Notwithstanding rather inauspicious beginnings there are two pumpkins growing in the backyard thanks to Oliver Fern who transported his delicately-sprouted, first grade seedlings home last springtime, in a mangled waxed paper cup. After surviving that journey, the little sprouts thrice fell off the dining room window sill, requiring miracle surgery to ensure the continuation of photosynthesis before eventual transplantation to the dirt patch in front of the rust garden, our fingers crossed as the neighborhood has experienced a prodigious bunny boom and the heartbreakingly mangy pet store cast-offs favor our side path which leads to an alley overgrown with tall, luxuriously fountaining Philadelphius at the edge of a sheltered hollow just right for cute and not-so-cute rodents on the lam from rainy days or owls (also, Oliver Fern likes to hide out in there afterschool and play spaceship). That pumpkin vine(s) would explode like morning glory and one little bugger escaped our attention, a midsummer late bloomer which had stolen seven feet high into the Forsythia. We pruned the vine back to earth and behold, it’s the biggie! Fungus has been a stubborn, recurring problem for patches around the neighborhood, this year. We’ll take that over stifling heat waves and two months of wildfires in the Cascades.
Dunno if you’ve been reading any good books, I’ve been trading Washington Irving short stories back and forth with Adam from that dogeared paperback which was found on the upstairs bookcase in a stack featuring titles including but not limited to The Catcher in the Rye, The Red Badge of Courage, Ethan Frome, a bunch of shorter Ivan Doig (one of my all-time favorite authors), Sense and Sensibility, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Animal Farm, Michigan’s Lumbertowns: Lumbermen and Laborers in Saginaw, Bay City, and Muskegon, 1870-1905 and The Mouse and the Motorcycle. This morning, Adam and I were discussing whether or not he really ought to be taking a flyer on any Stephen King even supposing I read my share back in the day but I don’t particularly care for the horror genre and explained best I could he’s likely to stumble across some fairly foul language (not to mention lurking misogyny) and wouldn’t it be nice if he just stuck to some R.L. Stine for the time being? Well that’s been pretty played out for quite awhile so I promised him I’ll be on the lookout for other stuff though far be it from me to roadblock him on anything he wants to read, the boy knows how to use the catalog online (he taught me how to place holds, as a matter of fact) and there’s a branch of the Center of the Universe just down the hill.
postscript: Wrote this on the first day of October it seeming to me the report on that state of Oliver’s pumpkins (along with this image) was a delightful way to ring in autumn and I hope soon to feature his patch in a photographic exposition which may also include the beloved rust garden (of course that will depend whether I stop up or down so you may have to use your imagination for the blurry parts).