I’m finally having a week that feels normal, after all the pre- and post-vacation scrambling. I actually spent a few hours in my garden this week, planting cold weather crops in the vegetable and herb gardens, and cleaning up the plants in the front yard to prepare them for the coming winter. Not that winter shows any signs of approaching here. The temperatures are still in the 80s during the day, and barely dipping into the 60s at night. Our fifteen minutes of fall weather looks like it’s going to be delayed for a while.

Meanwhile, the summer vegetables and herbs continue to produce in abundance. I harvested my very first ever okra, which I promptly photographed, and then coated in cornmeal, pan fried and scarfed down. Why is it that anything I grow myself tastes so much better than what I buy at the store? I think it’s sort of like making things versus buying them: what I make may not be beautiful and perfect, but that sweet sense of achievement or satisfaction or whatever it is that I feel more than makes up for any little flaws. Maybe that’s why I enjoy gardening so much. It’s basically making things—except there’s a much larger sense of chaos, total lack of control over a good portion of the process, and I can eat my finished projects.

Pumpkin Baked OatmealAnyway, I’m sort of getting into the habit of pausing in the kitchen to clear off a space on my very white countertop to photograph whatever is passing through. Photographing food is really hard, and my photography skills and setup in the kitchen are pretty minimal. Still, I’ve managed to find a way to get a passable photo that can be doctored up in PhotoShop to look way better than it should. Eventually, those photos end up over on my garden blog, which is mostly about what I grow, and a little about what I eat. Lately, those same photos have been turning into postcards for random mailings at SendSomething.net, where I’ve found quite a few vegans and vegetarians who like to swap postcards made from their photos. It’s a nice way to share a little bit of local nature with someone far away who doesn’t think I’m a complete freak for eating weeds and seeds rather than cows and chickens.

So, that’s me, sort of easing into fall, regardless of what the thermometer says. Now I’m going to throw on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, and try very hard not to turn the air conditioner on…