Pepper and I tried out the new frisbee on one of the first cool days of fall this week.  The frisbee is square and looks kind-of like a flying squirrel when I throw it.  I don’t know what possessed me to buy it.  It’s hard to throw and hard to catch, though Peppy gives it her best effort every time.  She hasn’t actually caught it yet.

I noticed, in the yard, that things are happening according to schedule.  

The leaves of the tulip poplar are showing the first signs of autumn,


the oak leaf hydrangea blooms, so luscious in summer, are all burned out,


and the holly berries are saving themselves in shades of fresh lime green, no hint of the brilliant red to come in colder days.


The saucer magnolias have put out their buds, which they do every fall, tender young buds that never look like they will survive until spring.  I worry about them all winter, but most winters they survive.

There’s one lone pink bloom in the grove of saucer magnolias, completely out of season.  The trees flowered in March, with just a few straggler blooms in summer.  This is the very last of the crowd.


Pep only paused for a moment when I pointed it out.  She was busy galloping around the yard, flanks heaving like a racehorse, even when I wasn’t throwing the frisbee.  My own Black Beauty.

We came in and sat down in the sunroom when I thought she needed to catch her breath.

“It seems so strange to me, that straggler bloom,” I remarked.  “Why didn’t it grow and open with the others?  It’s out of step, out of sync, out of season.”

She looked at me strangely.  “The important thing is that it kept trying,” she said, as if that were totally obvious.    

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