Monday, November 19, 2007

Upon Waking

Awaking this morning I looked out my window to discover the view had changed during the night.

“Winter came down to our home one night
Quietly pirouetting in on silvery-toed slippers of snow,
And we, we were children once again.”
~Bill Morgan, Jr.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Brown? Gray?

The sun managed to peek through the gray for a few moments. Just long enough to signal the beginning of the day with a soft golden glow which set off the now barren branches of a tall oak and put a sparkle to the frost on a tall pine. Then the clouds drew a curtain over the sky and the day turned gray.
Once again I have been reading Hal Borland and he suggests these autumnal days are brown. Perhaps where he lived but here they are frost-bleached gray. The seed heads of the goldenrod are gray, the tall sedge are a silvered beige, the milkweed pod gray and white, the meadow grass, remaining leaves and even the rocks are coated with gray frost which has no sparkle since the sun is imprisoned behind the clouds.
We had errands to do but escaped for a short time to drive northward along the Delaware River looking for the last glories of Autumn, before the predicted rain and snow showers of tomorrow send the last of the leaves cascading from the trees to the ground.
We found some color still blazing along the river’s edge, the ground is covered with a deep carpet of colorful leaves. Still beautiful, a few remaining scarlet and gold maples and a steadfast red oak stand watch over a bleached meadow;

Hidden deep under the leaves of an ancient apple tree we find small green apples.

American Bittersweet vines trail from a large red oak, A late warbler flits through the trees, his elusive call tantalizing but leaving us disappointed when we are unable to locate his hidden perch.

It's mornings like this;
The stingy sun trying to hold back
Even the warmth of its reflection
Flashing coldly In the lake.
When November leaves drop in sudden gusts,
Like a red and yellow flock of birds
Swooping at once to ground.
Or even nights:
When winds reach wet hands
To take you spinning with random paper
Down back street gutters, under straining bridges
To clogged rivers.
It's this:
The time of year, along with spring,
When poets must take care
Not to sing the same old songs
Stolen from tribal memory.
- Thomas R. Drinkard

Shortly after we arrived home the sun went behind the hills a misty rain began. We hear the drops splatter as they fall through the leaves and the sighing of the wind as it moves through the trees. Winter is on its way.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Thinking of Autumn

“Another glorious day, the air as delicious to the lungs as nectar to the tongue” — John MuirWhen I think of autumn - I think in terms of gold, bronze, wine, crimson, flame, yellow - fallen leaves of course, sunflowers, goldenrod, pumpkins and squashes. Of brilliant deciduous trees showcased against the deep shades of the pines, hemlocks and other evergreens.

Weather service people were warning that a frost was on the way and I want to preserve these memories through the winter days when I will have only the evergreens and the white snow outside my window. I took my camera out to capture the colors of autumn.

Upon viewing my photos I discover, among the gold and scarlet, deep purples and brilliant white; the bell like blossoms of the autumn clematis, the elegant peacock orchid, the tall stately monkshood. The Peacock Orchid brought splendor to mid-autumn reaching four to five feet tall with dozens of blossoms but the monks hood has provided the true splendor of the season. A clump nearly hidden behind the pines has grown to eight feet in height. A single stalk may have more than twenty blossoms and the clump itself has so many blooms we do not even try to count them.

Within just a few hours time, the frost has come - but I have memories.