Sunday, September 21, 2014

Welcome Autumn!

The local Autumn Equinox is about 9:30 tomorrow night. This morning, on the last full day of Summer 2014, the Daughter Person (DP) and her mother (my Better Half) were preparing to attend DP's very own bridal shower. Since boys aren't invited to or allowed at those kind of things, DP's father person took DP's fiancee on a trip along the St. Croix River to see if we could spot a kettle of hawks migrating south. In the hour or two spent watching and driving around, we saw one individual hawk (not migrating), a pair of mature bald eagles, a turkey vulture and a murder of crows (below). While not an outstanding success, neither was the trip an abysmal failure.

A "murder" of crows riding a thermal updraft
Photo by J. Harrington

In addition to watching for hawks, we got to enjoy the colors along the river, which, though spotty, are eye-catching, especially in broken sunlight. I noted that, prevalent along the river gorge are oaks and other trees that stay green until later in the season. At this time of year, the mix in the forest is much more obvious than in Summer, when everything's green.

Spots of color along the St. Croix River
Photo by J. Harrington
Unless we get some unanticipated weather disaster, I think this year's foliage will be at peak color about the same weekend as the wedding. That was the idea in setting the schedule. Another part of today's trip included a few stops to collect some more colorful leaves for the flower girl to scatter from her basket. This fits with the theme and the effort ensure that many of the wedding decorations, to my great pleasure, will use local, natural materials. I think something like the leaves below is at least as attractive as (more than) rose petals for those of us who cannot (or will not) live without wild things.

Flaming maple leaves
Photo by J. Harrington

The Beautiful Changes

By Richard Wilbur 

One wading a Fall meadow finds on all sides   
The Queen Anne’s Lace lying like lilies
On water; it glides
So from the walker, it turns
Dry grass to a lake, as the slightest shade of you   
Valleys my mind in fabulous blue Lucernes.

The beautiful changes as a forest is changed   
By a chameleon’s tuning his skin to it;   
As a mantis, arranged
On a green leaf, grows
Into it, makes the leaf leafier, and proves   
Any greenness is deeper than anyone knows.

Your hands hold roses always in a way that says   
They are not only yours; the beautiful changes   
In such kind ways,   
Wishing ever to sunder
Things and things’ selves for a second finding, to lose   
For a moment all that it touches back to wonder.


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