As the institutions of the empire crumbled, I spent a glorious fall  morning in the northern provinces tending my bonsai. The smaller of the two pommegranits has survived a bout with fungus & is doing well. I have trimmed the rosmarys’ summer growth to reveal the sinuous structure of their branches. The ficus & the plum sit in a sunny southern window ready for the long cold months. The effects of the crisis will reach us, of course; even in the provinces of the empire we cannot escape the coming chaos. This week, though, we are to have sunny days & cool nights.


The days have been fairly warm, but the nights cooling. The leaves on some of the maples have just begun to shift toward yellow. Cassiopeia rises in the northeast at the end of our road in the gap where the tall trees open on the riverbank. There are still coneflowers & black-eyed-susans in the flowerbeds, but not much else. In the ditches the late blooming asters & fleabane proliferate; the milkweed is setting its alien-looking seedpods.  The sounds of geese gathering on the river. Last week the flycatchers along the river seemed to be doing twice as much hunting, gathering strength for their migration; this week, most of them are gone. Now that they have stopped growing, I’ve been trimming back excessive summer growth on some of my bonsai, especially the rosemary, but also the pomegranates & natal plum. Waves of hard rain this morning.