On an Early Fall Day

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It’s gradually becoming the cool, wet time of the year. For Lucky and her chicks, it means having a big breakfast before spending the day outdoors in the cool, drizzly weather.

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In the village, the last flowers of summer are as beautiful as ever. The butterflies are enjoying the last sips of nectar. The beauty of the Pacific Northwest is that the seasons change gently and slowly, giving plenty of time to enjoy the transformations. Each day is just slightly different than the day before it.

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The first fall leaves are dropping. Ahead of me are weeks and months of gathering leaves to compost and use in vegetable beds in the spring, summer, and next fall. They are much more satisfying to use than artificial fertilizer sold in plastic containers. Raking the leaves provides plenty of exercise. The earthy smell as they break down is enjoyable. The crumbly texture of composted leaves soothes my fingers. And as the leaves break down, they attract an infinite variety of bugs the chickens love to eat. The bugs eat the decaying leaves. The chickens eat the bugs. I eat the eggs of the chickens. In a way, when I crack open an egg and eat it, I am eating the autumn leaves. If I close my eyes, can I taste the autumn leaves in the eggs?

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On the way home from delivering eggs, there’s time to enjoy my favorite cows.

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