The weather has been superb for more than a week with one needed rain and otherwise, clear and still. The smell of the air itself has changed and the north sky is deep azure. The dogwoods have entirely shifted their leaves to reds and near purples; the gums are mostly bright red and the maples are turning.
The cooler temperatures (46F this fine morn) have preserved flowers already in bloom. The potted flowers on the patio might lead one to think it was early August rather than the very end of September. But then the two reddish dog woods in the background correct that misimpression.
Many flowers bloomed very late this year. The constant dampness encouraged every weed seed in the pastures to germinate. Last year it seemed that after three years of labouring with a hoe, the nasty horse thistles were finally under control. This year, alas, they were worse than ever and Mr. Fuzzy thought all was lost. They should have bloomed nearly six weeks ago yet most plants still have no flowers or even buds. Perhaps the scourge will not be as severe as it once looked.
With the onset of the cooler and drier weather, Mr. Fuzzy has desperately been cutting firewood, a task best completed by mid-June. The nearly daily rains and Mr. Fuzzy's slow recovery from a lung infection prevented the optimal period from possibility. Four of the last seven days saw Mr. Fuzzy waltzing the chain saw over downed oak trees. With much luck and continued dry days, this wood may be seasoned enough to burn well by January. Yesterday an odd movement of a severed tree limb pinched the chain saw bar and it could not be extracted. The wood on each side was too large for Mr. Fuzzy to move. Eventually a call to a neighbor yielded a long crow bar with enough length for leverage and the chain saw was freed at last.
Today saw another pass at the downed oak until the chain saw gas tank was exhausted. And so was Mr. Fuzzy who thought better of loading, transporting and stacking a load of wood right then. Lunch sounded the better idea. Driving down the gravel county road, there was one of the neighbors working on his fences. It would be considered rude to simply wave and drive past thus the car was pulled over and a conversation ensued. After about ten minutes, the neighbor inquired whether Mr. Fuzzy was in a hurry? If not, he could have a guided tour around the neighbor's large holdings. Although hungry, this was too auspicious to deny and an hour's exploration resulted - a very, very enjoyable experience. At the outset. topping a rise gave a fine view of Stratheden II, forty-one acres not attached to the main body of the farm. Here it is below - the bright green in the distance. Mr. Fuzzy had never seen it so clearly before.
Near the end of the tour, a superb view to the northwest showed itself as you may see:
Eventually Mr. Fuzzy was bound for Tuggle's Gap and and received a call from a friend who had not yet consumed his lunch either; we shared a most enjoyable hour over good grub. On the way home, it was the opportune time to return the large crowbar borrowed the day before - and its owner insisted I pull up a chair and visit a while with him on this nice day.
Thus Mr. Fuzzy passed several hours of his afternoon in unplanned pleasant conversation with friends. Such is the way of life here. One dear neighbor died two weeks ago and served as a reminder that tomorrow may not arrive - don't pass opportunities to visit with those you cherish.