“Frayed” is an excellent word to describe the end of August.
After a long, hot, eventful summer, we may all feel a bit frayed around the edges.
The garden certainly looks a bit frayed after withstanding many weeks of heat and thunderstorms, hungry insects and hungry deer.
And the grasses blooming now along the roadsides offer a “frayed” fringe to all vistas.
“Fray” itself is an interesting word.
Coming to us from middle English, it means that something is worn down, or worn out, to the point of beginning to come apart.
My jeans are nearly always frayed somewhere.
I was raised when it was fashionable to fray them in spots on purpose, which definitely frayed my mother’s nerves.
But to become “frayed” implies that one has been in the thick of the action.
We might choose to “join the fray” as we add our voice to stand up for a good cause; or a bad one, as the case might be.
In our garden, we are in the midst of an ongoing fray with hungry Bambis who steal in through the fences at night to eat our “shrubberies.”
I found two “deer resistant” Oakleaf Hydrangeas “frayed” this morning; their beautiful leaves gone overnight into the maws of gourmet deer.
I’m often reminded that if I continue to plant, they will continue to come; which frays my expectations for a beautiful, lush garden. But only a little…
As we drove out to Jamestown this afternoon to visit our favorite vegetable stand for some of the last of this summer’s tomatoes, and some of the first of this year’s apple crop; we watched the frayed edges of storm clouds dip ever lower in the sky.
We waited, as for Gadot, for the promised thunderstorm which never came.
But continuing on to the historic island itself, we noticed a creature running across the lawn near the causeway.
We had spotted it a few times before, always from a distance, and were happily surprised to find it out in the open today where we could photograph it.
It was a fox. A somewhat old and painfully thin fox, with a frayed tail and dull looking coat.
And it had found something lying in the grass it could eat. It’s hunger must have fed its courage, and it stayed out in the open, despite our company and the passing traffic.
We are sorry to find the fox looking so thin with autumn coming quickly on.
But that is the way of things in the wild. Things remain a bit frayed around the edges year round, especially here at the last gasp of summer.
The elements of sun and wind, rain and lightening work their will on forest, field, and garden alike.
But what is frayed today, is often renewed with fresh growth of leaves and flowers soon enough.
Whether its own new growth, or that of a conquering vine; it matters little.
Nature always wins, in the end.
Getting “frayed” is only a stop along the path of re-newal.
It is the way of things….
Words and Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014
With love, to a favorite aunt who let me know she cares enough to follow my ramblings here…..