Today really felt like the first real autumn day, cool, crisp, dry (too dry!), and cool enough over night to require a light blanket with the optional two black kitty-girl warmer, but only for Mrs. Phactor. TPP is not complaining. He picked a handful of grape tomatoes and enough small eggplant for a pasta dinner. This also means it will soon be time to harvest prairie biomass for another master's degree project, but that will probably be done next week. Time to go looking for some prairie gentians; although vividly blue they hide deep within the grassy canopy and so are seldom seen by most people. A bottle gentian grew in our gardens for a few years, but it did not sustain itself. It's a strange plant whose flowers never actually open requiring fairly substantial bees to force their way in. Now TPP is on the prowl for a couple of big, winter squashes, they type with hard, dark orange flesh. They are around but right now shops want "Halloween" prices for them, not squash prices, so perhaps some will wait for a post October sale. Of course there may also be enough squash remaining in the freezer from last year. Inventory control is so hard, and it's a form of spelunking to find out what frozen items lurk in the depths of the freezer. Mrs. Phactor already pointed out that at least 5 packages of Andouille sausage await the urge to make some gumbo. And cool fall weather is perfect for a pot of gumbo! See how things just sort of work out especially as the transition continues from margarita season to NY cocktail season.