying on Lake Lanier as its water source (Georgia is appealing this), and in favor of Alabama and Florida receiving more of the flow downstream, so we may be watching another metric, rather than Lake Lanier’s levels, within a decade….

Blushing tomatoes


I have trimmed back the tomato plants for the fourth time, so the MailPerson can get to the door, along with other miscellaneous visitors.

I am glad to see another wave of reddening tomatoes—good eating!



The tomato plants are doing their darnedest to soak up all this rain. As a result the wee tomatoes are splitting their skins, like this pear tomato specimen.

Finally, the rains are clearing and I have seen patches of dry blacktop in the street!

More rain



No lie. It’s still raining.

And the creeks are rising.

The neighbor is a Real Plant Person, and has a rain gauge, which seems to be a material culture marker of Real Plant People in this society.

She reported this evening, while the precip was still coming down, that as of maybe about 6 pm, we, here in this neighborhood, have gotten over 14 inches of rain since this weather pattern set in almost a week ago.

It is no wonder there is flooding—and the kind of dramatic flooding that makes the national evening network news….

Another neighbor, whose house is at the bottom of the swoop of our short street (high on the ends, lower in the middle), said that in twenty years she had never seen water swirling down the storm drains so high.

* If it were not so wet out, this is how far along the poke berries are, but this picture is from this day several years back.