It has begun. The sky is a bright blue, the oblique sunlight is dazzling and the wind, our own mistral, swirls and gusts through the colorful branches and carries orange, red, and yellow confetti along in a carefree aerial dance
We are deep into that season for which our little part of the world is so well known and although I am no fan of the cold weather which it portends, I do enjoy the fall here in New England. Much like the earliest settlers who reveled in the bounty of the harvest and enjoyed the last days of habitable weather before the frozen chill of winter robbed them of crops, livestock and occasionally family members, folks here seem to embrace this season with a happy heart in a last burst of conviviality before the long hibernation.
Maybe it’s the beautiful surroundings, where even driving down the highway is like a leaf-peeping holiday. Maybe it’s the cool nights when we can finally pull out our LLBean down comforters and snuggle against the chill. Maybe it’s the time spent at harvest festivals and apple picking rather than lawn mowing and pool cleaning.
The days are still warm and windows remain open, allowing the delicious smells of baked goods to waft out and tickle the air with delicious scents of pumkin pies, apple tarts and homemade applesauce. Indeed, one cannot walk around my neighborhood on a Sunday morning without the comforting smell of bacon and pancakes. Apples, honey, pumpkin, and squash overflow baskets and farm stands. On my own kitchen counter is a mini peck of macintosh apples destined for tarts, pies, pancakes and muffins
One of my favorite things in fall are the crows. Those cacophonous and boisterous visitors have arrived, their black feathers, beaks and craggly legs contrasting against the bright yellow and orange leaves of the trees in which they sit, watching us… and plotting. Calling out to one another, not in the sing song melodious rhythms of their cousins, but in a loud and striking alarm reminding us that the end is near.
Where Spring peeps and twitters, fall gusts and caws. Even walking along with the dogs on a cheerful sunny morning the intense stare from the black eye of a jackdaw above -‘the grave and stern decorum of its countenance’-and it’s alarming call can give one pause, as if there is a warning to heed. They bring to my mind Halloween, Edward Gorey illustrations and Poe.
Edward Gorey cartoon for Masterpiece Theater. PBS has made yet another grievous error in eschewing this wonderful opening for something more slick and flashy
Typically not a fan of the macabre, I do appreciate the sharp contrast with the verdant summer. It almost puts me in the mood to celebrate the coming of winter, and to settle in comfortably with the understanding that summer is Nevermore