Friday, September 22, 2006

Going to Seed

I grew up hearing this phrase from adults discussing something that was looking pretty bad. Until I had my first garden, I did not fully understand it. My garden is going to seed. It's looking a little rough these days. Too much heat and mandatory water restrictions, as well as a new business, and a 9 month old, combined this summer to mean that I did not spend enough time in the garden keeping it looking good.
Going to seed is a fascinating time as well. Yes, the heads on the eight foot sunflowers are drooping. Lettuce no longer tastes good when it's two feet high, and weeds go to seed as well. Sigh. I love this time of year though, because it means that it's time to harvest not just the squashes and gourds, but to collect the seeds for next year. Isn't God amazing? From one seed I get a plant that bears food to enjoy now, and when left alone, I get maybe 10-50 seeds to plant next year! This is so incredible to me.
Of course, eight foot-high sunflowers actually produce several hundred seeds. This is great for us as my Darling loves to eat sunflower seeds. It also makes our backyard an attractive destination for an entire flock of birds in the cool of the autumn morning.
I was doing dishes at the sink looking through the lace curtains to the back yard and the garden. To my delight, the yard was engulffed with birds. I stopped and listened to their calls, watched them hanging on the flower heads, resting on fence posts, chirruping to one another. What beauty and peace on a cloudy day. It brought a smile to my face.
Then I did what any normal person would do. I called softly to the Airedale, gently unlocked the door, and watch Abner streak across the yard, black birds scattering to the sky. Simple pleasures.

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