14 October 2009

Fall Pads in on Wet Feet

Two weeks...two weeks I keep intending to sit down and talk about how fall has inched its way in day by day...and the wet days soaking everything down, and the sudden hot spell that put an end to open windows for a week, and some more rain...and noticing little things.

Oh, not the dogwoods. They started to show signs of rusty leaves in August and have been rust-red and green for weeks. But the other trees have been touched, and some in such picturesque ways. Yesterday I was actually glad for a red light because it gave me a chance to gaze long and admiringly at a big maples whose dark leaves still burned deep green in the center, but whose entire side and tips of leaves on the other side were red shading to orange shading to yellow, as if it were on fire. Noticing that the trees that overhang the little bridge that spans a creek that I must cross are turning a delicate yellow, like lemonade in the pitcher.

There has been so much rain bracketing the cold spells and then the warm spells that there are more leaves on the ground than usual, some of them already turned old gold, or spotted with red and orange. Monday while coming out of Fuzziwig's I lined up a large scarlet leaf next to a smaller yellow leaf on one of the retaining walls around the shopping center trees. It seems as if the trees in our yard change every day. The ones next door, a sudden red-orange, waved a fall harbinger weeks ago, and now our own trees are following suit.

I am happy to see the birds looking so well as they chatter and quarrel over the seed in the feeder. They look shiny and plump now, feathers back in brilliant color, unlike during the summer when they were feeding their fledglings and run ragged, with no time to preen. We had one female cardinal who was bald all summer, evidently having sacrificed feathers to her nest. If birds could look desperately tired, these certainly did! Now they have time to chase each other, linger at the feeder. The occasional dove comes by, looking bewildered, but then doves always look bewildered. And with the windows open once more I can hear their little songs, even some songs I hadn't heard yet this season, and in the distance the long, lonesome cry of the train whistle. I've missed it.

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