Monday, September 22, 2008

Autumn Equinox


I always think of my grandmother when the Autumn equinox happens. She used to always get a little "blue" (her term) because of the shortened days and the long nights. She always felt a little blue at dusk, also, because she didn't like the dark hours of night time. I have never understood that really. Dusk is a favorite time of day for me. I love to sit outside and watch the sun slip beneath the horizon. The sun still holds the sky captive with it's light, seemingly forever glowing but fainter and fainter until the night sky prevails. It is such a quiet time as the birds hush their music and chatter. The children go inside as I sit and watch the bats perform their nightly ballet and the crickets and frogs start to blend their voices for a night time chorus.

I love the shortening of days that herald cooler weather and the holiday season to come. I know many people dread the cold weather and snow. I can't say I blame them! After I became an adult and moved away, it was many years before I was home for Christmas during a particularly early cold winter. My blood had thinned from living in the warm climate, and it was a miserably cold experience. But living in the central Texas hill country, I look forward to the cooler months ahead akin to the glee of a child in a snow storm! I love learning which plants go dormant, and watching those that continue growing lush and green during chilly spells. I look forward to my favorite holiday of the year--Thanksgiving.


I feel that as the weather starts to cool down that I am just warming up in the garden. As our northern friends are putting their gardens to bed for the winter, I am getting serious about the plans I have been making during the hot summer months when it was too hot to really work in the garden. That is when I plan the changes I am going to make in the garden design and the ever enlarging of the beds to make room for more growing things.


As I was watering the front flower bed this evening, I disturbed an armadillo. He scared me as much as I scared him. He ran straight to our neighbors flowerbed as I screamed and dropped the hose I was watering with. I never realized they could move so fast! We have seen the signs of one most of the summer. We laughingly say he has been aerating the soil. But it has really been more destructive than that. I have found his den he has made under the gardenia bush beneath the dining room window. I fill it up with soil, and the next morning, it has been freshly dug. I wonder if he thinks that his housework is never done--just as soon as it's finished, it needs to be done all over again. Echoing my thoughts just a few feet away inside the house instead of out.


In case anyone has been wondering, I thought I would give you a skunk update. After 10-15-20 baths (I've lost count) the dogs STILL smell of skunk. It is much better, but I still get a whiff every now and then that sends me running. I bathed them in tomato juice at one point, and they both developed burns on their noses and mouths. Bo had to go on antibiotics for a while because the burns were becoming infected. They cleared up as soon as the antibiotics were in his system for a while. Dawn dishwashing detergent seems to be the best thing for getting rid of the smell. I guess we will try another application this week sometime. I still can't put collars on them, because they just reek of skunk if I do. Another strange thing caused by the skunk...I guess the oil is quite caustic (hence the burns), but the granddaughters were laying with the dogs and broke out in hives from them.

This weekend is going to be DH's annual company dinner. Although I don't enjoy the politics of schmoozing at these things, I look forward to them because they are always someplace fun. For several years we went to San Fransisco. One year we went to Boston, and last year Phoenix. You will never in a million years guess where we get to go this year? Give up? Austin! LOL! I told DH at least we won't have to worry about loosing our luggage. And we still get to stay at a swanky hotel that we would never stay at normally. The Four Seasons is right on Town Lake, so I am looking forward to "getting away" without going away.

As Pam at http://www.penick.net/digging/ says, Fall is more a state of mind than an actual season in Austin...I'm ready!

Happy Autumn everyone!

19 comments:

Pam/Digging said...

Thanks for the link, and enjoy your lux stay in Austin. Will you take in some bat-watching on the Congress Avenue bridge while you're here? Actually, aren't there bats under a bridge in Round Rock too?

beckie said...

MG, I so enjoyed this post. Your description of dusk was beautiful! It does seem strange-as we northern gardeners are putting our gardens to bed, that you in the south are making more and planting. Meems in Fla is doing a fall veggie garden. At least we will be able to share through blogger.:)

I would have screamed to if I had seen the aemadillo! In fact I would probably still be running. How awful the dogs still have a lingering skunk smell. I know you have tried lots of things, but how about the 'odor out' sprays? Instead of spraying them, I would wet a cloth with it and wipe them down, then give them a Dawn bath. Poor things, I'll bet they never chase a shunk again!

Rose said...

Lovely post, MG! I am not looking forward to shorter days and colder nights, but I do love the change in seasons. Thank you for putting it all in perspective.
Your poor dogs! I had no idea that an encounter with a skunk could cause burns, not to mention such lingering after-effects (smell). As Beckie said, they'll probably never chase a skunk again!
A weekend in Austin sounds wonderful to me:) At least you get to stay in a ritzy hotel.

Roses and Lilacs said...

When I lived in AL, I looked forward to the winter. In northern IL, fall is spectacular but winter is to be dreaded.
Marnie

Nola @ AlamoNorth said...

What a great post, and so well written. I hung on every word! I loved the the statement about fall being a "state of mind"! How true, how true!

Cheryl said...

