Sunday, September 18, 2016

Edging up on Equinox #phenology

This coming Thursday, the Autumnal Equinox will join the rest of September as meteorological and astronomical Autumn become one, at least for awhile. The "Harvest Moon" we've enjoyed has looked very much like an ordinary full moon at 4:00 a.m.-ish when I've walked a dog under mostly clear skies. Maybe October's full moon will take on that magical golden tone. Sitting around now at mid-day in a 75 F temperature makes it feel more like the tag end of Summer, but the extended weather forecast seems to acknowledge that Thursday's the day. A cooling trend will have high temps in the 60s starting Friday although that's probably not enough to finish off the lingering mosquitoes on which the remaining dragonflies are feeding.

locally grown Autumn Asters
locally grown Autumn Asters
Photo by J. Harrington

It looks like the new bridge construction on County Road 36 managed to disrupt, if not destroy, a patch of asters growing on the North side of the road near the bridge. I'm disappointed at a potential loss, but really pleased and finding compensation in several spots along our township gravel road where asters started appearing this year in places not seen since we moved in a couple of decades ago. (At least I hadn't noticed them previously.) If the asters near the bridge are back next year, I'll stop kicking myself for not having dug some to transplant before the work started.

Red Meadowhawk dragonfly
Red Meadowhawk dragonfly
Photo by J. Harrington

More and more leaf colors are showing up -- leaf by leaf, patch by patch, cluster by cluster, soon tree by tree. As of Thursday, we'll switch from days getting shorter to nights getting longer. I'm going to see if I can remember to watch how later in the season asters continue to bloom this year. We have to remember to look down as well as up if we're going to enjoy all the beauty the season offers.

Marcus Aurelius Rose


By Lisa Jarnot


for Thomas

From the five good emperors
I have learned that there were five good emperors,
From the lemon tree I’ve planted
now I know that leaves unpummeled yet will drop,
From the clock, the time, it’s five p.m.,
from the sun the length of day,
From Quercus borealis, the queer names of the leaves
of all the trees,
From burning I’ve learned burning,
from the aster family chickory abounds,
From hawkweed of the colors bright,
from sleeping, of my dreams,
From mosquitoes, scratching, from fishes, fishing,
from turkeys how to run and how to hop,
From erect perennials I’ve learned to reach the shelf,
from my cats to lick the dark part of the tin,
From the sparrows I’ve learned this and that,
from Germanic tribes, to gather thoughts in herds,
From the window blinds, from the sun decayed,
from the heart, a brimming record braised and turned.


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