Tag Archives: Fall

More deer asylees at Rabbitbrush

Effie seems intrigued by deer, though cautious. Nine mule deer hung out at our place yesterday. One hopped the garden fence to munch dry remnants of sorghum and amaranth. Effie prefers dry thistles and millet; she doesn’t seem in the least competitive.

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Effie of All She Surveys

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The fall air is crisp this morning; few grasshoppers, almost no gnats, and no mantises have weathered the change. With fewer bug treats to capture in mid-air, Effie takes to scampering up beams to survey her holdings.

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Local color

I’m not big on Halloween, but the colors of Autumn, and pumpkins, are always a cheering sight. These were chosen from the pumpkin patch at Wilson’s, a small local produce market west of Clarkston, Washington, by a customer’s happy toddler.

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Effie’s back yard adventures

I take Effie outside several times every day, and today, because it wasn’t terribly hot or windy, our fourth outing lasted a little more than an hour. I take her out to sniff things, pounce after grasshoppers, walk about, have some fresh catnip leaves, sit in the sun and stare at things, lie down in the sun and stare at things, and look at our chickens with a neutrality she might have picked up from President Vladimir Putin, though I don’t know how, as we have no TV.

It would be an understatement to call our adventures low key. It’s pleasant for me to watch Effie watch things, play with bugs, chew thistles and millet seeds, and just hang out. The fall colors almost seem at variance with a temperature of 78°, but beauty and comfort do, after all, go well together.

Our neighbors' colorful spread

Our neighbors’ colorful spread

Effie and the chickens evidently have an understanding I know nothing about.

Effie and the chickens evidently have an understanding I know nothing about.

The secret of Effie's seemingly boundless energy is resting between adventures.

The secret of Effie’s seemingly boundless energy is resting between adventures.

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Popcorn Harvest

The corn sheller

The corn sheller

Shucking, or shelling kernels from the small strawberry popcorn cobs

Shucking, or shelling kernels from the small strawberry popcorn cobs

Strawberry popcorn, so called for its color (thankfully, from my point of view, not its flavor), is crisp and incredibly delicious popped. The microwave or stovetop work best--this variety doesn't pop well in hot-air poppers.

Strawberry popcorn, so called for its color (thankfully, from my point of view, not its flavor), is crisp and incredibly delicious popped. The microwave or stovetop work best–this variety doesn’t pop well in hot-air poppers.

Sorghum canes will be cut and boiled textract their "sugar" for syrup.

Sorghum canes will be cut and boiled to extract their “sugar” for syrup. A tall, attractive grain, sorghum makes a nice summer ornamental.

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As Fall blusters gently in

An hour after posting my cheery bird-and-bug piece yesterday, I witnessed a magpie flying by with a small grey furry creature in its mouth. I knew magpies ate carrion, but usually on site; this appeared to be the possibility of an actual catch. Apparently magpies do kill birds and small animals, a behavior evidently unpopular with British gardeners.

Resembling something somewhere between a flurry of tiny snowflakes and a faint meteor shower, the white gnats are back. Thankfully, the wind has dispersed them for now, but if I go outside when they’re out in force, they can make my tee-shirt look like a windshield within a few seconds.

One of our neighbors, a very pleasant, good-natured man, is dying of mesothelioma. He is receiving hospice care at home. I have noted no evidence that the dear man, who is just in his early 70s, has secure provision for his soul’s future. He has demonstrated great care and regard for his wife, and their home, and their boat, and their beautiful yard and garden, in which are placed three pairs of comfortable-looking chairs, one within an attractive gazebo. I have never seen anyone sit in any of the the chairs, though I have often seen the man or his wife planting and weeding around the inviting chairs. Much work seems to be done, but the elusive promise of contentment appears always belayed. When I drive by his house, I find myself praying for, not wishful, but true contentment for his soul. . .Take him captive into that captivity outside which there is no freedom. . . .

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concerning Fall, fires, and migraines

It’s nice to live in a place where Fall transitions conspiratorially, under cover of temperatures in the 80s. Less lovely, but no less part of the deal, is the dense smoke of a new fire burning over the now hazy basalt hills. Hazy or clear, the dry hills bounding the Palouse forever affirm the goodness of God expressed in Genesis 1:31.

Harvest is on schedule. White-crowned sparrows, goldfinches, and Rufous-sided towhees gather seeds from our grasses and sunflowers. We trust they’ll soon enjoy amaranth and sorghum seeds, as well.

After nearly two years without frequent severe migraines, the coffee cure seems to have expired. The new wave is not daily, but the sense of ice picks rearranging my facial bones, breaking my teeth, and probing my temples is not at all a pleasant thing to experience. I am sometimes asked what triggers these things, and I say I don’t know, just because the closest thing to a specific medical cause–trigeminal neuralgia–doesn’t explain anything, either. But for crying out loud, people–it’s a genetic condition! I’m descended from exiled rebels, banished from Paradise!

Migraines are just one more currency used to pay the wages of sin. And how merciful it is that there are effective remedies for so many of us! But first we have to feel the awful throb of justice.

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spots and specks of snow

My lens is clean. The spots are this season's first snow.

My lens is clean. This is the sky view. The spots are some of the first snowflakes of our fall-winter season.

This is the earth view. The snow simply falls; it isn't yet a presence on the land.

This is the earth view. The snow simply falls; it isn’t yet a presence on the land.

Though the snowdust did settle on higher ground; it likely won't remain till lunch.

Though the snowdust did settle on higher ground, it’s unlikely to remain till lunch.

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. . .and a half hour later

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The sun higher, the fog seems to march its clouds into position.

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Here at Rabbitbrush: Do we need a coyote?

Mulies! A doe and two yearlings. They're welcome to the weeds, but they show a marked preference for the bunchgrass, which we very purposely ordered seed in order to grow. . .

Mulies! A doe and two yearlings. They’re welcome to the weeds, but they show a marked preference for the bunchgrass, which we very purposely ordered seed in order to grow. . .

All right, all right! Just don't eat the rabbitbrush and nobody gets hurt. (They snubbed it. Smart deer.

All right, all right! Just don’t eat the rabbitbrush and nobody gets hurt. (They snubbed it. Smart deer.)

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