Summer wanes

A deer stands in my front yard, nibbling.

Out back, my tomato plants are brittle. The cucumbers won’t be back. The green beans are browning, and the eggplant holds its last heavy fruit.

It was not a great year for gardening. Not in North Carolina, where the rains came every afternoon. The soil, saturated long since, gave all it had. The sun must do its part; but those long warm days I once thought would wilt any plant–never came.

Our hot spell came in early summer, and then was gone. I watered my plants once. I laid out the soaker hose, but I never used it. My watering can lay neglected at a corner of the yard. The grass grew wild. Shrubs and unwanted trees, hydrangea and pineapple sage. It was a wonderful year for perennials. But annuals suffered.

Short-lived plants need warm sun.

Even so, in its way, it was a good, long summer. But I hope there won’t be many more like it. The deer heralded it, too, nesting on my leaf pile out back, grazing in my back yard in late spring.

This doe out front must be a herald of autumn. May she bring good.

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