It is fully fall. I cannot quite tell, though, whether this will be a stellar leaf-color year or not. Surely the traditional heralds, the low sumac and high tree-climbing Virginia creeper and poison ivy, say this year will be gorgeous, but they’re always untrustworthy in their carnival colors. You’d think, though, that with a bizarre weather year like this one, they’d flame out in riotous color. So I keep watching.
Watching, and harvesting. Apparently I am not the only one to do so: the voles (field mice) have had family reunion-sized feasts in my sweet potato and winter squash patches. Now, I don’t normally mind sharing a bite or two with the local beasts. When they get half the butternut squash, though, I guess I get a little tetchy. My loss, their gain. But partially I blame myself for being so busy, for not watching the crops’ turning.
And yes, they turned for me in the vineyard. Though a productive year, the grapes never reached a high level of sugars…and I kept waiting, thinking this last weekend would be the peak. And I missed it, being blessed instead with vines full of raisins.
Not all raisins, though: I am able to fill a 5-gallon carboy with what I hope turns out to be great homemade wine, complete with child labor!