30 September 2007


East and west the color sweeps,
   Gold in air and everywhere;
Mists that veil the o'erarching deeps
   To the heavens their gold declare:
Starry blossoms, color-brimmed,
   Drink the wine of days divine,
And the sunflowers, gorgeous-rimmed,
   Sentinels—as Autumn's sign—
               Nod and shine.

Climbing o'er the sunlit bowers,
   Birds surprise the butterflies
Sleeping in the trumpet-flowers
   Hushed by south winds' lullabies;
Purple-proud, the asters show
   Hearts o'errun with rays of sun,
And the meadow lilies blow,
   "Fairer 'rayed than Solomon,"
               One by one.

East and west the color sweeps,
   Color here and color there:
Sapphire in the o'erarching deeps,
   Gold in mists and gold in air;
And when moons set crescent-sail
   O'er heaven's breast in color quest
And its uttermost glories scale
   All the world stands gold-confessed,
               East and west.


24 September 2007

The Calendar Says It's the Fall Equinox...

...but the thermometer sure doesn't. I believe it hit 90°F today. Not a sign of 50s in the evening until the end of the week, and then it will be high 50s with 80s in the daytime.

Nevertheless, I put up most of the fall decorations: the bouquet and other things on the table (not to forget the fall napkins), others on the satellite box, and the arrangement on the table in the foyer. I put up the fall banner and wreath on the porch and set the scarecrow and pumpkin down in their chairs—but goodness, the sun is so strong they may fade in a week!

The trees are telling the sun it's time for a rest. The dogwoods always start to turn first. Sometimes it may only be three or four leaves in one far edge of the tree that turn the peculiar red of the fall dogwood leaves. There are some maples in the yard that have three or four yellowing leaves, and more scatter the ground if the wind raises or when it rains.

The maples behind the Smyrna Community Center are beginning to turn as well.

As we walked around at the Atlanta History Museum on Sunday, we strolled past beautiful photographs of the Peachtree Creek watershed and the old purification plants. All the photos were taking in the autumn. I notice so many scenic photographs, even if they are not autumn-themed photos, are taken during the autumn. The colors of the trees lend the broken bridges, spavined mills, crumbling cabins and other artifacts a special, enchanted glow as if they are caught in crystal.

23 September 2007

"Who Love the Autumn"

They who love the autumn
Scuff with wayward feet
Where the yellowed windrows
By ash and elm are laid,
Savoring the incense
From fires along the street,
Pausing in the darkness
To watch the embers fade.

Windows dressed in scarlet, russet,
Gold, and brown;
Bough and sheaf and pumpkin,
Set for Halloween.
Bring the season's color
To invest the town,
Poor in Autumn's substance
With something of her sheen.

Place has no distinction,
Leaves against the curb,
Rain on bleaching stubble,
Avenues grown bare—
All possess enchantment to charm
And yet disturb.
They who love the autumn
Find it everywhere!

Dana Kneeland Akers

21 September 2007

It's Always Snowing Somewhere

Make your own snowflake and add a message!

Popular Front: SnowDays

19 September 2007

How Did They Know I'm Wishing for Snow?

Your Christmas Song Is

White Christmas

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

Just like the ones I used to know

Where the treetops glisten,

and children listen

To hear sleigh bells in the snow

You like everything to be perfect at Christmas

And it's just not Christmas if it doesn't snow

15 September 2007

Fall Creeps in On Little Cat Feet

Kitten feet, I think, 'cause it's coming very slowly. :-)

I've usually written in here several times by now detailing the approach of fall, but I've been a maniac this summer. Work has worn me to a slender thread—I'm having difficulty concentrating and the smallest things drive me mad. The few weeks of 90-100°F temps did nothing to help. This summer I had another palpitation episode that sent me to the emergency room and my acid reflux seems to be getting worse instead of better. I'm hoping fall may temper this nonsense.

I can't wait for it to get cooler again so I can take Willow out for walks on the days I telework. She's missed our lunch jaunts but I simply cannot take being out in the sun. The mildest reaction I get is a rash. I dream of cool breezes.

The signs of fall came early this year: Michael's had things up starting in June. I expect that in ten years the fall things will start coming out in April (which means, depressingly, that the spring material will show up in October!). Among the summer bushes were the oranges and reds of fall. Then one day I walked into Hobby Lobby and fall wreaths were lining the edges of the floral aisles and three rows were cleared for Christmas ribbon and picks. Back-to-school items and then scarecrows appeared at JoAnn. Then every week it was more.

A few weeks ago the fall issues of travel magazines appeared: Vermont Life, Midwest Living, Blue Ridge Country. The September Yankee appeared a week later and fall baking appeared on the cover of Southern Living—not to mention a fall entertaining issue of Cooks Illustrated. I'm an uninspired and bored cook, but I love CI for Christopher Kimball's delightful editorials about life in Vermont. This latest opened with
"There is a time in late October when, in the half-light before dawn, you expect that a few dim-witted bees will be lazing about the frost-stroked goldenrod, the upper pond will be glazed with a skim-coat of ice, and the October skies will look more like November, a northwest wind pushing a heavy gray sky."
If they ever publish a collection of Kimball's essays, I'll be in line to buy it.

And that sounds like a delightful day, too!