News from the farm:
Autumn came early to our little farm in the Cascade foothills. The end of September brought heavy rain and cooler temperatures, as well as a few nights of light frost as the skies cleared in early October. The more tender plants were nipped back by Autumn’s hounds, and old Jack Frost left his silvery signature on grass, leafy surface, and spider web alike. The end of another summer, a time of colder mornings and days anywhere from the 50s, 60s to low 70s. Morning sun turns all in this painted landscape to prismatic brilliance, and another day begins. Rising temperatures soon cause these ephemeral jewels deliquesce, and any remaining arachnid Brigadoons left at season’s end to disappear. The sun travels at a lower angle across the sky, and night comes earlier. No time after dinner to work out in the garden now. There is a quiet and peacefulness to the land at this time of year, as Nature winds down in preparation for Winter, when the perpetual rain and heavy clouds of Western Oregon darken an already short day.
The rainy season heralds the returning Reign of the Slugs. Everything is wet, and slugs of various sorts are taking advantage of easy traveling conditions. I spied a large Spotted Leopard Slug, Limax maximus, out by the garage about a month ago. When I bent down to look at the creature, he extended his eye stalks and bent his head up to look back at me. Satisfied I was not an immediate threat, the slug went back to undulating his way across the lawn, stopping to investigate tender blades of grass. They are said to be four times faster than the native Banana Slug, and are predatory to other slugs. They are the swift crawlers of the Oregon savannas underfoot, and like their mammalian counterparts, apparently quite capable of hunting down a good meal.
Music news (schedule below):
On Saturday October 12th the Sweet Home & Lebanon Farmers’ Markets will host their annual fundraising dinner at the Sweet Home VFW. I’ll be playing music, followed by comedienne Marliese Franklin from Portland, Oregon. Enjoy all the good food, conversation and entertainment while supporting the local Market!
In your area, wherever you may be, please do all you can to help keep local music alive. Go out and see someone you don’t know, host a house concert, download songs or buy CDs. Or even just stop for a minute to hear someone at a Farmers’ Market. Live, local musicians provide a wealth of talent most people will never hear about in this age of iPods, Internet and TV.