These are the best of days. The midday heat is comfortable and friendly, perfect for exploring. The summer tourists have left to make way for the wine connoisseurs and the back roads are full of charming little buses carrying ruddy-cheeked grape enthusiasts to the Valley's approximately 140 wineries.
The evenings are still gorgeous, the last of the light slipping away earlier and earlier, leaving us with the beginnings of sweater weather, and encouraging fires, warm drinks, and blankets. Now is the time of drawing close. Of ghost stories and preparation for that most magical month that is waiting right outside the door.
I've harvested the mugwort - for the third time. The robust, happy plant was seeded only two summers ago under the moon at midnight, sung in to the earth with a charm. I hoped for growth. I never expected the level of abundance I've witnessed this year. Some has been shared, and much dried for incense, dream pillows, and more.
Add a nice pinch of mugwort to some hot water to make an infusion and use as a wash for your crystal ball or scrying bowl or mirror.
I'm also waiting on the black nightshade berries to see if they will ripen. The plant appeared in my garden so late in the season, I can't be sure that the little green berries will blush dark as night and be safe to harvest. If not, there's always next year.
Because a good frost has not yet come, the tomatoes, cucumber, and squash keep producing. There is salsa to be made now, as there is no more room for tomatoes on the counter, or windowsill, or in baskets all over the house. A ridiculous blessing, this little piece of land that keeps on giving.
Has your harvest finished now, or is your garden, your flower box, your potted indoor basil plant still offering up delights? Let's enjoy the harvest just a little longer, shall we?