Thursday, August 29, 2013

Nature Abhors a Vacuum - Fall Approaches

Normally, when I get out of my car at the Mennonite farm where I pick up produce and eggs, I am greeted by the lively, staccato songs of the Purple Martins.  However, yesterday was different.

The boisterous and entertaining little birds who spent their spring and summer months careening over the vast, produce-laden fields, gathering insects, raising their families, and chirping their little hearts out have flown south for the winter leaving behind an almost eerie stillness.

Viburnum Beginning the Fall Change

However, Aristotle was right when he claimed that nature abhors a vacuum. 

In the stark, still void left behind by the Purple Martins' departure, nature has intervened.

I noticed yesterday that my Viburnums have begun the transition which will gradually change their bright green leaves to a deep, rusty maroon.

Viburnum Berries

The viburnum berry  clusters have also begun their change from purple to bright, fire-engine red.  Soon the blue jays, cardinals and other non-migrating birds will be entertaining us as they feast on the juicy sweet berries. 

In my garden, things are no different.  In the void left behind by the already-harvested broccoli, the recently-planted lettuce, spinach and cilantro seeds have begun to push through the soil.

Where the dried bean crop was pulled, 45 fall broccoli seedlings are now growing nicely and I'm eagerly awaiting the kale which was planted last weekend.
Fall Broccoli Seedlings

Strawberry Blossoms Promise a Fall Crop

Our everbearing strawberry plants,  previously tired and heat stressed, have been revived by the cooler temperatures and are blooming their hearts out - promising a nice fall crops of sweet berries.

Garlic Ready for Planting

Once the bush beans are killed by the first fall frost, they will be pulled up and garlic will be planted.

Potato & Squash in Storage

In addition to all the crops that are still growing and producing -  it is satisfying to know that there are several butternut squash and a basket full of yummy, chemical free potatoes stored in the basement just waiting to be turned into a hearty, winter meal.

Yes, the Purple Martin houses stand quiet and empty.  Yes, I will miss these industrious little birds.  However, the coming fall season will fill the void and bring with it a beauty and bounty all its own.

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