The Wheel of the Year Slips its Cog…

. . . to borrow a phrase from another blogger.

This summer has been a tough one, trying to keep the garden alive, always watching for forest fires — fighting a couple of small ones with the local volunteer fire department.

The hummingbirds have been working the feeder hard for weeks — broad-tails and black-chinned, and for the last three weeks, the rufous hummers on their slow way south. I had to rinse and fill it twice a day.

Suddenly, on August 1st, there were noticeably fewer buzzing skirmishers around it. Oh, we still have hummingbirds, but some have left.

After a sort of poor mushroom hunt last week, M. and I went up on our favorite mountain today and had a real wild harvest.

After an early supper, we worked on the veranda until the light was gone, filling the dehydrator and covering two large screens with sliced mushrooms. Dried until they are crispy, they will go into jars for storage. The process actually concentrates the flavor.

The dark closed in faster, and the cool of the evening came more quickly too. The air outside smells of mushrooms from the dehydrator sitting on the outdoor dining table.

It is now late summer.

4 Comments

  1. Medeine Ragana says:

    New neighbor told me what I was doing wrong in canning, so now I’ve been harvesting and correctly canning paste tomatoes and cucumbers like mad! Going to have a lot of pickles for the next few years! Wish I had access to mushrooms – I love them. Blueberries bushes died again this year, along with squash – squash!! How can squash, which is practically a weed, die? Well, it did. :( Beans on the other hand… gonnahave lots of string beans too, and hopefully, corn!!!

    Here in NE TN, it’s more like midsummer – HOT, sweltery, with rain showers in the afternoon if we’re lucky. Good for the veggies. :)

    • Chas Clifton says:

      Squash do wilt easily.

      M. and I do not can tomatoes anymore — sun-dried ones are tastier.

      And of course we were drying mushrooms today — got about five quarts.

  2. MomaFauna says:

    I miss the hummingbirds. It is difficult to leave them each year.

    This summer never really happened up here, it has been very nearly autumn since the Solstice. This has made for an odd transition, but lovely for foraging fungi. Too bad I am the only one who eats them, this place is made of mushrooms. I have to pass most of them by, loving each one, but knowing it makes no sense for me to take them home… I take what I will eat that day & maybe a couple to dry, but I already have pounds from previous years still uneaten. Guess I need to get into mushroom dyeing or other non-culinary activity.