Last month’s extraordinarily hot days found our summer crackling apart like ice cubes hitting the tepid sun tea in our glasses. Even with the heat and humidity, it was a good summer though. Now, September hopes are on cooler days and enough moisture to finish maturing late crops. The word “colder” appears first on the 13th of September here in Ohio. That indicates the temperatures will be slowly backing down into the mid-70s. For the middle and southern areas of the state there will be twelve days of 80-plus degrees and the rest in the 70s. For northern Ohio, ten days will carry 80s while the rest will hang in the lower 70s and upper 60s. Possible rain is forecast for a maximum of ten days scattered throughout the month. Those showers will wash down dust and pollen from lawns, gardens, woods, thus bringing about a clean, fresh scent to September air, hence the autumn fragrance.
Ancient full moons were named after golden color of ripe corn and squashes, colors reflected in Harvest Moon or Full Ripe Moon. Full Corn or Full Barley Moons were also used. Today’s moon might be called Full Seeds Moon, as most flowers and vegetables are well on their way to ripe seeds. Gathering those seeds would lead to a Gathering Moon.
Clean-up is under way in the garden. A seed zucchini is ripe and waiting for Mr. Greengate’s hammer to split it open so the seeds can be dried for next spring’s planting. Hopefully they carry the genes that made this year’s crop prolific. Zucchini plants are pulled up, tossed on the compost pile. Beans are likewise pulled, all beans no matter the size are gleaned for a last pot of fresh beans and ham. Daily we check the squash and melon patch for signs of rot, which will necessitate the removal of fruits, hopefully not before they are ripe. Fishing is on hold as weather in Ohio has been so unpredictable the last month or so. That doesn’t mean it isn’t talked about. Mr. Greengate seems to carry all the fishing genes available in human makeup. Every few days the tackle box and rod and reel come out to be inspected, cleaned and readied for a day at the lake. Best days for a fishing break are said to be the 13th through the 16th and again the 23rd and 24th. The fisherman’s wife can look forward to a break then also, as time spent apart sometimes gladdens the heart. Or, so they say.
Outside the Yard
September begins the Fall Festival season. Many have an apple theme. Look for them under the terms Ohio Apple Festivals or Autumn Fairs in Ohio on the internet. An especially colorful and informative website is that for Elyria Apple Festival, Sept. 16-18, 2016. Held on the Square downtown, Elyria, the event holds marching band performances, plenty of music, apple pie judging, apple pie eating contests, a festival princess pageant. On Sunday look for the Front Porch Swatters and Malt Shop Memories from 1 to 6:30 pm behind the Courthouse. Also on Sunday is a race and fun walk, car show and the coveted Apple Art Awards ceremony.
Word of the Month
Genome: a full set of chromosomes or all the inherited traits of an organism. Apples have 57,000 genes. (That’s more than humans have! Including all Mr. Greengate’s fishing genes.)
Quote of the Month
“Try to remember the kind of September when life was slow and oh so mellow.” Lyrics by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, Try To Remember, 1960 musical.