Sunday, September 19, 2010

Summer's End

The end of summer in Virginia finally means RIDING. Relish and I have had lazy rides through drought-crunchy pastures and woods. The bugs are doable with spray, and the mornings are cool. The sun is brutal during the day, though, and we haven't had a drop of rain in weeks. Our pastures are burning up. I don't know whether other horse owners agonize over their pastures as I do. Healthy pastures mean less hay and happy horses. Dry pastures mean the ground is hard to ride on and too many spots are grazed to dirt while the others get high and weedy, despite mowing. Rain is out of my control, however, so I need to stop worrying, break open a bale and enjoy the days.
The end of summer also means the end of the vegetable garden. Between too little rain, too much heat and a proliferation of bugs, the vegetables this year were pitiful. The flowers have been wonderful--as long as I water--and now I am enjoying the insects that aren't intent on eating the tomatoes and squash. My red sedum attracts too many to identify from bees to butterflies. Garden spiders have spun their webs around every corner, and I've spotted several preying mantis.
The end of this summer also means a project checklist, which I am going to leave for another blog since it is overwhelming. There's also the next book project that is just a premise right now waiting to be fleshed out. Only with a daughter still in college, it can't wait too long--bills need to be paid. For today at least, I'll enjoy the gardens while they last--the first frost is still a month away--and keep the horses happy with fresh hay and a cool fan in the barn.
Photos are from my talented daughter, Beth!


Laura Crum said...

Alison--Early fall makes for good riding weather where I live, too (near California's Monterey Bay). My son and I took a lovely trail ride yesterday--not too hot, not too cold. The trails are a bit dusty--that's the only downside. As for the grass drying out, we virtually never get rain in the summer, so dry, brittle grass is the norm in September. The flipside is that our pastures are normally green from Thanksgiving through May. We don't (almost ever) get snow. So seasons are a little different here. But I'm enjoying our September rides, just like you.

Alison said...

Thanks for commenting Laura. How do you manage the lack of water all summer? The chewed down pastures make me crazy. I love Monterey area, but I think your dry summers might push me over the edge. :)