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They say tonight is the killing frost. Time to bring the garden in. Not all of it, of course. Only the tender plants that grew in pots all summer precisely so they could be whisked in at the frost. The days have been beautiful. Zoom school: time-sucking but beneficial. The summer, a dream. Often an idyllic dream of backyards and careful visits to Grandma. Sometimes a nightmarish dream where the faster you run, the slower you go; having a newborn can be like that.
At the summer solstice, I attacked the poison ivy that sneaks in through our fence. It attacked me back, despite my protective gear, and it’s fair to say it won in the end. But at first, I savored my delusions of victory by escaping into the wilds behind our fence. There an abandoned train track runs along a berm, flanked by a marshy meadow. In spring, the meadow floods, and the call of courting amphibians sets the night trilling like a thousand mobile phones incessantly going off in a theater. By midsummer, the meadow dries. Daisies and other feral flowers grow there. Many aren’t proper wildflowers. Just feral, escaped. By midsummer, sun, and drought bronze the plants growing through the track with autumnal colors, though the meadow on either side remains green. Even garlic mustard, that detestable weed, looks fairly pleasant with its ragged leaves bronzed. Giant mullein torches the sky. A big blue sky that poison-ivy day, with big, puffy clouds threatening a storm that passed us over.