It's the start of fall in Maine and as usual the silly season for our working lives. We are run ragged, and getting frayed around the edges. The porch hasn't been swept in days and seems knee-deep in dog hair, while we are barely keeping up with the continued harvest from the garden and as a result are losing some of our crops, particularly cabbage which peaked two weeks ago before being chowed on by rodents. But the tomatoes are still coming in - and going out to customers and friends. The potatoes can wait for First Frost. Carrots can wait forever - I don't plan to pull them this year, just cover them with hay and leave them in the ground.
Although they ate all the green and Savoy, the rodents left the red cabbage alone so far, so I hope to get that in this weekend and so save it. Three ewes surplus to our breeding program failed to sell as breeders and so went to the butchers instead, and are now ready to pick up - over 150 pounds of prime lamb packaged to sell. I hated to butcher such well-bred animals with so much breeding potential, but we don't have the land for them, and there aren't enough people around here wanting to get into the sheep business. Where's their sense of adventure?
The pigs are fattening quickly and must go too in the next three weeks. The boar in particular is one prime pig.
In amidst all the craziness there are some compensations. Our freezers, fridges, and canning shelves are filling rapidly. We're already well-stocked and can now sell more vegetables and meat than ever. I like having some extra pocket-money as a result.
And if I ever get too overwhelmed, well, I can just go look up at the night sky. A bright Perseid meteor zooms overhead at least every second or third time I go out with the dogs at night. Woosh, and it's gone, but I am delighted each time, like a little kid.
While in the very early morning, when I can't sleep or when the dogs are restless, like today, then we go out to look at Orion, rising proudly to the south, our winter constellation.
Orion is a helpful constellation, coming as it does as a harbinger of fall.
When you see Orion this time of year, you know that First Frost will soon come, and then everything will calm down after that.