It’s that time of year again; the days are getting shorter, the temps are dropping and so are the leaves. The fall colors are beginning to show their stuff as chlorophyll production shuts down. Cooler temps during the day encourage long sleeves. A fire in the wood stove takes the chill out of the morning downstairs. In the gardens the tomato plants have been cranking out those beautiful red, juicy, flavorful gems that we will be longing for in February, the last round of big, plump ruby-red raspberries are upon us, as are the last of the peppers, and anything else the deer haven’t eaten.
At times the kitchen smells of wonderful things: tomatoes being readied for canning for salsa, chili, or spaghetti sauce, of apples being turned into that homemade sauce that beats anything from a store, of one more batch of raspberry, plum, chokecherry, or grape jelly, of those cool weather “comfort” foods we all love this time of year.
Outside the grass has slowed down(ours never really dried up this summer, even without watering; we have heavy soil), the summer perennials have sung their song, providing color for the yard and table, the mums and asters are just beginning to start their show. And the smell of fresh-cut grass has a different aroma to it than it did in July- the smell of fall, of football, of drier air, of the fun that is yet to come before the snow arrives.
The woods and waters are different too. There is an aroma of death and decay that strangely enough gets you excited, energized, especially if you like to pursue wild game with the hopes of providing the table with tasty meals. Your senses are heightened, you seem to notice little things that were passed over a month ago. Little things noticed that could now, during the hunting season mean the difference between going home with food for the table or just having a good day in the woods. Yes, even a day without game to bring home is still a good day. Especially in the fall.
On the waters things have been changing as well. Just two weeks ago we finished up our wild rice season, having a great year(for us), wishing we had more time to pull in some more, to watch the woodies and mallards jump up right before us, so full of rice some had difficulty gaining altitude. And marveling at the vast numbers of Soras(shorebird) that waited until the bow of the canoe was upon them before popping up and flying just as far as they needed to get out of our way.
Even though they were competing for the same rice, it was fun to watch the flowing, undulating, squeaking flocks of red-winged blackbirds in flocks of several hundred that at times appeared to be a single organism with their perfectly synchronized twisting and turning flight resembling a giant, air-borne leech as they roam about the rice looking for the best feast. All day long. A wild rice bed in the late summer is a super market for many species; luckily there’s enough to go around.
It’s that time of year again, when the Black Powder Beagles put on their annual Black Powder Shoot. This year’s event is October 13th and 14th. Again south of Avon, MN. Here we get out and do a little camping, shooting, eating, and generally have good clean fun. Did I mention the public is invited? Our event is held for fun, but as per our BPB mission, it’s an educational event as well. Many people are not all that familiar with black powder, so we demonstrate how to load and shoot. If someone who’s never shot one before wants to give it a try we’ll take them through it step by step. We have traditional guns as well as modern inlines on hand. We also have a variety of archery equipment to try, again showing people how-to. And there’s more. For more info see our Black Powder Shoot page where you’ll see photos from the past as well as this year’s poster. This year’s schedule of events will be on the site soon, check back…
Get out and enjoy what’s been given us,