Monday, September 13, 2010

Get Ready, Have Rake, Make Leaf Pile

Well, friends, autumn is here and with it comes cooler temperatures, skies of a different blue, and nature’s colors. Some people are forlorn this season. Throughout the Midwest, due to the drought conditions of the summer, trees have already lost many of their leaves and those left behind are a basic brown. I agree. Not nice at all.

Here in the north country, though, we’ve begun the changing of seasonal robes. Snow came to the high country in August. Now, the larch are turning into candle flames of gold among their evergreen neighbors. Burning bushes are flaunting crimson twigs for all to see. The aspen shake their shiny golden leaves in the slightest breeze.

And confused maples have taken to sporting tiny helicopter wings among still-green leaves. Crabapples are ready to begin dropping fruit for human and squirrel alike. Huckleberries still vie for bears’ attentions with big, bright rose hips.

The big game braves the roadside for a chance at prime vegetation. Migrations have begun of geese, cranes, and stork. There are many things to take stock of during this season of winding down from high summer and preparation for winter’s slumber.

For many this is the time for festivals and celebration. Harvests are going on throughout the country. Great pumpkins are showing up in supermarkets everywhere. Winter squash seduce the cook with varied colors and shapes--so many from which to choose.

Apples and pears scent the air with aromas that cause mouths to water. It’s time to enjoy the fall of leaves and the closing of the growing season.

Here are some considerations for the future. Soon children of all ages will ring doorbells across the country in search of the elusive treats to compromise tooth enamel and cause a sugar high. Turkeys will come down in price as growers everywhere bring the birds to stores where wives and husbands will pick and choose just the right one to grace their table at Thanksgiving.

Once that day’s had its run, a tree will rise in living/family room. Kids and adults will bestow upon its boughs a multitude of colorful ornaments, tinsel and ribbon or garland. Christmas stars and snowflakes will flutter among the decorations through the house, spill out onto the lawn, or up to the roof to proclaim this new season within the winter season.

Or, Hanukkah specialties will be brought to bear on the house and home for the family of that faith. Kwanzaa will take precedence for others. And some will ignore the time of year all together.

A few days after that second turkey or big ham or corned beef, the year will change its name for another, and our lives will move on into another cycle. It never stops. Only we make the seasonal changes of attitude, expectation, and enjoyment.

This annual progression anchors our lives within a somewhat predictable pattern. If any of the holidays were removed, we’d all have a difficult time adjusting--if we could adjust at all. If Autumn arrived in November and Winter moved to February, we’d all panic. It’s that predictability that keeps us following our personal calendars of events.

For now we are safe from any untoward elimination of festivities. Apple cider will flow as freely as last year's. Pumpkins will roll into your house for the annual carving of Jack-O-Lanterns for placement on front stoops. Turkey with stuffing can still be planned for late November.

It’s nice having a calendar that still works for the adult stage of the child that you were, isn’t it?
Have fun with this season. It doesn’t last all that long and offers many opportunities to revisit that inner child of yours. Get out and see whatever color comes your way. Play with the clouds as when you were a kid. Find the dragons, dogs, and castles that float within the sky’s white vapor shapes. Rake the leaves, only to jump into the pile when you finished.

Who says they must stay in a pile? Who made that rule? That’s the only enjoyment in raking leaves in the first place.

See y’all later.


**NOTE: All photos used here are from BJ Jones Photography at:


  1. “Skies of a different blue”

    “Changing of seasonal robes”

    “flames of gold among evergreen neighbors”

    “confused maples have taken to sporting tiny helicopter wings among still-green leaves”

    “Winter squash seduce the cook”

    These, just a sampling from one post, make my mouth water for more juicy morsels from a creative mind that simply "thinks" in poetry. Your articles are great, Clauds, but it's the poetic phrases that capture my heart.

    Marie Elena

  2. Ah, Marie. You do my heart good when you tell me such things. I'm glad that you still find my writing worthwhile.

    Thank you.