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August Signals

Black-eyed Susan’s once again dominate, staking a claim on more of the garden every year if you let them. I mostly let them. They remind me of conversations with a favorite gardener who’s moved on, which means they’ll forever receive favorable treatment in my garden.

Crickets receive no such favorable treatment, but we peacefully coexist nonetheless. They play the soundtrack of August. Most of the year we hardly give crickets a thought, until they begin playing their persistent song from mid-summer to mid-autumn. Thousands of musicians announcing “We’re here, if only so very briefly.” Is there anything more stoic than a cricket?

The gardener senses the seasons. No calendar is required. The days grow shorter even as the heat continues. For these are the dog days of August, marked by black-eyed Susan’s dancing to the persistent tune of an orchestra of crickets.

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