The end is near…

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Sounds so dramatic, doesn’t it?
But, when you get a glorious day like today (a Saturday that is so sunny and feels like it is 30 degrees), the last thing you want to think about is the end of summer.
But, like it or not, it is coming.
There are signs.  Lots of them.

These may seem odd, but they are actually bird’s nests (I’m pretty sure they are barn swallows).  They are put together with mud instead of straw and grass and it is absolutely wonderful to watch these birds work.  These 2 nests were from last year and because I am so “gentle” with nature, I left them for the birds to come back to this spring (I wish I could have shown you how much work it took these small little birds to create these structures…it’s actually an incredible process!).  After all, who am I to mess with nature…they will appreciate that I left their homes intact and that they didn’t have to re-build, right?
Well, guess what?  They came back.  Many of them.  I think they told their bird friends that I am gentle with nature.  I think they were so appreciative, that they built 7 more nests…yes, now I have 9 and many, many barn swallows.
But, on the bright side, they apparently eat mosquitoes and they sound absolutely beautiful as they fly low and chirp in circles…like a beautiful outdoor orchestra for free.
But now they are gone…singing for another gentle gardener in a warmer backyard I guess.
Look at what else is changing…

Very sad looking bean stalks.  Most of the beans are past their prime (you can see how many I had…I couldn’t keep up with them!) but when the stalk itself starts to brown, you know there won’t be that much more growing going on. There are still enough on the plants to make a nice soup tonight and blanch the rest for the freezer.  Then, when I’m done picking, I will put on my very sad face, phone my parents and ask them why they didn’t stop in California when they immigrated here and pull the last of the stalks out 🙁
Same goes for the tomatoes.  I’m not quite ready to pull out these plants, but my mom said they won’t grow that much anymore and you have to keep your eye on them now because, since the weather dips at night, there is a greater chance that they will start to rot as they turn red.  She said if you can wait until they start to “blush” then you can pick them and let them finish ripening on a window sill (I think I need a very large window sill)
But on a happier note, look at my cabbages!  They are all curly and closing nicely…I hope they stay healthy so I can use them this winter.
And my beautiful radicchio!  Lettuce in the fall is amazing…not tender and sweet like spring lettuce but strong and bold (and full of nutrients…look at all that colour!!)
I guess there is something to be said for the end of summer!!