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You Can't Argue With a Sick Mind

(it's because you just can't win)

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By Reid Lewis

Ramblings of September 1998

Well it's been hot and it's been dry, to say the least. This summer started early and showed no mercy. It was the kind of year that tested the hardiness of both plants and people. I know we all lost things in our yards and yet some things did tough it out and are now ready to put on that wonderful show we call Fall. A friend was at the nursery the other day and I walked him to his car. It was about 2:00 in the afternoon and that is when it hit me. . .today is the first day of Fall. It was the color of the sky, blue, but not the same as it has been. The cirrus clouds dancing across the sky, the way the shadows fall in the afternoon, and then I started to put all the little pieces together.

Snow-on the-mountain (Euphorbia marginata) and Eryngo (Eryngium Leavenworthii) all colored up, the scissor-tailed flycathers thinning out (have you ever noticed that when they are gone and the sparrow hawks come back, summer is dead?), big bluestem seeding out, buck deer in velvet rubbing on the prairie flame-leaf sumac (Rhus lanceolata), the first monarch butterflies passing through my yard stopping to sample the Kidneywood (Eysenhardtia texana) that is also in full bloom. And how about those lantana in the fields and along the roadsides? Have they not just kicked into gear?

Now fall comes in three sizes. . .you know. . .early, middle, and late; and we have just scratched the surface. I would not be shocked to see summer raise its ugly head a time or two more but that’s okay, we have a lot of wonderful plants that are about to go into full glory, trees ready to turn colors (but don't count on the Texas ash, Fraxinus pensylvanica var. texensis. . .they took a beating this summer. Fruits, nuts and berries all filling out now that we have had some rain to help feed all the wildlife that depend on the plants (they don't have HEB's you know !).

This is such a wonderful time of year. We have been hiding out for the last three months, so get out there and enjoy this great time of the year and as you all know, this is the best time to plant things, replace those things that died, and add new things. Just get out there and get dirt under your fingernails, get the smell of earth in your nose. It’s good for your soul. As for me, I think I'll just go for a walk in the rain and smell the croton (Croton texensis) in the evening breeze.


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