It is almost a month past equinox, and the sun shines deeper through my south windows. I cut back the summer bamboo to allow more heat and light for my greenhouse plants. I fit my schedule to the shortening days.
In September, I bought a new fica tree that reaches twelve feet, almost to the top of my sun room. I worry about it because it is so big and so vulnerable to the cold. I want it to be warm and safe in the winter to come, and so I have put caulking and glazing and the dulling of drafts on my list for autumn.
I was pushing away the locust and ash leaves that had fallen on a patch of my garden. The leaves were just the tip of the season, the latest in the layers of the year.
I moved a little deeper, staying just in one place, going past the stalks of the violet phlox that had bloomed here in August, and the old seed pods of the orange day lilies that had flowered in July, past the the ectoskeleton of a cicada from late June.
The federal health care marketplace, a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, opened for business Tuesday even in the midst of a government shutdown. But for groups doing outreach in Dayton, the first day was a slow one.
A crew of outreach workers stood around next to colorful tables in the parking lot of a health center Tuesday, chatting up passers-by and waiting for a mostly-absent news media to stop by.