Technically, the leaves have to turn and a frost has to arrive and the temperatures need to go back into the 70s before one can declare oneself in a true Indian Summer. This weekend has certainly had its glorious effects, starting with three things.
Chowder races: the Cotuit Skiff fleet that stays in the water races through September in a series of weekend pickup races. Afterwards the skippers and their crews enjoyed chowder prepared by my old Latin teacher, Tom Burgess and his wife Pieter.
Yesterday I harvested ten pounds of Concord grapes from the arbor in the alcove, washed them, skinned them, and boiled them into a huge mess of purple pulp which I then strained through an old threadbare pillow case. This morning I turned the juice into jelly and “canned” more jars of the stuff than I know what to do with. Many neighbors will be receiving gifts shortly and the house smells grapey.
Last night, under clear skies, came the plaintive wail of the Eastern Screech-Owl that lives in the woods behind the boat garage. I’ve heard it most of the summer, but last night it was very close and very eerie. I don’t think I’ll ever catch a sight of the nocturnal bird, and it may explain why the chipmunk population is off this summer.