Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Treats of Autumn

The chlorophyll is passing away, ceasing production of sugars, and the other pigments show through the leaves which will soon drift off, on the way to deciduous tree dormancy.

The Dark-eyed Juncos are back in force. The flash of their contrasting white and black tail feathers flit across meadows and into the Spruce trees.

In Hillside Cemetery today, the Bluebird House that during the breeding season, hosted a pair of interloping Tree Swallows, has for tonight become the roost box of a family of five Bluebirds. I watched them hunt among the stones and then slip into the small round door of the box one by one. Five Bluebirds at dusk, all at once, is a definite treat.

I'm told that when the air is crisp and the vines dry, it's the time to dig the potatoes out of the garden. Though the vines have not dried yet, I thought I'd dig in just a little and see how the potatoes were doing. I went to the garage, took my shovel out, set me foot to it, turned the soil under a potato vine, and came up with a potato.

This is my potato. And in case you think it's a smallish potato on a very large plate. See the photo below.

It's a teeny potato on a small plate. It took 22 seconds to microwave, and was a delicious bite of butter and salt. The skin so tender it skims off with the touch of a finger nail. Now I just have to hope that the other potatoes are bigger or that there are a whole lot of them. But even if there aren't, its very existence in my garden delighted me--another treat of Autumn.
Donegal Browne

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