Sunday, September 03, 2017

one last tickle

Yes, that's what it is: a tickle of warm air. A sunny day with a bit of a haze, but gorgeous to its core! Afternoon temperature: 82F (near 28C). And tomorrow it will be cooler and on Tuesday -- cooler still. Consider this then one last plunge into summer.

As Ed and I tend to farmhouse cleaning, the phone rings. Who gets calls these days, especially on a weekend? I see it's my daughter's number, so like the worried mother, I begin with -- what's wrong??

Oh! It's Snowdrop! She must have found that to be an odd greeting!

Of course, she wasn't really picking up the phone to call gaga. Rather, her mom had some scheduling things to convey and so long as she was reaching for the phone, she let the little one do the initial chat, but it struck me that it was a first phone conversation of perhaps many to come. Not facetime, or skype, or something that simply places her before me, but a regular old fashioned phone call, where I ask her what she is up to and she tells me that she is eating cheddar bunnies for a snack and that soon she and her mommy will be going to the park.

Snowdrop is well practiced in phone talk. She pretend-calls people all the time and she has engaging fantastic conversations on her imaginary phone (no toy needed -- it's all pretend). But this real one was just another indication that the girl is forging ahead with growing up.

I do not see the young family today as they are busy doing things that take them near and far. Instead, Ed and I have planned a small hike for the two of us on the trails of Indian Lake County Park.

But first comes breakfast. As I fix the fruits and other morning nibbles, I glance out the kitchen window to admire the pretty colors of the morning. Say what?? No wonder the tall yellow flowers have been breaking at the stem! I have a flower thief!

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The groundhog nimbly pulls the tall flowers down and chomps away.
Ed! Look at that animal!
Ed, of course, gives an approving nod. Plenty of flowers left for us all to enjoy...

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As we drive out for our hike, I pause, as usual, to admire the sandhill cranes.
How many times have you paused to take photo of them already? -- Ed asks with a laugh.
A million. And I'll keep on pausing so long as they're here. Which, may I remind you, will not be for very long...

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But I have to say, the stunning surprise of the day is the prairie that has grown to the east of Indian Lake. It's breathtakingly beautiful!

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We leave the car and head down toward the water's edge. All around us are the wildflowers of a Wisconsin prairie, most of them taller than either of us.

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And the dainty beeblossom! (aka my beloved gaura...)

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I've been coming to Indian Lake for more than thirty years. It's always lovely, but today you surely have to admit that it's like a slice of heaven!

... A slice of heaven, until we turn in and follow the trail to the forest. Initially, we trudge happily along... It really is pretty here!

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But as we walk more deeply into the woods, the bugs come out to remind us that their time is not up yet. Despite the appearance of the first blush of red (see it?)...

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...We're surely just at the cusp of fall. Summer, including the pesky bit of summer, is not done with us yet.

We re happy to get out into the open (and bug free) field again. A touch of autumn, no?

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At the farmette now, I sit for a long while at the courtyard picnic table, facing the farmhouse and the bedraggled garden before it.

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I'm halfheartedly waiting for the reappearance of our resident hummingbird. But the minute he (she?) sees me, he takes off. Still, I am amazed that I can sit for ten, fifteen minutes outside without any sign of a mosquito or pesky fly.

We've turned the corner. Maybe it's a slow shift in gears, but, for better or worse, we're moving out of summer's grip.