Sadly today marks the last day of summer for us.
The nights are getting cooler and the days markedly shorter.
The vegetable garden which has produced many hundreds of kilos of tomatoes, egg plant (brinjals), zucchinis, squashes, beans, spinach and rhubarb is starting to slow its production as the lower temperatures slow their growth. No complaints about the quality and abundance in that patch which has been watered well during the growing season. Many of the tomatoes have been dried for later use.
The fruit trees outdid themselves again this year, and we have bottled, dried, turned into jam and eaten many more hundreds of kilos of citrus and stone fruit. Some time ago I found a book on no sugar, no syrup techniques for bottling fruit using a microwave oven. My family has watched me preserve fruit like this for years and it always makes for a full pantry as we move into autumn and winter.
The garden was spectacular before ‘the dry’ set in in early January. The above Kunzea with its incredibly red ‘flowers’ was a mecca for honeyeaters of all types and me (with my camera!). The Protea garden also excelled and a walk through that part of the garden never failed to delight.
Summer is also a time to relax and do things like taking long rides on bicycles and there are lots of places to ride. This year the bricklaying messed up the riding time, (see here for details) but, well, there is always next year
The past two months have been rather on the hot side in our city. Usually this is not a problem, but we have been in a ‘rain shadow’, and where many parts of our country are currently dealing with floodwaters, we have got big, long cracks in the soil where the harsh sun has been relentless. Many trees and shrubs held on for as long as they could, but have died in the past weeks.
But last night we were offered an olive branch (so to speak!). We had a bit over an inch of rain (34mm for those metrically inclined). It was just fantastic!
The vegetation has perked up, the dust has all been washed off and the frogs are croaking happily again in the garden pond.
So everything is good with the natural world …… but I am still sad that my favourite season is over for another 9 months!
Postscript: Apparently we have just had the (officially) driest February in our area for the last 14 years!