The humidity had abated for the past two days, slightly. The temperatures were in the eighties, with a cooling breeze that edged its ways over cow pastures and corn fields, filling the air with the pungent scent of wet hay, cows and manure.
Uriah was covered in a layer of powdery dirt. He had spent most of this hot, hot summer hiding under the deck, where he had dug himself a hole to keep cool, Uriah’s favorite place to sleep away the summer. He hated coming into the garage. I assumed he didn’t want to miss the chance to chase a bird, or run in circles after a rabbit, rat, or skunk.
I pulled out the hose, set a bottle of watered down shampoo on the grill and picked up Uriah’s’ leash and harness. Then, I looked around for the dusty dog. He had slipped past me and was heading at a trot towards the apple trees. Head down he never looked up as I tried to call him back. Trying to drag him back would be a waste of time. He always won.
I gave up! I turned off the hose and sat down on the steps, and decided to enjoy the day.
The warm breeze rustled the trees sending a spray of dried leaves floating to the ground.
It is still August and Mother Nature is yelling fall.
I already picked one soccer ball size pumpkin and set it inside on the kitchen table, there was another one slowly ripening, it was slightly bigger. A third had grown entangled in the tomato patch that one has been gnawed on for the past month by the rat family. I tried covering it when I first spotted the dark green fruit; I was excited it was actually growing. Then I was surprised by how much of the unripe pumpkin was eaten and it still grew. Now it is a bright orange buffet table, along with half a dozen zucchinis, whose insides were eaten first. They sat elongated and hollow. Mini rodent condos!
Mice and rats must be drawing straws to see who would be the one to forage for food. I wonder if they realize they are on a suicide mission.
The more they poke around the more they are noticed. The last rat, would yell at me when I came outside. She chattered a safe distance away, like a nagging wife/husband.. I haven’t seen her in a week or more.
With that thought, I saw a flash of dark gray fur scurry from the trees to the garden.
I stood up to check it out, when this little creature hurried over to watch me!
It poked its head up between the leaves and blinked. It had big cartoon eyes, a tiny body and the biggest roundest ears I ever saw on a rodent.
Uriah ambled over to find out who I was talking to, and then decided to save me and raced into the zucchini plants. The rat ran in the opposite direction and Uriah was left searching for something that was no longer there.
I stood and watched. I took notice that the grass needs to be cut. The door frames should be painted. The deck should have a coat of stain. And there is a nest of hornets or paper wasps that really shouldn’t be hanging near the door.
All this and more should be added to my, ‘To Do’ list.
Things that I have to do before winter! Stuff I can only do in the summertime.
Hmmm! Like eating ice cream! Once that thought flashed into my head, I put away the shampoo and dug in the freezer for the last ice cream bar. I un-wrapped it, then sat outside, on the steps, mentally adding to my list, ‘Get more ice cream!’
Uriah’s nose immediately zeroed in on the treat.