Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Last day of astrological "Summer"

That's today, you know. Although, when the sun's shining, the season's official title doesn't seem all that important. Like yesterday, as I stood at a corner of the dog run, watching one of the dogs playing with her ball, the sun's warmth on my back felt comforting and comfortable. That triggered a recollection of the opening lyrics to John Denver's song Sunshine on My Shoulders (makes me happy). Minnesota stretches Summer well into Autumn as often as not. It makes fall a mellow season, until, around late October or mid November, it stops, sometimes abruptly. Seasons and weather don't acknowledge our calendars with their rigidly structured rectangular days and oblong weeks. Seasonal weather moves at its own pace, sometimes running ahead like an excited puppy, sometimes dawdling to sniff roses or whatever that interesting smell is, often just skipping about. (I know we need to protect air quality, but I miss the smell of burning leaves that I grew up with every Autumn.)

Autumn sunshine warming a country road
Autumn sunshine warming a country road
Photo by J. Harrington

Yesterday also brought, shortly after posting a mention of how this year's poults had grown, a yard full of them, along with some very watchful moms whose heads often pop'd up to check for trouble. (Mothers are like that, whether human or feathered.) I count 1 less than a dozen birds here, and can just barely tell the difference between the adult hens and the young'uns.

turkey hens and grown poults
turkey hens and grown poults
Photo by J. Harrington

We've made it through the dog days, some birds and butterflies have begun migration, there's a golden lightness in the air. Let's see how much we can enjoy this season.

Lightness in Autumn

By Robert Fitzgerald 
The rake is like a wand or fan,   
With bamboo springing in a span   
To catch the leaves that I amass   
In bushels on the evening grass.

I reckon how the wind behaves   
And rake them lightly into waves   
And rake the waves upon a pile,   
Then stop my raking for a while.

The sun is down, the air is blue,   
And soon the fingers will be, too,   
But there are children to appease   
With ducking in those leafy seas.

So loudly rummaging their bed
On the dry billows of the dead,
They are not warned at four and three   
Of natural mortality.

Before their supper they require   
A dragon field of yellow fire
To light and toast them in the gloom.   
So much for old earth’s ashen doom.


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