Finally, the rain came, not to slake the thirst of the earth, but just to moisten the tongue. The month began with some of the mists and morning fog that often shrouds the morning of an autumn day in Ohio; the leaves dropped in mostly brown tones, and the chrysanthemums and asters came on smaller and turned to deadheads sooner. Yet, in spite of all that, the October days have been lovely.
One afternoon I took time in the middle of the day to sit and stare upward. Through the trees fading leaves was a Swedish blue sky with a glinting pale wheat sun. All was quiet and restful, all was waiting in that transition when time and conditions stand suspended between the season of harvest and the season of dormancy and the onslaught of the cold season. Now the wind is quiet, and the leaves sift lazily through warm air, just touched with the crispness of the season.
I had time to catch the swift climb of two small birds creeping up the side of the engraved bark of the maple tree. I watched them spiral quickly from the trunk,up a branch and then disappear from view. This is the second unusual bird noticed this fall.
The soybean fields further south are still to be harvested, but here the corn and beans have all been cleared from the fields and the fall plowing ( for those who still practice it) has begun. I think this is the best way to farm this ground, turning up the earth to winterkill insects and ready the soils for next years plantings. the soil is often too wet in Spring to work, and when there are heavy rains, all the chemicals the no-till farmers are dependent upon wash away. Aside from that, I love to see the dark gray soils in their deeply cut clods turned up for winter’s snows.
As you can see in the second set of pictures, the sweet gum trees are not to be denied their autumn garb of flashy color. Not drought, not unseasonably warm weather, will drab down their splash of scarlets, and oranges.
I have had too few days to sit and observe the season’s change, and too few to record it in my journal. The days have been busy and burdened with many obligations to clean and ready for the coming winter. But here, for you, is the sum of those that I most enjoyed.
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© 2010 written for Ilona’s Garden Journal. Copyrights apply.