Town roads have all been graded and because heavy rain didn’t wash the loose gravel out, surfaces have become hard-packed and are in good condition for going into winter. Also, the mowing machine has trimmed weeds, grass and brush along town roads. So at least for a while, our roads have a nice, manicured look.

A taste of fall highlights the morning air, invigorating by comparison to the heat and humidity of only a short time ago. September, with its cerulean skies and comfortable temperatures, ranks as one of the nicest months in Maine.

In the garden

I’ve worked hard to put up my garden produce and now have only a few items left. One, a pleasant surprise, my garden peas have put on a new flush of pods and they are almost ready for shelling. And to think, I nearly yanked the old plants, but a sore back led me to put it off.

Also, winter squash is nearly ready for harvest. For an answer to the question of when to harvest, see my From the Ground Up column in this week’s paper. The answer may surprise you.

Finally, a “mystery plant” continues to invade roadsides and even gardens. I get regular calls to identify this one. The stem has edges, like a sedge, and the white-and-pink blossoms have two large petals opposite each other, making them look like little hats. These generally resemble pea blossoms, on a larger scale, but they aren’t related.

Instead, the plant is a wild form of impatiens and is called Himalayan balsam. It originated in the Himalayas and was brought here through human introduction. It popped up on my lawn this summer and I quickly pulled it out. Although it is a highly aggressive, self-seeding annual, it is easily controlled by hand-pulling.

Perchin’ prediction

September also brings with it good fishing. White perch have formed huge schools and are active beginning at dawn and through the day. Also, trout and salmon are becoming more active as water temperatures cool, boosting their instinct to put on weight prior to winter. Speedboats, jet-ski-type watercraft and the like, have mostly packed it away for the season, leaving us with calm waters for fishing. It really doesn’t get much better than this.

Weekly quote

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell