This is the season of last things, and how poignant they are in their shapes and colors, in every fiber of their being.
The last antique roses are blooming in our garden, the last ripening tomatoes cling to their vines in the veggie patch, and the last purple grapes dangle in local arbors. The last vibrant scarlet Virginia creepers wrap old wooden fences in the village, and the last crimson berries sway on our hawthorn. Maple, oak and beech leaves from old maples flutter through the air like birds, coming to rest on benches in the park and the chilly dark earth below them.
As much as I love autumn, this season always takes some getting used to, and I am working on it again this time around. Many farewells were said this week, and I tried to remember, too, to say thanks to the myriad entities who enriched our lives this year and are now passing away. Bumbles, dragonflies and cicadas - wherever they alight in their journey, and whatever they come to be the next time around, may they all be well and happy.
At first light, autumn hedgerows wear spiderwebs from here to there, swaying and glistening and hung with dew like pearls. I remember an October morning a few years ago when a neighbor in the village rang our doorbell a few minutes after sunrise, breathless and wide-eyed and ecstatic. While walking her dogs in a nearby field, she had discovered a vast and dewy orb weaver's web that I just had to come out and capture with Pentax and macro lens. My friend is now in an assisted living accommodation, and I think of her whenever I pass the cedar hedge where we stood wondering together at the break of day, as happy as two hoary old clams can ever be.