Dying light.

If I leave the office just when. If the lights time just so. If the traffic behaves just. If, if, if.

I am home with a little light left. Greeted at the door by two gleeful voices, one escorts me to the closet. “Mama work. Mama jacket off?”

Yes, love. As hurriedly as I can. “Mama’s shoes? Closet?” Yes, love. “I do it.” Mmm… My turn. “Up, please.” It is not a question. Outside? “Yesh!”

Outside we traipse. He, on my hip, me seeking peace. Where can I find a sip of calm. Where can I snatch a glimpse of soothing. What can I feed my soul before the light dies.

I uncover the kumquat. I de-leaf the strawberries. I unwrap Bill and find his lit leaves warm at his feet.

I eyeball the compost pile. Is there time? I could…

“Uh oh, mama.” Quickly, I look up. The light is dying. The moment has passed. Only the tips of the neighboring trees are still frosted with the day’s last color. I look over my shoulder. Uh oh, indeed.

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Soft light covers

I didn’t sow any snow peas this year… odd.

They didn’t mind their light blanket so much as their bean neighbors did. A small final harvest, but I marvel at any bean harvest in December.

The volunteer cherry tomato plant weathered the frost, so those will not be the last winter bites of tang.

And skeptical of the forecast, my love harvested the limes. Twenty two in all and when he unwrapped Bill the next day, he was no worse for the wear…including a few incognito limes left hanging.

I do hope the butterflies will return to the lantana. There was a true kaleidoscope of them alight upon the blossoms some days.

Seasonal is as seasonal does.

It’s still odd to me. It’s citrus season here. It’s chilly out. No real winter yet, even by our standards of “winter” and yet this is normal citrus season. I’m worried about the bugs this coming year if we don’t get a good freeze soon…

But the potted citrus are enjoying much more time outside than in usual years when they decorate our kitchen.
Kumquats seeing their best year yet.
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Marmalade anyone?
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Bill, the Persian Lime, is still ripening fruit from the past season, but he likes to multi-task.
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Oscar the Meyer Lemon is trying to both grow leaves (of which he has terribly few) and set buds for blossoms. I’ll be knocking those off as they appear. If he can’t manage to keep leaves through a season I don’t want him worrying about setting fruit just yet.

There are two mandarin oranges left on the tree that we’ll snack on now that buds are beginning there as well.

Finally, not a citrus, but Elian the Avocado, is pushing new leaves through like its going out of style. DH is talking again about planting him in the ground near a pond nearby…but I’m still hesitant. Elian is a volunteer from years ago who has grown quite tall under our care, but as a volunteer I have no information regarding his variety. Avocados of any variety don’t seem too tolerant below 25 degrees, and we do drop below 25 degrees some years. I’d hate to lose him in an freeze, but I also know that in a pot he’ll always struggle to find happiness.