Indian Summer

After several nights of hard frosts that wilted all the flowers to blackened stalks, warm temperatures have returned. It has been in the 60s and 70s with clouds and soft rain. The mountains are blazing orange and yellow with the occasional bright flare of red.

It’s beautiful, but fleeting. If this year is like most, in another week or two we’ll have a heavy rain with wind that will strip the trees and our world will be a palette of grey, brown, and black for the next six months. On Tuesday I heard the first wedge of geese flying over, headed south. Last year we had a foot of snow less than three weeks from today.

Everyone who works outside in this area is feeling the pressure. Our window of opportunity is closing. Time is running out. I look at my lists with something like panic.

Meanwhile, perversely, the biting flies remain murderous. On the 28° mornings I had been thrilled to milk without having to avoid Katika’s whipping tail. Hooray! The pests were frozen and dead! I looked forward to brief weeks of peace.

Yet every day by midmorning, all the frozen flies had revived in the warmth of the sun and were again buzzing in clouds. How could this be? Naturally, I googled the phenomenon.

My dear Irish friend called me early one morning while I was sitting on my milking stool.

“Did you know, Larry,” I said excitedly, “that if you catch flies and put them in your freezer, you can take them out a week later and they will thaw and come back to life?

Larry is building a lake house for his boss while digging out from forty thousand dollars’ worth of damage to the horse farm from tropical storm Irene. He laughed.

“I t’ink I got a bit too much to do to be catchin’ flies and puttin’ ’em in my freezer!”


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