The drought has hit Waldo hard. The water table recedes a bit more with each passing day and dirt roads are so dusty as to create a hazard because it is so hard to see oncoming vehicles.

I remember a September three years ago. We were in the throes of a similar drought and as October drew near, it appeared that there was no end in sight. And then on the last day of September, torrential rains hit. These filled ponds, streams and wells and put an end to the drought.

Now, though, weather patterns have tended to steer storms coming up the coast away from Maine. We still have time, but if we don’t get significant rain before winter, things will surely get dicey.

So let us all hope and pray that Maine sees a significant rain, and soon. Nothing else can end the drought.

In the garden

With the advent of frosts, this will be the last In the Garden post for the year.

A few crops continue to provide homegrown treats. Beets and their relative, chard, aren’t much affected by light frosts. Carrots, too, are fine if left in the ground until just before freeze-up. Even so, with the lack of water, even these cold-hardy crops aren’t making much progress.

If you have herbs growing and the frost hasn’t hit them, you can pick them, place in a Ziploc bag and toss them in the freezer. That’s just what I did with basil and dill, two of my favorite herbs.

Patridge prediction

As one door closes, another opens. While we say goodbye to In the Garden, we welcome this year’s Patridge Prediction.

The patridge (ruffed grouse) outlook appears far better than last year’s. Broods made it through the cool, wet spring relatively unscathed, so there should be plenty of birds for hunters come opening day, Saturday, Sept. 26.

Wild turkey season opened back on Sept. 14 and I’ve seen lots of birds in my travels. Unfortunately, these are always in a place where it is not possible to shoot. Sooner or later, though, one will make a mistake and present itself where hunting is permitted.

“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” – Henry Ford