Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

No, no, not that Swamp.  I’m sure you’re all as exhausted of that wretched biznay as is Ol’ Robbo, and anyway, I try to take weekends off.

Instead, I mean the swamp I discovered the grounds of Port Swiller Manor to be when I went out to mow this morning.  The ground has never really dried out completely all summah, but we had so much rain this past week that it was mostly oozy mud under the grass.  I went ahead and mowed it anyway, even though I probably trenched things up a bit, especially in the shadier areas.  It needed it, and besides I may not have the opportunity next weekend.  Meanwhile, my never-mow neighbor is completely humped.  His lawn is up over a foot and a half now, but he has a riding mower (inherited from the previous occupant) that probably would sink out of sight if he tried to run it today.  (As a matter of fact, I now think the reason he hasn’t mown lately is that he finally managed to break the thing by running over something he shouldn’t have.  He’s pretty reckless when it comes to rocks and sticks.)

Meanwhile, a tad of color here and there in the trees, the first leaves are starting to fall, and the goldfinch are losing their summah coloring.  I also haven’t seen the hummingbirds in a week or two, and wonder if they’ve hightailed it out of Dodge already.

One of the half-whiskey barrels out front has reached the end times: Its metal bands have snapped and the slats are buckled at the breakpoint.  Mrs. R had already planted the fall mums, and we only need the thing to last us a month or two more, so I am thinking that maybe I can just bind it up with something for the time being.

“What will you use,” asked Mrs. R.

“I don’t know yet,” I replied, “But I promise I won’t try to duct-tape it.”

Mrs. R had the goodness to laugh heartily.

UPDATE:  In re the barrel, I went with a couple turns of manila rope.  It doesn’t especially stand out, and lends a subtle, rustic air.  (Mrs. R probably won’t like it, but too bad.)

Also, my neighbor must be a friend of the decanter, because he got out this evening and chopped back the savannah after all.

UPDATE DEUX:  Nope, hummingbird spotted this (Sunday) morning.