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Well, the last of the monarchs (Danaus plexippus) I raised got released a few days ago. There were eight in total and I think there was a more or less even mix of males and females this time.

Also flown are the goldfish. I have no idea what happened to them; one day they were there and the next day they weren’t. The immediate suspect would be raccoons, but if it were raccoons, they would have taken the fish ages ago. Furthermore, there would have been a big mess in the pond, but the plants are all fine and the water is crystal clear. The only thing I can think of is that it was some bird passing through.

I suppose the silver lining is that it will soon be time to empty the pond and overwinter the plants, and now I won’t have to worry about overwintering the fish indoors in an aquarium. It’s not much of a silver lining, though – I really had wanted to keep the fish.

The new neighbours have put their fence in. There was a huge shock – for various reasons, for years we assumed the property boundary was in a certain spot, but when they surveyed for the fence, it turns out the boundary was four feet away. I could hardly believe it and had to get out our deed and plan of the property and have a look to confirm for myself. In a nutshell, the change is in my favour, and I now have a bigger back yard, about 144 square feet in total. It’s enough that I have to think about what I’m going to do with that strip of space; it’s too much to leave to it wild because it would soon fill up with invasive periwinkles and ivy. More land, but more work. At this point, that will be next year’s project; I’ll have winter to think about it.

Finally, the vegetable patches are empty now and I’m making my first foray into cover crops. I’ve seeded winter rye (Secale cereale), flax (Linum usitatissimum) and crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum) over the veg beds. They’ve already sprouted, but the clover probably wanted warmer conditions and hasn’t germinated so well. In spring I’ll turn the growth over into the soil as green manure.

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