Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Autumn leaves drift by...

For much of the past week, we've had Northwest winds pushing to the southeast any of the heat and humidity left from Summer. Today we collected the pumpkins and chrysanthemums that served as wedding decorations and repurposed them. The mums are now planted, prettying up the driveway, although I don't really expect to see them green up again come Spring.

Photo by J. Harrington

The pumpkins await either being chewed on by the local deer or being turned into jack-o-lanterns. Seasonal transitions continue. Next Monday used to be known as Columbus Day but in enlightened parts of the USA it's now become Indigenous People's Day.

Photo by J. Harrington

I'm all for that change. Native Americans grew three sisters gardens, including pumpkins (or other squash), corn and beans. We didn't get to it this year but maybe next Spring we can play with a three sisters garden ourselves.

The grape leaves have turned yellow, mice are trying to move indoors, the temperatures are seasonal but descending slowly. This morning's newspaper reports that this Winter shouldn't be as cold as last (some of us think that last Winter shouldn't have been as cold as it was). Other news is that the PolyMet EIS should be completed next Spring and that this round of the sulfate standards research should be wrapped up by MPCA sometime next year. Next year is looking to be very interesting.

Before we get there, though, with a wedding behind us, we're looking forward to a holiday per month for the next four months (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years). That must mean we're coming up on the "Holiday Season" although I'm hoping against hope that I don't see any Christmas decorations for another six weeks or so, there's so much to enjoy with what we have right now.

A Crown of Autumn Leaves

By Annie Finch 
For Mabon (fall equinox), Sept. 21 
Our voices press

from us

and twine
around the year's

fermenting wine

Yellow fall roars
Over the ground.
Loud, in the leafy sun that pours
Liquid through doors,
Yellow, the leaves twist down

as the winding

of the vine
pulls our curling


Glowing in wind and change,
The orange leaf tells

How one more season will alter and range,
Working the strange
Colors of clamor and bells

In the winding

of the vine

our voices press out
from us

to twine

When autumn gathers, the tree
That the leaves sang
Reddens dark slowly, then, suddenly free,
Turns like a key,
Opening air where they hang

and the winding

of the vine

makes our voices
turn and wind
with the year’s

fermented wine

One of the hanging leaves,
Deeply maroon,
Tightens its final hold, receives,
Finally weaves
Through, and is covered soon

in the winding

of the vine—

Holding past summer's hold,
Open and strong,
One of the leaves in the crown is gold,
Set in the cold
Where the old seasons belong.

Here is my crown

Of winding vine,

Of leaves that dropped,
That fingers twined,
another crown
to yield and shine
with a year’s

fermented wine.

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