Dear blog,

I’m sorry I’ve been neglecting you lately.  I haven’t felt much like writing.  Some of the things I’d like to write about are off-limits for now because they involve stuff that’s far too personal and/or isn’t really my story to tell.  That leaves me with the everyday stuff and, frankly, that’s not all that interesting.

We’re five days into October and this is my first post here for the month.  Have I mentioned that autumn has moved into the Bogs?  This is my favorite time of year.  The temperatures are invigoratingly cool.  The air is crisp, earthy, and dry like the leaves falling from the trees.  The blues in the sky are always more intense this time of year.  Even the cloudy days bring an autumn beauty, allowing the colors just beginning to tinge the foliage to pop out.

(A view of the pond from the meadow.)

This is the time of year when M and I usually do a lot of hiking.  That hasn’t been the case lately.  We’ve been busy getting caught up at home and around the property.  Two weeks away, plus Hurricane Ike’s visit, left us pretty far behind, especially around the property.  M is out with a chainsaw today, whacking some trees (as he put it).

This past year has been a hard one for the trees and the pond.  We had major trouble with the pond when the weather was hot.  We resorted to spraying the weeds with something that supposedly doesn’t harm fish, insects, or animals (presumably that includes humans).  The weeds died off and the resulting decomposition in the water caused a thick, awful, green algae to form, choking off the oxygen supply to the fish.  For a couple of weeks we had dead fish popping up every day (the highest count being 18 one morning), and the smell of the pond was pretty noxious.  The fish weren’t just dying off.  They were acting weird, trying to jump into the boat whenever we’d go out on the pond.  Or headbutting the boat, hard.  The turtles, on the other hand, thrived.  The herons seemed to enjoy the easy-to-catch fish, too.

Unsure about what to do to fix the problem, we decided to take the do-nothing approach and allow Mother Nature to take care of things.  She’s good at that sort of thing.  The expert, you might say.

And take care of it, she did.  The water eventually cleared and the fish began to act normally once again.  Everthing, including the pond itself, seems to be thriving.  Thank you, Mother Nature.

Several of our elm trees have succumbed to Dutch elm disease.  It’s sad to see these trees go.  We’re going to lose a lot of shade from the big trees.

(Dead or dying elm tree.)

We’ll have to have them cut down eventually, at quite a cost.  Better to pay to have them cut down than to find myself beaned in the head by a large branch while I’m working in the garden.

(Another dead elm.)

We’ll plant other trees, of course.  But I doubt we’ll enjoy the pleasure of their shade either because of the time it takes for them to grow or because we’ve moved for whatever reason.

(And yet another of the poor elms.)

As for me, I’m doing a little laundry today.  And a little cleaning here and there.  Later I’m going to roast some peppers and blanch some cauliflower for freezing.

All that domesticity keeps me busy.  And, perhaps, out of trouble.