When the ginkgos shed their lacy yellow fans, one might be tempted to succumb to melancholy. But the kitchen tells me otherwise, this is the season of birth and renewal. Here in The Valley, when the first rains drench the parched soil, the bacteria and molds awaken from their secret crevices and sweep through the house. Anything on the counter will ferment in a few days. There is the tub of must bubbling furiously and reeking of alcohol. A ginger bug dances lightly in a glass jar to make ginger beer. Green apple juice is doing its own thing, I'm not sure yet what. There is a new sourdough starter, just 4 days old and already piquant, waiting for an appropriate name. We tend to take our cues from the trees who go so obviously dormant. But pay attention to the little creatures, at least here they are happy and buzzing after a long dry summer.