Fieldwork is slowing down until winter really arrives. Last week was spent in the classroom attending an excellent training session on interpretive guide concepts and techniques. After three days inside, my body and mind felt like a trapped bird. I went for a long walk in the scruffy patch of woods behind the ranger station and that helped. On the last day of training, we finished in the early afternoon and I came home. Mild weather made for a few idyllic hours in the garden.

I love to have my hands busy. Moving around to do familiar chores gives me time to digest all the new ideas and experiences I had this week. I prepared more compost for the vegetable beds, built the lettuce tunnel (with 6 mil plastic, tough stuff!), watched Henry’s antics as he kept me company, and heard the soft sounds of maple leaves falling. When I looked up into the tree, it occurred to me that they were the exact color of cadmium yellow light watercolor paint, right from the tube. The blue sky is a more complex color. No pigment completely captures it. Cerulean blue can be pretty good, but it can also be opaque and grainy. Sometimes a mix of cobalt blue with a little pthalo green gets close to the color and transparency. Then I wonder: is it better to match the color exactly, or get close enough to remind the viewer of their own perceptions and experiences of that color? After all, none of us sees things quite the same way. So maybe we’re lucky to have as much in common as we do, and be able to use language to express it.

In the lettuce tunnel–three kinds of lettuce, pac choi, kale, tatsoi, parsley. Even if I don’t get many greens this fall and winter, the plants will revive as soon as the spring sun hits the plastic. I went through my seed stash looking for green onion seeds, but didn’t find any. Hm. What am I going to do about that?

Life is moving inward. The past couple of days have been overcast. Almost glum. It rained in the night. Henry and Hibachi are wound into tight balls of oblivious cat fur. They’re going to glare when I put on the lively music and start dancing around cooking and cleaning for a trail crew end-of-season feast this evening.

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