How I loved reading about your part of the world....so different from mine.......I could see you in my minds eye watering your garden, your descriptions are lovely and take one on the journey with you.

Enjoy your mini away time.......

Poor dogs, what a misery for them......
Hope it soon clears up.....

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Pam, we will probably be heavy into schmoozing when the bats take flight. Yes, the bats live under the bridge at McNeil & 35 in Round Rock just as you cross the railroad tracks. It is amazing to watch, but not as neat at off Congress Bridge in Austin. We are looking forward to some BBQ at the Ironworks before we check into the hotel Saturday.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Beckie, thank you so much for your kind words. It is easy to write about something you love.

Skunks--armadillos--possums, Oh my! Next I will see a family of raccoons! I wonder if the drought is driving them into the neighborhood. We need a good rain for us all.

Thanks for the suggestion for the enzyme cleaner. I went to the store today and got a bottle of Nature's Miracle Skunk Out! Hopefully, Bo, Chrissy and I will be able to report great success. Chrissy (being naturally more suspicious) has gotten to where she refuses to go out in the backyard unless it's her idea. If you invite her out, she runs upstairs and gets in her kennel. She hates her baths--Bo thinks of it as an invigorating rub-down.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Rose, thank your for your sweet comments. This is the time of year when I get the most homesick. I always loved the changing seasons in Fall with the scarlet maples and picking apples. Someday, I would like to go back for a visit in Autumn.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Marnie, did you grow up in Alabama? My first husband was from Mobile. We spent many vacations there and at Dauphin Island. As I was telling Rose, this is the time of year when I am most homesick for northern Illinois. I miss the big maples the most, I think.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Nola, thank you. I guess Grandma was my muse. I had been thinking of her all day, knowing if she were still alive and I could call her, just what she would say.

Ah yes, it's true that Fall is a state of mind. Pam @ digging said it, but I think all of us southern gals can identify with that! I put my pumpkins and mums on the front porch and fill the pumpkin candy jar with candy corn and light all the autumn spice candles and call it Fall! LOL!

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Cheryl, I hope you are rested from your time away. Two weeks seemed like such a long time to us, not hearing from you. But if you were on vacation, I'm sure it went in a snap.

We always love hearing about your garden that is so different from ours--it's like a mini-holiday in itself.

Hopefully, after today, I will be able to have a good report on the poor pups.

I am looking forward to my weekend away that's not so very far. I always get separation anxiety when I leave, and I have this last minute thought of not going. Silly me.

Eve said...

It has to be more of a state of mind here on the Coast too. Our leaves will barely turn color for the most part. There are a few that look really pretty though.

The skunk episode is terrible for you. I had a dog years ago that loved to roll in smelly things. Anything on the ground. I had to constantly bathe that dog. He never seem to learn not to do it.
I used tomato juice on him too. But I found the best thing was time and keep shampooing.

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Eve, in the south we may have to look closer for the change that occurs, but we can still find beauty in the changing season, can't we?

Good news! Skunk out works! Why didn't I do this sooner? Bo is wearing his collar for the first time since "the skunk incident"! Chrissy won't come near me for her treatment--she is a very suspicious dog, but I am persistent! I will get her de-skunkafied!

CIELO said...

Indeed, autumn is upon us--we welcome the colorful season and pray that the earth be blessed....

Happy Hopeful Friday! :)

Cielo

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Hi Cielo! Thanks for stopping by.

Nola @ AlamoNorth said...

OFF TOPIC
Sorry, I didn't know how else to contact you. Thanks for commenting on the library tour. That is the back side of the fireplace you see in the photo. The room was an outside porch, and the fireplace is in the living room on the other side. When the previous owners closed it in, it left the big ole chimney sticking out into the room. Oh, well, it gives the room character!

Wendy said...

I can relate to your grandmother feeling a little blue at this time of year. I also dread the darkness and cold that winter brings. It was nice to read your description of planning your garden and enlarging your beds. I like to hear what others are doing in their gardens. Now I understand a little better why you who live in your hot climate enjoy this time of year.
Thank you for your comments on my blog. I like the one about thinking of balance as ebb and flow, instead of walking a fine line (or tightrope as I'm prone to do)!
Happy autumn equinox to you too!

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

Wendy, you know, I was thinking about that too. I think Grandma was more closely attuned to nature and the day/night, light/dark, and changing of the seasons. She grew up with oil lanterns and didn't have electricity until she was a teen. I take for granted switching on a light when it's dark--even outside! The era I grew up in had no dread or feeling of urgency to get everything done before dark. I would think that would have a great impact on how one would perceive the shortening of days and lengthening darkness.

I am glad you liked my comment on balance. I know in my life it is something I struggle with and it seems to be a common conflict for most people. I think we tend to make things harder than they need be, and if we looked at balance as more of a check and balance system to keep us on track instead of fighting to walk a thin impossible line maybe we would find we're not fighting ourselves. You know how it is the more you try to walk in a straight line, the more you wobble and loose your balance. Anyway, just some thoughts. I hope you and your husband have a good weekend.