08 September 2015

Tomato Tuesday 2015/18

Last week there were a couple of nights with hints of that increasingly elusive fall chill in the air, and I thought about maybe adding back some of the blankets I had stripped off my bed this summer, and I was happy to think the season was changing even though I know better; our hottest weather often comes in September and even into October. Sure enough, we have a hot Labor Day weekend. Tomatoes that are not quite ripe enough one day are by the next suddenly split open dribbling juice or splatting on the ground. The problem with seasonal eating is that there is a very small window of peak ripeness for most of these things, and we're usually forced to organize our lives around other things.

Today was one of those days when I had planned to get out in the garden first thing but by the time I got myself together it was already really hot out and other obligations were pressing and the neighbor children were screaming in their little wading pool. I should probably have taken this week's photographs either earlier or later, the light was hitting the tomatoes better. I took the usual double-portrait of Michael Pollan and Cherokee Purple but they both looked so bedraggled I decided I could hold off on that.

Michael Pollan currently has thirteen tomatoes in various shades of ripeness. I realized too late that I should have been counting the number I've harvested. There should probably be three categories there: eaten, given away, lost.

There are some really small green fruits on Michael Pollan, as you can see below. Since it's a fairly small tomato (between a cherry and a plum) I guess they could actually ripen before the hours of daylight decrease too much. I am also hoping for cooler weather, though that slows down the ripening of tomatoes, but will hazard no guesses as to when it will arrive.

Cherokee Purple now has eight tomatoes on it. The one shown below is the one that was stubbornly green. It has suddenly decided that summer is ending and ripeness is all.

The cats disappeared for a few weeks, except for the occasional glimpse. Beautiful Cat showed up once with ragamuffin fur and a crazed look in his orange eyes. He scatted off. I have pretty much surrendered on the "be my cat companion" front, but I still put water in the birdbath and try not to scare off either cats or birds if they showed up. I'm happy to have them use my yard as a refuge from the many obnoxious dogs in the neighborhood.

Just the other day, though, one of the beautiful grey cats once again started showing up more frequently, and I managed to get the photo below. He darted off; whatever progress we had made in mutual understanding was gone, and so although I figure the occasional photograph is the price he pays for whatever refuge my yard offers, I also don't want to harass him.

Later he went slinking by the window at the side of the house. I guessed (correctly) that if I went outside he would speed up his departure, so I took another shot through the window.

I am happy to say that I also see the occasional bird in the birdbath, though they're not as frequent as they have been in other years. Below is one of the raucous bluebirds that used to be a regular. (Maybe it was its parent, though?) I was glad to see him back. The shot is not great because it's from a distance (magnified and cropped) and shot through the kind of odd plastic used for the window in the back door, so the photo looks as if it's shot through a scrim.

I was out in the yard one evening this week, going into the little structure the previous owners built there (I think they used it as a home office, though I've used it for other things over the years), and I noticed that an industrious spider was building quite a web under the eaves. The sun was low enough in the west so that its filaments were shining.


Michael Strickland said...

Thank you for the Beautiful Cat(s) update.

Patrick J. Vaz said...

I will convey your appreciation to the cats, where it truly belongs, by continuing to offer them water and solitude.

Teresa VazGoodfellow said...

Salutations, Charlotte!

Patrick J. Vaz said...

haha -- I'm afraid any pigs in the vicinity of that web are in pieces in the freezer -- the spider was way too late!