Wednesday, August 26, 2009

the last day of summer

After work I came home and practically ran out to the pasture. I was looking forward to this all day, and before the car was even properly parked I was running out to the sheep pen. I stopped by Joseph and scooped him up in my arms. Finn bitched about this but I knew he'd be out in the pasture as well in a few minutes, so I paid him no mind. I carried the small lamb out to the newly fenced off-pasture. Holding his baby wool in my arms filled me up with a smile. He's so light. I set him down inside the orange sheep netting and then let Sal and Maude free as well. Time to be a shepherd.

This area of grazing is my favorite. The sheep are under the shade of trees that line the road and walk along on a slight hill. This incline and shade makes it the perfect place for human loitering. I went into the house and grabbed a jar of iced tea, a quilt, and a magazine and went back outside to join my flock. I loafed there till nearly dark—reading with the menagerie. Occasionally Chuck Klosterman would jump onto the quilt with me, or Joseph would run over. He's bold enough to come into my personal space but won't let my hand touch him. (He'll warm up.) Sal and Maude don't share his nerves. They had no problem nosing me out of the way if they felt a good patch of grass was under my blanket. Some people might be nervous flopping in the grass next to a 160-pound male sheep. I don't share their nerves either.

Last night felt like the last day of summer. It wasn't marked by any celestial calendar or science, but it felt like the end. The fireflies have long since parted. The evenings have lost their length and swelter. Out on the blanket I didn't need a hoodie, but I wouldn't have turned one down either. I checked the weather online and they are calling for nights back in the forties by tomorrow night. Yes! I can't wait to get up in the Autumn dark of early morning and take a mug of strong coffee outside in my dad's red plaid jacket and see my breath turn to smoke. Watch it swirl up into the air along side the honks of geese and bleats of a goat. I think just writing that sped up my endorphins a bit.

P.S. A commenter asked if I bought Joseph due to the color variety? Nah. Joseph's a barter. He'll be exchanged for a breeding Angora doe from the next litter Bean drops. Which I hope is in about 22-25 days from now.


Blogger BJ Gingles said...


It has been unseasonably cool here (Louisiana) lately, which means not really cool but not as hot as it usually is this time of year. I can hardly wait for fall either. My husband would give his eyeteeth to have your winters, but I am not a fan of extremes of either sort.

The barter sounds great. How cool to have found someone with a lamb that wanted to get into rabbits!

August 26, 2009 at 7:03 AM  
OpenID sensiblevermonter said...

I could feel the shift this morning! There was a cool and a warm breeze, battling it out as the sun rose. The air has the first day of school smell in it and it wont be long before we start to hear migrating geese! Can't wait!!!

August 26, 2009 at 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am with ready for fall. I think it is my favorite time of year. Actually, any season that does not have humidity is my favorite season!! Keep dreaming about your will happen.

August 26, 2009 at 8:22 AM  
Anonymous Drew Shiel said...

We haven't hard edges to the seasons here, so it's difficult to pin down the last day of summer until after it happens.

But I do know that the first day of autumn was the 17th of August - first day since spring I could see my breath stepping out the door, and it felt autumnal.

I'm resisting kicking my Winter Blog into motion until September, though.

August 26, 2009 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

You know what's funny? Even though it's still crazy-hot here, we're starting to see the signs of seasonal shift here too. They're just different for us. The air is a bit drier, and it gets dark at 8:20 now instead of 8:40. It's still an oven, but the casserole's nearly done.

August 26, 2009 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Special K said...

After an unusually cool summer here in WI, fall in coming. Nights in the 50's, the need for a sweater in the early mornings. I simply cannot wait. Joseph is beautiful, what a great swap.

August 26, 2009 at 8:50 AM  
Anonymous Mike and Kendra said...


I ordered a top hat special to keep Ben company. Unfortunately a fox/possum got the two polish girls this summer. I'd be glad to give you a couple of polish chicks if you''d like them. We owe you a thank you for your original gift to us. give me a call if you're interested. 366 8319

August 26, 2009 at 9:24 AM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

Your post made me wanna grab a book & stake a claim to half of your quilt on the grass, it sounded so pleasant.

Since we've only 5 more days of August I think I can safely say it's been a very civilized summer by Florida standards---and I also smelled fall morning-before-last. She's not here yet, but she's about to turn into the driveway. I'll be glad to be able to wear long sleeves and closed shoes comfortably again.

