We walk, we amble, we hustle, we rush. We move through our days and seasons with our eyes trained to the horizon. We rarely stand still, and when we do, there's often a last-minute bolt to the thing we almost forgot but we simply can't.
With the easy fluidity of the modern human, we transition from deep appreciation of simple moments to finger-tingling anticipation of "what's next?"
So much of what we've learned since moving to Moon Dog Farms has to do with prioritizing tasks and arranging our day in a way that is sane, manageable and allows for minimal walks back and forth from the barns. Strangely enough, there's not as much running as one might think, even with all our scrambling. This probably has something to do with my flailing, injured gait resembling something like the run of a trussed-up chicken escaping the chopping block. It's a kindness, really, that Alex encourages me to avoid running.
Luckily, Fall is here in Texas-- in beautiful, sunny, 85 degree glory. My computer work is done on the porch, without fear of mosquito bombardment. The days of retreating into the cool swallow of air conditioning from noon to two are done; we now enjoy our lunch break at the farm, and gain a few more precious hours of work in a far more pleasant environment. And truly, the surest sign of Fall is how often I will talk about Fall (evident from the last couple newsletters) We will rejoice in naming all Fall pleasures until January, when we will dub a handful of cold weeks and the odd frost here and there as Winter, which will then quickly thaw into Spring by late February.
So you see, we don't have long to hold Fall between our fingers, so it's got to be sweet appreciation for every dang moment it's here. Every single one.
As I mentioned briefly last week, some of the McFarmer family stopped by in the last week to help us with some of the larger projects on the "Fall To-Do" list. In exchange for hauling mulch, hoisting heavy lumber, weeding perennials and transplanting lettuces, we tried to provide color. Edible color to fill coolers and refrigerators, and sunset colors strewn across the sky. I wish we could say we treated everyone to the beer and dinner that accompanied said sunset, but just as we could never take credit for that awesome pink sky, McFarmer's family never fails to provide us with unending generosity and it is us who are treated, everytime.
The idea of 'treats' accurately sums up the current atmosphere of the farm. Chilly breezes sweep through our coastal prairie on warm middays, enough to cool the sweat on our brows. We harvested our first batch of radishes for the season, hot-pink and clean white. Plucking those French Breakfasts makes me deliriously happy, everytime. The magic trick of pulling food from the ground---now you see it, then you didn't--simply doesn't get old. And while we'll need additional help in washing the hordes of radishes, carrots and beets soon enough, our first harvest was low-key and thrilling, increasingly one of my favorite combinations.
To that end, the relaxed glimpses of our farm insects amid the fall plants have shed the frenetic and in-your-face quality of the bugs of summer. While there is still the occasional tete a tete with pony-sized grasshoppers in the okra beds, our insect friends have largely begun to move slower, using their energy for end-of-season needs like nectar-gathering or the tending of maturing eggs and larvae. Bees, wasps and any number of winged little beasties whose names I don't know buffet on the goldenrods and native ageratum. Ladybugs sleep in the tiny little spaces between folds of leaves or the petrified gills of old wood. The torpedo storms of dragon and damselflies have already begun to wane, their numbers beginning to slow.
And only 2 days ago, on the day we pulled those first radish bunches of Fall, we spotted a large tortoise outside the farm gate, headed our way.