Happy Equinox, everyone. I'm reminded of that old Don Henley song, "The Boys of Summer:"
The light is different. The air is different. Our nights are downright chilly.
This is the time of year when the flowers of the Asteraceae family really shine. It's hard to get a picture of one without a pollinator of some sort; we've had all kinds of butterflies and skippers, native bees, and hummingbirds, all clamoring for the inflorescences of the daisy family and for their two kinds of flowers - ray and disk. The ray flowers are the ones around the outside (the petals), and the disk flowers are the ones on the inside.
Zinnias, sunflowers, asters, gumplants, cosmos - all in the same family. All a great source of both nectar and pollen for the pollinators.
Fall crops are going strong - leeks, carrots, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, kohlrabi, cabbage - and my first plantings of kale, chard, spinach, and lettuce have gone in.
The beginning of October is always a busy time. Garlic and shallots must be planted, and the tomato plants and stakes removed (a huge project). The chickens will get an enormous compost pile to scratch through, and the garden will reflect the change of seasons.
Of course the Halloween candy is out in the stores and has been since late August. I asked Tom if we could give out seed packets instead of candy this year. He just laughed and asked me to picture some kid's face when I give him a packet of zucchini seeds instead of a Snickers. Point taken.
Our pumpkins never really took off this year, and the ones that did had only male flowers, a certain sign that my soil nutrition was off in the places I planted them. So we'll have to buy our carving pumpkins this year. And there was no room for winter squash, with 49 tomato plants. So in some ways, our garden really isn't going to reflect the change of seasons as much as I'd like.
Meanwhile, we've already had snow in the Sierra. What a strange weather year this has been, for the entire world.