The clouds arrived about a week ago like old friends returning from travels abroad. It’s a relief to see them after this hot summer. They offer to help out around the place, so we let them crash on the couch. Eventually they grow tired and overwhelmed by the demands of the ranch and overstay their welcome, sleeping in till all hours and not making their bed. We become irritable and anxious for them to leave by around March. But for now, we’re glad to see them.
They gather overhead in growing clusters, grayer and gloomier as the days pass. When enough are here, we have a party for them, but it rages out of control. As we open the door to let one in they barge through with 50 more of their friends and start tearing the place up. Someone O.D.’s. Someone wets their pants. A couple makes out in the parent’s bed. A neighbor calls the cops.
The ants scurry around faster as the weather changes, busy with chores to get ready for the winter. Maybe they’re hiding their valuables before the drunken clouds spill out of the party and flow into the street, breaking bottles and bashing in mailboxes.
Yet the flies slow down. Different bio-rhythms—a good thing about cold weather—not sorry to see them die off.
We also scurry around like the ants getting ready for the rain. Take down the tent, the shade canopy, and umbrellas, bring in the cushions and dog pillows, caulk the gutters, mulch and spread seeds, straw, and erosion netting, put some coats on the barn floor and get the worst of the roof patched…the chores are long and the days are short.
Today the first few sprinkles showed up, early for the party. We kicked them out, and they were cooperative. They’ll be back soon enough though, unruly and demanding a cocktail.
Upon closer investigation, it quickly became apparent why the barn roof has been leaking. I don't know...to me this doesn't seem like the best place to store acorns.