Saturday, September 03, 2016


If you are routinely up at dawn, you come to appreciate that the sun never rises in exactly the same place. You tell yourself -- how wonderful that you can see this! What a privilege to be up this early! (But you know that it's just talk. You know you'd really love to be dozing in bed and that even though you'll try to get yourself into that dozy state again, the last bit of sleep has been shaken out of you and so like it or not, the day is up and running.)

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(A repeat bloomer that is so fresh and springlike in color that it's like a bit magic at this late part of summer.)

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Breakfast. It's beginning to feel cool outside at this hour and I wonder home many more of our morning meals I'll want to eat outside. Don't pay attention to Ed's short sleeves. He only has two possible attires in the course of the year: shirt, or shirt with jacket.

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It's going to be a glorious day! Sunny and not too warm.

And how is the garden fairing? Oh, I have no complaints! Here's the large flower field, looking toward the sheep shed...

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And here it is looking toward the farmhouse.

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It's a perfect day for walking and normally, I would go with Snowdrop and her mom to the downtown market, but the first weekend of September is reserved for an event downtown that ousts the market to other locations. The three of us (Snowdrop, her mom, myself) decide to take a different walk -- one around the lesser lake. We'd done it a thousand times when the girl was just a babe. Will she still put up with the lengthy stroller ride?

She does. She is of course older and so she looks at the world differently. For example, she surely is more aware of the magnificence of seeing fall coots out on the water...

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We pass the coffee shop where Snowdrop and I have spent many a wonderful moment. We pause for a refreshment. It's so familiar to her!
Should we sit down? -- she wants to know.

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I think we need a high chair...
I'm on it!

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And yet, there are changes. Today, there is no way you can hold a glass of water for her. She needs to do it by herself. She is so good at pushing your helping hand away when she wants to take charge of her own world!

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I'm a school girl now, grandma! Don't you forget it!

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Back at her house, I linger just for a little while. We play ball.

Watching her attempt to dribble is possibly the cutest sight on the planet, but I have farmette plans for the day and so I leave her to her antics.

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I'm on Rosie (the moped) and I take the longer way home, just to breathe in the loveliness of this early September day. (These fields are just to the east of us. Will they disappear next year when the planned development that has finally won approval moves forward?)

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(Here's a tiny piece of the long flower bed that is now at the front of our farmette land.)

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I could call it quits for the day. I've had a lovely walk. Ed has finally done some grass cutting. We've paid our dues. But we promised ourselves an outing for this weekend and this afternoon seems perfect for it. We want to do a bike ride -- one that tracks the path he rode by himself earlier this summer. You'll like it! Not at all too hilly! -- he promises.

He and I used to do many such rides together, but over the years, I've backed away. He's a much strong rider and I feel I hold him back. But today he wants to go at my speed. And it feels so good to be pulled back to those years when we navigated these rural roads together!

It's always best to go toward late afternoon or evening. The air is cooler. The colors are at their loveliest.

True, the golds and purples are not necessarily something you want to celebrate. The goldenrod flower is for us what heather would be to the hills of Scotland, but our own purple is oftentimes loosestrife -- an invasive that threatens many of the wetlands. I'm not sure if it's the culprit here, but I really do find the entire pastoral route to be breathtakingly stunning!

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(Another view -- mainly of the goldenrod...)

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(A parade of our beautiful sandhill cranes...)

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It is, of course, mostly agricultural land.

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And without doubt, corn dominates.

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But, too, we ride past the old tobacco barns. (These days, Wisconsin tobacco is used mainly for cigar wraps.)

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Sometimes, Ed pedals ahead...

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But mostly, we ride side by side, pausing now and then to appreciate the beauty of all that we see around us.

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We end alongside the Yahara River and yes, the colors are definitely those of early fall.

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We had left our car in Stoughton -- a village just to the southeast of where we live. Ed proposes supper here, but I'm reluctant. I'm not a great fan of bar food of the old fashioned kind (fried foods, grilled meats). Still, as we walk up and down the short one or two blocks of "downtown," we see that things are changing, at least in this village (a mere half hour from downtown Madison). There are two restaurants that easily could satisfy the fussy "fresh and honest" eater and we pick the casual one -- Wendigo .

And it's lovely! Ed has a tomato po'boy and I have some mussles and eggplant fires and we walk away happy and satisfied.

Pull over! It's a beautiful sunset!

And he does.

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And it is.