Sunday, November 3, 2013

Turning over a new leaf

We've had a busy day around here. Taking advantage of the above freezing temperatures and the recent rains, we pulled a bunch of buckthorn from the unfrozen, rain-softened ground. It will sit all winter on the brush pile, drying out until next year's burning season. We also removed most of the fallen leaves from the driveway. That will make it easier to blow the snow without clogging the snowblower with leaves. Here's what the driveway looked like before we  had the past few dry days.

photo of driveway with leaves, robins and puddles
driveway with leaves, robins and puddles © harrington

Although they're almost impossible to see at this scale, there are two robins in the picture along with all the leaves. The robins, many of which we think are southbound, were using the puddle as a birdbath. If the weather forecast is accurate, the driveway puddle should be back in a day or so. Rain is forecast again for tomorrow and Tuesday. If this keeps up we may have to revise the old saying "make hay while the sun shines" to "rake leaves while the sun shines." Doing that will cover both Summer and Fall seasons and, since we have quite a few oaks around here, probably Spring too. Oaks love to hold their leaves and drop them in the Autumn, a few in the Winter, and then again in the Spring as the leaf buds swell before they release next year's leaves. Do you have a favorite patch of woods that you visit often, that ages with you?

photo of autumn oak leaves
autumn oak leaves         © harrington

Finding the Scarf

By Wyatt Townley 

The woods are the book
we read over and over as children.
Now trees lie at angles, felled
by lightning, torn by tornados,
silvered trunks turning back

to earth. Late November light
slants through the oaks
as our small parade, father, mother, child,
shushes along, the wind searching treetops
for the last leaf. Childhood lies

on the forest floor, not evergreen
but oaken, its branches latched
to a graying sky. Here is the scarf
we left years ago like a bookmark,

meaning to return the next day,
having just turned our heads
toward a noise in the bushes,
toward the dinnerbell in the distance,

toward what we knew and did not know
we knew, in the spreading twilight
that returns changed to a changed place.
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