August 26, 2009 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger Sophomore Mom said...

Maggie in Tally,

It certainly is still horrendously hot here in Central Florida. It's miserable for a Vermont girl, to know it's almost September, and no end in sight to the stupendous heat and humidity.
I miss the seasons terribly, and reading Jenna's blog every day makes me envious to be home.
I get almost depressed with homesickness at the end of September, beginning of October. Look at me now, I'm tearing up at the thought.

August 26, 2009 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Dawn Dutton said...

I agree with Special K. I live in Wisconsin and it has been unusually cold here this summer. I hope it is unusually warm this winter to help with our heating bills! Ha!
I love your blog.... Thanks for sharing it with us... Dawn

August 26, 2009 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Dawn Dutton said...

Special K what part of Wisconsin do you live in?
I find it so interesting how many parts of the USA that follow Jennas blog.. it's great!

August 26, 2009 at 10:25 AM  
Blogger Leiflet said...

Cincinnati's summer was wild-- the coldest in recorded history! It's now heating up into actual summer weather (the 90's) and the leaves are starting to turn.

I usually open Fall with open arms, but this year, i'm sad to see Summer go. I didn't get to swim, even once.

August 26, 2009 at 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenna - What a fantastic blog. It's at the top of my list. Keep up the awesome work!!

August 26, 2009 at 11:58 AM  
Anonymous RayMan said...

I too, as a Central Floridian and a "former" New England-er, am at the point where I am just sick-to-death of 95/75 degrees with dew points of 76! Sometimes I miss Harvard badly! Most of the time - not-so-much. Two weeks at a cottage in Vermont on a lake with temps of 70/40 with dews of 40 would just be heaven. Alas .... I can only enjoy those things vicariously. Reading your blog really helps with that.
Enjoy your youth and continue to live abundantly.

August 26, 2009 at 12:08 PM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

All us transplants to hell---err, Florida / TX--oughta go in on a cabin together & spend that week back in paradise. Sounds like there's enough of us to make it less expensive.

August 26, 2009 at 12:50 PM  
OpenID dykestrasalgorithm said...

I'm ready for fall, but I don't think it's coming to MA quite yet. The mornings are cooler, but the days are still muggy and in the mid-80s. It's unfortunate, because I need fall to come so I can wash the carpets in my apartment.

August 26, 2009 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger Conny said...

In Northern Calif. its changing too. I was at a local pizza place a couple of weeks ago and they had a pre-season football game on the TV. I thought, "it's too early for that; summer isn't over yet." The next day, the air felt a bit cooler. The leaves from my backyard oak tree are indeed beginning to fall, but the tomatoes are still green (all 4 of them). Was it the power of suggestion?

I really, really love Autumn, but would also LOVE those 4 tomatoes to turn red before summer is officially over.

August 26, 2009 at 2:30 PM  
Blogger Special K said...

Dawn -
I live 20 minutes outside of Madison, but we have only been here 3 months. I lived in Milwaukee for most of the last 20 years and grew up in the Chicago area. Wow, that makes me sound old.

August 26, 2009 at 2:35 PM  
Blogger kate said...


There was a weather prediction today that the Northern Kingdom of Vermont will have its first light frost!


August 26, 2009 at 3:41 PM  
Blogger Aussiemade said...

Should I be feeling blue for you northern hemisphere folk? As your days begin to shorten and a nip is in the air..down here in Australia there is less chill in the air, the days are drawing out and the flower and blossoms are colouring up the garden.
I love all the changing seasons however it does not get anywhere near as cold in Tasmania as it does up your way.
I am usually very ready for autumn after our hot summers.

August 26, 2009 at 6:34 PM  
Blogger finsandfeathers said...

Silly me.... I took this way to literate today and lamented to my wife that summer is over. She got a good laugh.

August 26, 2009 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger René said...

A couple of weeks ago when I was mourning the eminent loss of sunshine I would've told you that you could have all my fall for yourself as well, but there's something exciting about a crisp morning. It makes me think of comfy sweaters, pumpkin pie, and dressing up for Halloween. I'm sure I'll be regretting my fling with fall when our traditional 3 months of no sun (aka winter) starts but right now I'm very much looking forward to it.

August 26, 2009 at 11:54 PM  

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