Last weekend’s weather was not only the beauty of the Vineyard after Labor Day but probably the reason for living. An added benefit was finding a parking space in Vineyard Haven.

My friend, Sharlee, remarked a few years ago: “Remember when old people came to the Island in September? Now they are all our age!”

It’s still too early to start any serious fall clean up or even moving things around. I’ve been busy doing some dead-heading and general spiffing up of the perennial beds. The problem is the incredible amount of bees on everything in need of work. I annoyed a bumblebee so much that it chased me around, got inside my clothing and sent me into a public restroom to remove said clothing. Thank goodness there were no cameras around.

In the spring I was impressed with the amount of flowers on Kousa dogwoods. Now those same trees are loaded with attractive red fruits. Check out the one at Beetlebung Corner.

The fall clematis has insinuated itself everywhere along the roadsides. I suppose it is rather weedy and/or invasive but, wow, what a lovely statement.

Speaking of invasive, I have been pulling dozens of baby rose of Sharons from all the borders.

It’s a good thing I planted way too many tomatoes. I only harvested about a fifth of them thanks to various pests and critters. I hauled out the Squeezo strainer and made enough juice for several canner loads. I cook it down in the winter for a proper sauce when I have the time and the house can use the heat.

Last week I mentioned crepe myrtle. I noticed a beautiful light pink one on Cook street just past the Federated Church before turning onto South Water street.

There is an apple tree on the corner of Skiff avenue and Edgartown/Vineyard Haven Road simply loaded with apples. They are dropping all over the street. I jumped out of the truck to grab one, wiped it on my shirt and was pleasantly surprised that it was quite good.

Big thanks to Diane Ray. She gave me permission to gather apples in the horse pasture at Tashmoo Farm. The trees are old and in sad shape but had perfect apples. Go figure. I pruned, sprayed and fertilized my own and they did not compare in both quality and quantity. After they sit for a while I’ll locate the cider press and make a day of it.

My daughter climbed the trees and did some serious shaking. The fruit was a bit underipe but left to fall on its own the horses would have eaten it. They don’t know when to stop so it may have been disruptive to their digestion given the bushels available.

I checked my freezing and canning cookbook from the editor of Farm Journal circa 1960. Hoping to find the bushel to quart of cider ratio, I only found that 48 pounds of fruit will yield 16 quarts of apple sauce. Good to know.

I was in utero when the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I feel like war has been a constant all these years later. Vietnam was a turning point for my generation. Granted, I spent time in D.C. with the protests of the late sixties, but never failed to respect our troops. I had friends who were killed and those who returned disabled with PTSD, physical problems or drug addiction.

Now we have a commander-in-chief who is saber-rattling with Iran. This is the same man who got fake bone spurs and was too much of a coward to even oppose the war. He was too busy squandering his father’s money and chasing women. He is besties with the Saudis and will do their bidding for money. Didn’t 15 of the 19 terrorists at 9/11 come from Saudi Arabia? Just saying.