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The Last Windrow: Turning the calendar page to September

Someone must have told the sumac behind our house that fall is on the way. Two leaves dangling from this north country shrub have turned a brilliant red, contrasting harshly against the still green canopy. This sumac is telling us something.

Someone must have told the sumac behind our house that fall is on the way. Two leaves dangling from this north country shrub have turned a brilliant red, contrasting harshly against the still green canopy. This sumac is telling us something.

I've been digging my potato crop for the year. It is a task that I do not relish, but I really like. Flailing my way down the potato rows that have become overgrown with grass, every fork-full of overturned sod produces a surprise from below. From a dead potato plant stem comes red, russet and Yukon gold spuds that will last us and perhaps some of my family through the coming cold weather months.

A large, healthy looking emerald green leopard frog hopped out of the way of my fork on one row. No doubt it will be seeking shelter below the mud of a nearby slough soon.

Our kitchen counters have become cluttered with jars of freshly canned dill pickles and peppers and will continue to receive produce from the gardens. Soon the red beets and carrots will be brought in from harvest and they too will become frozen or pickled. Over 40 pints of sweet corn are securely frozen after we've chewed the balance off the cob.

The woods are quiet this time of year except for the screaming of a bluejay or the chatter of a chickadee. The birds of summer are gradually ebbing to the southland. Hummingbirds are moving but stop to refuel at our sugar water.

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The other summer residents, including the rose breasted grosbeaks and Baltimore orioles, must be well on their way to the jungles south.

A young whitetail buck showed itself in front of my headlights one evening just this past week. It had shed most of its velvet and looked like a dandy on his way to a dance as it weaved back and forth in front of my headlights. Soon it will be fair game for a hunter with venison on his or her mind. I wonder if I'll see this young lad again next fall?

I hear school bells ringing and this week we'll see yellow school buses picking up their cargo.

Seeing the yellow buses reminds me of our daughter's first day at kindergarten. I can still see her standing with her backpack at the edge of our driveway, waiting for the bus, her dog Rainy at her side. A sad and glad time.

Football teams will again be in vogue as we sit on the steel bleachers feeling the cold north wind cooling our bottom sides. We've lost our No. 1 Vikings quarterback, but I think the team will rally about this loss and provide a great season regardless. At least we have a new stadium to brag about. Can't do any worse than our Twins.

Yes, turning the calendar page to September brings some forlorn feelings about the loss of the summer season. Personally, I look forward to it. It's why I moved the the northland. Enjoy!

See you next time. Okay?

Related Topics: THE LAST WINDROW
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