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Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

What with the odd tricks that the extended faux-plague (there, I said it) lockdown plays on the mind, Ol’ Robbo had completely forgotten until just this morning that a) Monday is Columbus Day (are we still allowed to say that?) and b) that we put the clocks back an hour tonight. (UPDATE: Never mind.) Where on earth has this year gone? (And how soon can we get rid of it altogether? Dave Barry’s annual year-in-review column is going to be the size of a telephone directory this year.)

Anyhoo, it’s a quiet, gray morning here in the neighborhood of Port Swiller Manor. The leaves are definitely on the turn now, although since we’re not forecast to have any radical drop in temperature any time soon, I suppose they’ll just quietly fizzle out this year instead of going out in a blaze of glory. Ah, well.

There’s a definite scent of damp decay in the air this morning, blended with the smell of wood smoke from somewhere in the neighborhood. Coupled with the colors and teh sound of crows off in the distance, this always puts me in mind of Nathaniel Hawthorne, and more specifically of my old college advisor reading him aloud in a deep, round baritone. (In fact I haven’t actually read any Hawthorne myself since school, but the association of ideas persists.) My first fall in New England as a freshman had a very profound impact on me, as we had nothing like it whatsoever in the South Texas of my misspent yoot. The Mid-Atlantic isn’t quite the same, but it’s close enough for me.

Not much to do today, gardening-wise. I’m sure that by this time next week, or at the latest the week after that, I’ll be starting in on my annual griping about all those leaves I have to rake up. But not yet. In the meantime, I guess it’s one last evening of grilling out without having to fiddle about with lights in order to avoid cooking-by-Braille.

UPDATE: I meant to mention that Mrs. R recently bought one of those big 1500W tower space-heaters. When it’s plugged in and cranked up at her end of the table, she’s quite content to eat out on the porch in far cooler temperatures than we’ve done heretofore.

Aaaaand Eldest just pointed me to an article about a new venomous furry caterpillar on the loose in the wilds of Virginny. Hey, if the West Coast can have Murder Hornets, why can’t we have Death Caterpillars? Thanks, 2020!!

UPDATE DEUX: Well, not a Death Caterpillar, but this landed on my porch screen a while ago:


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October 2020