A hard frost has finished the work of turning my garden brown. The last basil in the garden succumbed, along with the sage and the butterfly weed and the strange, stray onion that had managed to transplant itself underneath the bird bath (I blame the squirrels). I haven't raked any leaves.
The juncos are back, those bright little birds for whom the Kansas winter is warm and mild compared to the winter that they left behind in their summer home, up on the Canadian shield. A hairy woodpecker has claimed my yard. It is a loud bird, and always sounds somewhat resentful -- I don't know why. There is plenty of suet.
A sharp-shinned hawk has been hunting around my feeder. I've seen it twice, but I've never seen it catch anything. A wad of feathers on the grass marked where one of the doves had a close call. There was also a deer. Someday I'll get an infrared camera for my back yard.
This weekend, I shall bring in my soaker hose and consider my hose strategy for next year in the light of this year's rather dismal failure. My goal is to maximize the amount of water I can provide for my plants while minimizing the amount of time I have to spend being a walking blood bank for the local mosquitoes.