Friday, August 23, 2019

Friday Ramble - The times, they are a changing

Daylight hours are waning, already noticeably shorter, and nights are growing longer. Our geraniums have given up blooming for the most part, and there are fewer cicada songs in the big old trees close to home. Pots of chrysanthemums in fall colors are starting to appear on neighborhood thresholds. Geese fly to and fro between farm fields and the river, calling as they pass overhead. No mistaking it, August is drawing to a close, and autumn is on its way.

On morning walks, local hedgerows proclaim that seasonal changes are in the works. The persistent strands of Virginia creeper wrapping old wooden fences and stone walls and draping themselves around trees and shrubs were completely green only a few days ago, and this morning a few are beginning to look more like Yuletide (or Christmas) paper, dappled red and green and silvery blue in the early light. Where stones and bricks get direct sunlight during the day and retain their heat at night, creepers hang on to their summer greens a little longer, but they too are thinking about changing.

There is a steady rain of acorns and walnuts from village trees where squirrels are doing their end-of-summer thing, and Beau and I are bonked by small projectiles as we wander along. Oak leaves are lightly touched with the splendid rosy bronze they will wear in late September and early October before falling to earth, and beech leaves are already edged in coppery red and cognac.

One of my forestry references identifies native beeches as being of the species called simply "common beech", but to my mind, there is nothing common about our beeches. With their majestic height, silvery bark, dense foliage and rounded crowns, they are simply magnificent, especially in autumn.

Part of me wants to dance about and applaud slightly cooler temperatures, the burnished, glorious colors about to come into their own.  Another part of me, as much as I love the harvest season and Samhain (or Halloween), is dismayed at the thought of an early arrival this time around.  Fall should not arrive until late September, and then it ought to hang about until the end of November.

When I went out to the deck before dawn a few days ago, the constellation Orion was rising in the southeastern sky, his right shoulder (Betelgeuse), left foot (Rigel), belt (Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka) and sword (42 Orion, Theta Orionis and M42, the Orion Nebula) twinkling like old friends. Here we go again. Please Mama, let there be several more weeks of sun and warmth and gentle breezes, no ingathering and cold nights for a while longer.


One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

sounds beautiful

Tabor said...

We wish we could pause time, but we are just the passengers and not the conductor.

Barbara Rogers said...

There's a poplar leaf sitting on my step...where from I know not, because I live in a maple woods. The leaf I speak about is half yellow and half brown. It came yesterday. It's still there this morning, plastered in place by the last nights rains. I agree, the peak of summer may be over, but let's slide gently into fall!

Jim Cummings said...

Lovely evocations of the time between....