Overcast … still

We have endured one dreary weather system after another. This would not be so unwelcome if each, or at least one or two, had been accompanied by a significant amount of precipitation. Instead, the ground remains dry and we have had clouds, little sun, and sprinkles which preclude drying the laundry, mowing the lawns, and putting the sheep out to breed. Joanna and I both spent yesterday morning and early afternoon at work. Having completed afternoon chores I suggested we take a walk to, in the words of Jeff Mallock from the James Herriot series of books, prevent … stagnation o’ t’lung. [As proprietor of the local slaughter house, Jeff was often called upon to serve judgement on the cause of death of animals which presented at his establishment. It frustrated the good Dr. Herriot when Mallock diagnosed nearly all disease as stagnation o’ t’lung … which I can only guess meant fluid in the lungs, or pneumonia.] We have two ponds here at the farm, one below the house and barns and one above where our pastures merge with the southern reaches of the Tiadaghton State Forest. We made our way slowly up the hill and through overgrown pasture, turned to take in the view to the south, and made our way into the woods. It was quiet there. Leaves seiched in the breeze as they were released from their summer tethers. The deciduous foliage has made its transition from green-and-vigorous to brown-and-decaying quickly and some of it without the usual blaze of yellow, orange, or red. This is perhaps a reflection of our particularly dry summer. The water level of the upper pond was down significantly which is unusual since it is fed by mountain springs and is nearly always full to running over. Mud along the exposed banks recorded the busy perigrinations of deer, raccoon, a variety of birds, and even a small bear. As we turned for home I noticed the grey clouds mirrored in the water’s still surface. Typha, which goes by the common name of Cat Tail, grows in the shallows and as we walked I noticed that the young, nonflowering, and emergent stems looked quite pretty. What do you make of it?


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