The rains are gone and the sun is back. Not the burning sun of midsummer, but the gentle rays of spring and fall. The apples are ready for picking. The best apples are those eaten right off the tree. There is a crispness to apples still on the tree that is missing from store apples. The apple growers don’t want to date their produce. When you buy an apple in a store, it’s impossible to know when that apple was picked. Maybe someday, a daring apple grower will put the date when they picked their apples on each apple. That would upend the apple cart and send the other apple growers into a panic. “But, but, but my apples picked six months ago are as good as their apples picked today!” they’ll say. Probably the USDA would ban the practice and make it illegal for growers of any produce to let customers know when their fruit and vegetables were picked. “Produce is produce is produce. It doesn’t matter when it’s picked!” or so the claim goes.
Bee-like hoverflies make the most of fall’s waning sun. Sit next to a batch of feverfew, Tanacetum parthenium, and in a matter of hours, and the whole world of flying insects will whizz past you. Feverfew is known for curing migraines. Maybe that is why the hoverflies and bees come to sip on these flowers. With eyes as big as hoverflies, migraines must be a common problem. When you have eyes with so many lenses, a few of them must get out of focus, and then think of the pounding headache you get.
Speaking of headaches, Skunky’s mother has just hatched her second clutch. They started hatching yesterday and this morning she is off her nest with her new chicks underneath her. So what do you call these chicks in relation to Skunky? Are they Skunky’s younger sisters and brothers? Siblings one brood removed? And next year’s broods will be Skunky’s siblings two broods removed, three broods removed, and so on? Trying to keep track of so many siblings and relatives must drive the chickens crazy, which is why they’re often nibbling on feverfew.