Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Times, They Are A-Changin

Can it be?  You awaken one morning and realize that the world is changing, that days are much shorter than they were only a few weeks ago, and a brand new season is on its way.

Suddenly, or perhaps not so suddenly, the higher branches of elderly maples on the upper ridges of the Two Hundred Acre Wood are tipped here and there with scarlet.  Sumac leaves are acquiring a rosy cast, and as Spencer and I potter along the trail together in the morning, the first acorns and fallen leaves drift languidly into our path like little boats.  There is a whiff of spice in the air from wild woodland organics going to seed.

The last hay cutting of the season is in progress; artfully winnowed grain in pleasing golden curves and bales like rolls of quarters (or loonies) everywhere in the fields.  Local barley is still standing, but it will be probably be harvested in the next week or so.
There is an earthy abundance of color on which to feast one's eyes these days, stands of milkweed along our fences going mustard yellow, rust and burgundy, roadside foliage providing contrast in dusty grays and silvers.  Rural scenes are fringed with amber and saffron as far as the eye can see, and between the usual August thunder storms, the rolling vistas are set off gloriously by fluffy clouds and brilliant blue skies.

Morning and evening skies are full of proclaiming geese traveling between cornfields and the river, and there are wild turkey clans gabbling in nearby woodland clearings as they forage for acorns, fallen apples and hickory nuts on the forest floor.  Approach their banquet place, and the birds scatter in all directions, chattering like squirrels and protesting our thoughtless interruption.

This morning we noticed that starlings and swallows are congregating on telephone lines in long dancing skeins, and as we tried (and failed) to count them, a heron flew over our heads and landed silently in the pond.  In only a few weeks, they will all have departed for warmer climes and a more reliable food supply.  Summer is a fleeting thing this far north, and Bob Dylan had it right methinks - the times, they are indeed a-changing.


Guy said...

Hi Cate

I have noticed both the Pine Siskins and Chipping Sparrows have been flocking up this week a good sign breeding/rearing is over and they are looking towards fall.

Well we knew it was coming.


Mystic Meandering said...

I love the details of your awareness - seeing, smelling, hearing, noticing, awareing everything... Makes me want to be more awake too - to take the time to *experience* LIFE!

Even in the Southwest USA the smells of Fall are here, and leaves are beginning to drop - even though we still have 90 degree weather. I delight in its coming, as I am not a summer person... :) Warmly :) C

the wild magnolia said...

I cannot help but be elated right along with you.

As for myself, I love the changing seasons. And I am way past ready for cooler weather. For us fall is coming in slow motion.

Great share, great photo.

Carolyn H said...

The barn swallows are gathering at my place too, They will be gone in just a few or several days. This is the time of year when the wheel of the year seems to turn a little faster again.

Cindy said...

I noticed a change in the air yesterday morning, I needed a sweater on and it made me happy. The birds sounded somewhat sharper in their morning song. I think the urgency to live these last days of summer to the fullest is what they were encouraging me to do.

Kameshwari said...

Wait! I am not so certain that the seasons are in transition. Look again. The eggplant are fat, the corn on the cob continues to be in abundance and quart jars of pickles sit on the countertop waiting for their lids to seal. It is still summer, isn't it?

kerrdelune said...

Kameshwari my friend, it is all a matter of climactic zones. Yes, things continue to ripen here, but there are definite signs that our northern seasons are in transition.

Nan said...

Here, too. Just today was the first morning mist. Oh, how I love it. My flowers are most all gone except for phlox. The main colors are the yellow goldenrod and the brown tinge on leaves.
I'd like to see barley.