To walk quietly until the miracle in everything speaks is poetry, whether we write it down or not.
~ Mark Nepo
The first flash of color always excites me as much as the first frail, courageous bloom of spring. This is, in a sense, my season–sometimes warm and, when the wind blows an alert, sometimes cold. But there is a clarity about September. On clear days, the sun seems brighter, the sky more blue, the white clouds take on marvelous shapes; the moon is a wonderful apparition, rising gold, cooling to silver; and the stars are so big. The September storms–the hurricane warnings far away, the sudden gales, the downpour of rain that we have so badly needed here for so long–are exhilarating, and there’s a promise that what September starts, October will carry on, catching the torch flung into her hand.
~ Faith Baldwin, Evening Star
We’ve made it to autumn. There are times during the summer months that I think autumn will never arrive, that we will be forever wading through the steaminess, the swarms of insects, and the fierceness of the sun’s heat. Then, sometime in late August, I notice that the angle of the light has changed, that the sun has started rising closer to the trees by the pond than the trees by the lane, and I see the first red or yellow leaves on the cherry trees or the sumac. In September, the flowers, especially the roses, awaken from their summer slumber and burst forth as if they, too, enjoy the slightly shorter days and slightly cooler nights. The rose bushes are heavy with blooms right now.
Our herd of deer continue to make the rounds of the front lawn every dawn and dusk. I think a few more have joined the herd as it seems to be bigger than usual, but it’s hard to tell because of the way they come and go instead of arriving all at once as a big group. The buck is growing up, as we all do, and looks so beautiful in the evening light (in any light, really). Some of the fawns are beginning to lose their spots as they all start to put on their fall and winter shades of gray and brown.
The mornings are so quiet, now. What used to be a riot of birdsong is now reduced to some crickets, Lloyd’s rooster crowing, and the cawing of crows. Occasionally I hear the honking of geese. I think it’s quieter than it used to be. Not as many geese and crows. Maybe that’s my imagination, but maybe it’s not. A new study indicates that we’ve lost almost a third of the birds in North America. That translates to about 3 billion birds, including the usual backyard birds such as warblers, sparrows, blackbirds, and finches. We will be seeing fewer Dark-Eyed Juncos and White-Throated Sparrows at the feeders in winter. Even some of the introduced birds, such as the European Starlings, are reduced in number. How long before we no longer get to witness a murmuration of starlings?
It’s not all bad news. Some bird species, such as some waterfowl and raptors (including the Bald Eagle), have actually increased in number. If you’re interested in helping in some way, there is a website, 3billionbirds.org, that you might want to visit. They have seven simple actions you might be able to take to help the birds.
Although the equinox is here, Autumn weather isn’t on board yet. Summer, especially the heat, is persisting. Still, the leaves on the trees are slowly changing color and the grasses are going to seed. I will have to mow today, and next week, and probably on into November if last year was any indication. It’s a long mowing season, from February to November. Were it not for the snakes and rodents, I would mow less and less. Thankfully, we do leave a great deal of our property unmowed and available to nesting birds and all the other animals that hang out here.
I have noticed the change since we arrived here six and a half years ago. Honestly, I sometimes think Mother Earth is going into forced (or human-induced) menopause. She’s certainly got all the signs of it, including hot flashes. Some will beg to differ. I get that. The vagaries and history of weather, etc., etc. And then there is denial, something we humans are good at. I’m familiar with denial, especially when it comes to addictions (and we are quite addicted to the use of fossil fuels, don’t you think?).
The mowing season was shorter six years ago. Even five or four years ago. The water in the bay was hotter this year (a record 90°F in some areas) than they’ve ever seen before, and the overall warming trend is pretty obvious. Sunny day flooding, or super high tides, are more common than they were. Fish swim in the woods more often than they used to. Then there is saltwater intrusion. Ask the farmers about that. They’re losing crops and ground. It’s related to sea level rise. It’s possible we’ll have to worry about our drinking water eventually. I already do. Ours is somewhat salty, enough to raise my blood pressure. I’ve had to turn to bottled water, something I dislike intensely, but at least now I’m able to get the giant returnable water-cooler type bottles. As far as I know, they’re reused and don’t end up in the landfill.
Before I end this post, your Walktober reminder: The dates for this year’s event are October 6th through the 19th. I will be posting the official post (where you leave your link or pingback) sometime next week (probably Friday or Saturday because I’m going to be very busy over the next week or so). I might be running a bit late and will very much appreciate your patience.
If you’re new to this and not sure what Walktober is, there is a link over in the sidebar to help you out. Just click on the photo labeled Walktober and that will take you to the “in a nutshell” explanation.
Thank you so much for visiting today, and joining me on another meander. Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset. There has been a kind of haziness in the air that has created some interesting colors in the sunsets. Sundown this evening is scheduled for 7:00 PM. It’s been near 90°F today so you won’t need a jacket. It will be plenty warm enough. You might even want to go for a swim.
Be good, be kind, be love. ♥
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,161) Clean (and salt-free) drinking water. Did you know that 783 million people do not have access to clean water? (Source: The Water Project) 1,162) Love, family, friends, community, connections. 1,163) Watching the deer family and the changes they go through. 1,164) Autumn, even if the weather isn’t quite with it yet. 1,165) The synchronicities that occur in life.