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Date:4/18/2014 4:14:59 AM
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The Turning of the Year
It is undeniable that the year has turned. Some of the maples are starting to turn red. These are the same ones which turned early each year for the last 30. As Hal Borland had observed: "Maples maturing at different times . . . like little children going to bed early."

Cicada were 3 weeks later this year. Only last week did I notice the flea-bane, marsh milk-weed and Joe-Pye weed. Last year I had written about these plants at the end of June. I love how each year has its own schedule! Only a novice, or an old fool, would expect a lot of similarities between one year and the next. Actually, I take that back. The similarities, (almost exact similarities) exist. It is just that the timing is different from year to year. As I write this, I just swatted my first fruit fly. Every Countryman and woman can give testimony as to fruit flies. Fruit flies are the side-effect of Summer harvest. As soon as we bring in apples, tomatoes and berries, the fruit flies appear.

Our wild raspberries are ripe and ready to be picked. Again, last year they were ready at the end of June. Of course, all this means is that last year was "early" and this year was "late". The year still turns, but each year turns at its own rate. This is the variety that I love in nature and what re-affirms what I'd written before about how each year is a life cycle of its own and that the Countryman is blessed to experience many lifetimes within his own.

Big Brother Tommy told me that August brings to him sad memories of the end of Summer vacation, daily toil in the cucumber field, and a new year of school looming ahead. I'd have to agree. It was sad when we were boys, but now, it means so much more to me, now that I'm a Countryman "d'un certain age." August begins my favorite time of the year. It extends through Autumn and even unto the end of November. It is a time of multiple harvests; first of the garden greens and then ripe corn, then apples, squash and pumpkins, and then finally the late Autumn hunting for meat. The turning of the year is all the more significant to me because it portends the descent towards the cold months of the year, making the waning warmth and Sun all the more precious.

The year turns, and I both rejoice in and regret its coming. --Gary
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