Colorful Days, Cooler Nights

Last spring, I remember saying more than once that everything seemed to be happening about two weeks early. Should I be surprised then that the leaves are also now turning early? We are not to the peak of color yet, but I definitely see change on the Canadian side of the lake sooner than I did last year. Most of the underbrush is bright with color: yellow grasses, golden bracken fern, bright orange on our moose maples. The New England asters are a shade of light purple, which contrasts well with the other colors. The birch and aspen are just beginning to show some change. And to go with all of that, the sky today is a lovely blue. We have defiinitely turned the corner into fall, as the night temperatures are down in the forties. The days warm up to the fifties and sixties, as long as the sun is shining, but once it goes down, things cool fast.

Despite the cooler times, my tomatoes are still very green. They are just cherry tomato plants, but I am surprised that most don't want to start to show even some orange color on them. At this rate, I will be picking green tomatoes to bring in and wrap in newspaper. I did finally get a small flower on one of my eggplants, but the warm weather that it needs is a thing of the past. It was a fun experiment nonetheless. The basil was prolific, and I have picked it to put up into pesto, for a small burst of summer flavor once winter has set in. We had patchy frost on Friday night---I noticed some on the dock and on the roof of the studio cabin. None of the plants got hit, but certainly that could happen almost any time.

The fishing should pick up for trout, now that the nights are colder. I've been told that they are seeing many on the depth-finders, but the fish are unwilling to bite. The bass, on the other hand, are still biting and still fighting. No sign of walleyes since mid-July. Where do they go?

With Greg in Alaska, the donkeys are depending on me and Paul and Addie to answer their calls for room service. Moses won't usually sing for me, like he will for Greg, but ever since he started receiving oats as a supplement to the hay, he will call for me twice a day. Addie fed both Moses and Jethro one evening, shortly after Greg left, but she didn't know about the plan to feed Moses his oats, too. By nine that evening, he was singing to me, and I figured out that it was because he was expecting something. I find it funny that a donkey can learn something so quickly as he has. On sunny days like today, he is sitting up in the pasture, soaking up sunshine. Life isn't too tough, I guess.

After six days of driving, Robert and Greg pulled in to Alaska on Wednesday night. They had several days where they chose to drive five hundred miles or more. Once they got to British Columbia, they slowed down a bit, so as to enjoy the scenery and to do some hiking. They called one evening after spending several hours on a hike up to a glacier. They never did reach the glacier before it was time to turn around and come back down, but they really enjoyed the trek. They drove up through the Yukon Territory, visiting areas that Greg had been through twenty years earlier with his good friend Art. The fall colors are at peak there right now, and Greg has been taking many pictures.
Tomorrow, Greg flies out to Fairbanks, and Robert will stay behind in Eagle, to join the kids and teachers there for a trip down the Yukon River to an old mining camp. They will learn some history, do some exploring, tour the dredge, and do some water sampling. He is having a great time meeting up with the friends that he and Paul and Addie have made up there in this last year. After the trip, he will load his truck and make the drive to Fairbanks, to join up with his good friend Ben. Soon the snow will start to fall in those areas of Alaska, and he needs to drive out soon, or he won't be taking his truck with him!

The bread oven is still going, at least once a week. Fresh ciabatta and wood-fired pizza are always on the menu. It all tastes even better because we eat it outside.