The sighting of this critter -- at least two inches long and stretched to full capacity -- incited a "whoa!" moment in the yard, followed by relief that I hadn't planted my foot slightly further forward with the result of a quite unpleasant "squish."
So we both survived to exhibit our sluggish ways in the garden for the day.
This is a tricky time for gardening and gardeners, I'm discovering. There are still a few flowers blooming, but the falling leaves and brown grass diminish the overall impact of their vibrant beauty. Plants are withering and yellowed foliage needs to be cut back. The accumulation of fallen leaves has gone well beyond the single-clump pick-ups I had been doing, and I won't rake until the leaves are done dropping, so the yard has lost its neat summer look.
My main project on the outdoor to-do list is gathering and spraying the container plants and bringing them inside for the winter.
Fall has always been a season that I love, but there's a distinctly wistful quality to it this year because gardening season is coming to an end. I'll transition into a different seasonal focus soon, but it's too early to go into winter hermit mode and curl up under a warm throw to do my garden reading and planning for next spring. For now, I'm in feeling "in-between." And a little bit sluggish, I must admit.