But enough whining. One thing I can still do is bake, and bake I did. One of the benefits of the cooler weather we're having is being able to turn on the oven without making the house miserably hot. So I used one of the two quarts of blackberries we picked to make the cobbler shown above, using Orangette's recipe (and using my food processor to make the dough rather than "rubbing" in the butter with my fingers). Today, I made cowboy cookies, a kind of chocolate chip oatmeal cookie with pecans and coconut.
|Tea in the garden with Gibbon|
Do we ever stop feeling like September is the beginning of a new year? Of course, it is in the Jewish calendar (Happy Rosh Hashanah!), and years of beginning a new school year right after Labor Day make it seem like a new beginning to me. For some time, I've been wanting to read Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Working for an antiquarian book dealer, I've had the opportunity to catalogue a number of sets of Gibbon, and have snatched a glimpse at passages, enough to be in awe of his writing style. I was wandering through the library yesterday when I saw it on the shelf and thought, no time like the present. I'm 50 pages in, and enjoying it immensely. We'll see if I like it enough to soldier through over 3,000 pages. The beginning of fall, and the start of another intellectual endeavor.
|Cimicifuga with bee feeding frenzy|
The bees and hummingbirds seem to be working overtime in the garden--the former especially enamored of my cimicifuga (common name, ironically enough, "bug bane"). The large black dots you see on the feathery white flowers? Bees. Not flying, not buzzing about, but sitting on the flowers soaking up nectar. It's like a bee opium den. The hummingbirds adore the monarda ("bee balm") and the hyssop, while the little finches are enjoying the seedpods on the cornflowers. Our grape arbor was raided of all edible fruit, most likely by crows, the only birds I've seen around the garden that are big enough to do the kind of damage they did. No doubt they're eyeing my fig tree. If the figs ever get a chance to ripen, I hope I can harvest some before the birds do. The challenges of nature.