According to the sun, summer doesn’t end for another four weeks. It draws to a close, today, however for the 12 year-old in the house. He reluctantly returns to school tomorrow.
Autumnal Equinox arrives September 22nd at 10:49 am EDT. The changing of the seasons in our sunny state are easy to miss. My son will wear shorts to school for several more months, and the rain doesn’t arrive till late October.
The Pumpkin Knows
Back in April, a small pumpkin seed knew it was time to grow. Genetic information, stored in that tiny seed pronounced that the soil and sun were a go. The seed pushed a pair of tender leaves up through the earth while setting down roots below. True leaves followed, right on schedule and within weeks the small plant was a vine. Tendrils curled out, looking for support, knowing the vine would grow and grow. Magnificent yellow flowers appeared, first male than female. They had a short window of time to attract a bee before curling up for the night. The first few pumpkins formed on the vine, but shriveled and died within days. Eventually the vines set larger fruit, first green, then yellow and now orange.
As the fruit matures, the once tiny plant sends the last of its energy directly to the pumpkins. It’s time for the plant to wither and die with the genetic understanding of a job well done. Trickle-down economics doesn’t work in the real world, but boy does it work in the garden. One small seed produces numerous edible flowers, then goes on to produce several jaw-dropping gourd-like squash. Each pumpkin holds hundreds of seeds, enough to eat and plant the following season. Pumpkins produce sweet flesh for cooking and baking. Sturdy, colorful pumpkin shells line windows and porches on Halloween, carved to perfection.
The season is changing
The pumpkin knows
tiny seeds become heavy gourds,
vines turn brown
their cycle complete;
Jack O’Lanterns grin
at Trick-or-Treater’s feet.