Magic of the Everyday, Nature, Personal Life

The End of Summer, and Alligator Anniversary

And so, we’ve passed beyond the gate of Labor Day weekend into September and thus, into fall. But what a weekend it was.

First of all, let me acknowledge that it’s also my anniversary weekend, which makes it more happy than sad. Also, it was a great Monday. With spousal unit home, in the cool of the morning we tackled the gardens that we’d let run riot during the too hot, humid summer. Six yard-waste bags and a huge stack of toothy, dead palm fronds later, we emerged, dripping with sweat, scratched, and filthy, but victorious: the gardens are (mostly? okay, okay, how about somewhat) tamed. (I also harvested my last pumpkin. The grand total of pumpkin harvest by weight: 99 lbs!) After a shower, we walked the dog to the yogurt place where we all got cool, tart frozen yogurt–mmm, nice way to lunch!

Once we returned home, it was time jump in the car and head to Payne’s Prairie, where I hadn’t been since early summer, maybe even springtime. Thick clouds and a stiff breeze tempered the rising heat and made it a perfect time to visit, and the alligators, herons, black racer snakes, and egrets made a great showing for us. We even got to see a rather large ‘gator up close and personal, thanks to her great location right under the short equipment dock, at the top of a very tall, steep bank. Isn’t she a handsome one, snoozing in the warm shallows?anniversary alligator

Later that evening, we headed out for dinner–it’s our anniversary after all!–which gave me a great reason to dress up a bit. And after a day of sweating out in the gardens, that, too, felt nice. At the restaurant, what sat beside our table but a statue of an alligator. Obviously, we were celebrating our “alligator anniversary.” Who knew?

The final loveliness came from Mother Nature herself: when we got home, the night had cooled off so beautifully that we opened all the windows. They stayed open all night long, and are still open now. This is really huge, as they haven’t stayed open this long since May–and I love open windows.

Fall in the air? I’m all for it.

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