August is a Wrap

August is a wrap. Well, actually it’s a month. I make it sound like a burrito or something, which it most definitely is not. If August were a food it would be a fruit salad. Or maybe an ice cream cone. But I digress.

August leaves us at midnight and just like that, tomorrow we wake up in September.

If it weren’t for its brevity, and the winter that quickly follows, fall would be my favourite season.

I believe it was Albert Camus who said, “Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower.”

Here in northern Canada, our trees are predominately aspen which turn an incredible lemon yellow against the backdrop of our huge cobalt blue prairie skies. Skies that are never more blue than in the fall. It’s undeniably gorgeous, but perhaps lacking in the maple reds that provinces in the east enjoy.

Our reds come to us through shrub sized foliage; saskatoon, cranberry and wild rose bushes swirl around the aspen’s knees in brilliant shades of red, orange and burgundy. It’s enough.

If you slice through our city on the main street heading north, it will take you out of town and through what we call “the coulees” because, well, they’re coulees. The road snakes its way higher and higher until you reach the other side where you can turn around and be gobsmacked by the beauty. It is our favourite fall destination and it takes us all of ten minutes to get there.

Besides the visual beauty, I also love the crisp nip in the air and the pungent smell of ripe cranberries and rotting vegetation.

Autumn in the Peace Country is a sensory sensation.

Soon robins will start flocking up and geese will begin their practice V’s overhead, but right now, on this last day of August, summer is still in a holding pattern, the leaves are still green and frost is not yet on the pumpkin.

But yes, a killing frost will lay our annuals black any day, though there is always a chance it will overlook us all the way into October. A very slim chance, but a chance nonetheless. It has happened before, as we love to tell each other.

Nature will let us know soon enough.

The potatoes have died back, there’s mildew on the zucchini, the pitiful  trio of Brussel sprouts are looking decidedly peckish. Right now the cosmos are the only saving grace in the vegetable beds. They are also the first to faint at the slightest puff of frost. As you can see, I have already pulled out the annuals in the perennial border bed along the fence. Everything looks so naked now. Not a flattering photo, but this is the corner of the back garden on the last day of August. Already planning for next year while making the most of this one…