Up here in the Back of the Beyond of Ferry County, Washington, Summer does not dawdle. Just when we can’t stand one more day of 90 to 100 degree heat and the wildfire smoke, Summer comes to a screeching halt! We wake up one early September morning and the temperature is 36°, the sky is clear and the smoke is history. But no,it is not Fall. We still have weeks to get to that point. What we have is late Summer where the mornings find us shivering but by afternoon the temperatures have risen to the low 80’s before falling off in the evening. We literally go from Air Conditioners running one week to ” do I really want to turn the heat on?” I turned the heat on September 5th, which is probably the earliest I have ever run a furnace, but again, by afternoon it was 83 degrees!
Late Summer when the tourists and vacationers have gone home and our sleepy little town returns to its normal quiet hum. The streets and stores are ours again and we welcome the peacefulness after the hurried buzz of Summer.
Life here, Back of the Beyond focuses once more on what it entails to live here. Ranching, farming, cattle, sheep, hay and more. We labor and love under the shadow of the mountains and the brilliant blue sky. It is a beautiful time of year. Stunning, really.
Here then, is life in Ferry County before Autumn arrives but Summer has not left.
Ranchers work tirelessly to gather in the hay before it rains. Cattle will eat enormous amounts over our long, bitter cold Winter.
Some years Ranchers are lucky to get one cutting in. This year we have Ranchers heavily irrigating and trying to get a third cutting in before it’s too late.
Today is Sunday, but it doesn’t matter what day of the week it is up here. Hay is cut, raked, baled and loaded 7 days a week like this Farmer is doing today.
Tools of the trade in an irrigated field. Malo, Washington and Marshmallow Bales.
On our daily walks, this is what Gracie, Otto and I see on Redmond Rd. They are a lot more interested in crushed snakes and coyote scat, but I keep looking up!
Choke Cherries line our road with their deep burgundy gorgeousness.
Elderberries are ripe for the picking. They make wonderful jam and wine.
Serviceberry Shrubs are everywhere! They are a primary source of food for birds and bears alike. And yes, we have Black Bear on the back 40 gorging on berries for the Winter.
Our large Crabapple tree will soon be full of wild Turkey which are hilarious to watch as they try to perch and feast on the apples. Bohemian Wax Wings will come in flocks to feast here too.
Our Mountain Ash is loaded with bright Orange fruit. Again, just for the birds to feast upon.
In the garden, the 8 ft tall Sunflowers have finished turning their golden heads to the sun each day. Now they bow their faces and patiently await their seeds to dry and become food for the survival of birds over the Winter. Thank you, beautiful flower.
Yes! Apples are ready and we have been picking for 2 weeks. Right now I have Apples in the dehydrator and tomorrow I will make Apple Butter using the old family recipe I have used for 40 years.
The Ponderosa Pine have opened their Pine Cones. The Squirrels,chipmunks, mice and voles are eternally and habitually grateful.
The Aspen are in the beginning stages of showing their Fall color.
The hillsides are golden with touches of burgundy and orange against the Evergreens.
Such a privilege to watch these 2 buck sparring on the hillside! I have multiple photos over several minutes. Not an everyday site even here.
The mountains may be gray and tan but that just makes them stand out even more beautiful against the Ferry County mountain blue sky.
The Kettle River. Need I say more? This lovely, flowing down from Canada through northern Ferry County before flowing back up into Canada. Then again, flowing downward to join with the mighty Columbia River right here in Ferry County, Washington. The swimmers are gone as are the all of the people floating the river on tubes, kayaks and canoes. The season is changing as it always has and will forever more be.
Thank you again my friends, for taking the time to stop by here on your journey to view a bit of mine. Wishing you all a full of wonder late Summer and a gentle ease into Autumn.
Hugs and much love from me,
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Visit my website at: www.thejourneygirl.com and leave me a comment. I love hearing from you all!
Sharon Paz says
Absolutely beautiful Karen.
Karen, I have fond memories of rafting the Kettle river many years ago…..your commentary inspires me to come back and visit in September….my favorite time of year !
Karen Giebel says
Thank you for taking the time to comment. And …..please do come back to visit! The door is open and the lights are on 🙂