Tuesday, November 16, 2010

After the Indian Summer is Gone...

Our Indian summer is over. It was one of those days where, when you get up, it's chilly outside. There's not quite a frost but nature was thinking about it. It's cold enough that you feel like you need a jacket but if you wear one, you're going to feel a little silly by midday when it's warmed up and you're suddenly carrying around a jacket. You still want to put the jacket on because it's still not warm, per se and yet...well, you're not used to it being jacket weather and you don't want to give in, not yet...even though it's time.

It was still a beautiful day out there today. Most of the leaves have fallen and they're swept into tidy heaps. Some ambitious souls are still mowing their lawns. I don't understand this, honestly. I know it's a way of mulching the leaves but the grass is dying back. We didn't have enough rain this summer for the grass to grow much at all during late July/August. Besides that, we've had a hard frost and it's bad for the lawn to cut it.

Still, when I run home at lunch to release the hounds from their crate, there are usually a couple of men mowing their lawns in the warm sun. Perhaps it's their attempt to cling on to the warmer days of the past season. Perhaps they just like mowing their lawn. It's hard to say. Yet there's a chill to the air now that wasn't here last week. It's the type of chill that's letting us know that winter isn't too far away and autumn is saying goodbye to summer, once and for all.

The evenings are cooler again after the tease of the Indian summer. I walked the pups again tonight and as I walked with them, I realized that if you were to take the calendar and flip it horizontally so that we were in spring, not autumn, this was the exact type of evening you'd find. It comes in after a warm day and there's a chill to the air, the same type of chill there was tonight.

The puppies will be disappointed that Indian summer is over. They love their 'leaf dives' in the evenings. Now, with the time change, it's getting dark when we start out and almost dark when we're done. Rory has been able to perform her belly flops into leaf piles under cover of night. It makes it a little less embarrassing if she splats the pile back into an untidy mess of leaves instead of a neatly swept pile. I try to stop her but she's a dachshund on a mission. Sookie, meanwhile, waits for Rory to splat the pile and then she has a nose. One time, they found a vole that one of the neighbourhood cats had clearly hidden in the pile. They thought it was a prize until I made them drop it. They do like their prizes. They haven't caught much in our garden though they had a lovely time hunting voles at my parents. By my count, they caught three. They also caught a rather large cricket and found a recently dead bird. There's no doubt about it: My dogs are hunters.

Yet they also enjoy the sniff of the hunt as much as the thrill of a catch. That's what they do on their walks. You can always tell when they've scented a bunny and they know it's nearby. The leashes go taut and they're both poised, ready to locate the bunny. The nice thing about them being on a leash is...they're on a leash. I can control their hunting expedition.

Of course, I still can't quite control Rory and her tendency to belly flop into leaf piles but it's probably because I just don't try as hard. There's something just too adorable about watching her run, do this strange little leap and suddenly be in the middle of the pile while her sister looks on, as though shaking her head and saying, "Messy little sod!"

Then again, maybe that's me.

Oh well, we may as well enjoy our autumn walks while the weather is letting us still take them. Belly flops and all.

Happy Tuesday!

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