Maybe I was mistaken that the fall this year would be fleeting, as it is so often. This week we’ve had highs in the upper 60s–not a snow flake in sight!– even though the leaves continue to fall. There are birds frolicking all over my yard at the moment: the ever present nuthatches, a flock of bluebirds really seeming to be having fun, looking in at me typing on the porch, some woodpeckers–a yellow bellied and a downy–tapping in the trees that surround the house. Yellow-jackets hover around the porch screens, they can sense the baskets of fruit that line the wall inside, in particular the bowl of heady quinces on the table. A lazy fruit fly buzzes a wobbly line of flight. Thick leathery mahogany red oak leaves flutter down without stop, it seems, baring all the squirrel nests that dot the upper branches.
One of the things I do enjoy about the falling of the leaves is that so much is revealed. The houses across the small valley are now visible, the ridge seems closer now that all the leaves are gone, and cars can be seen and not just heard from way down the road. A warm breeze floats up the hill I’m on, and it makes the last leaves on the trees rattle, a sound I note with some sadness. Despite the warmth, my neighbor’s chimney is puffing out a thin line of smoke that moves with the wind. The smoke changes the way the air smells, along with the the mold of the leaves’ decay, the damp smell of leaf litter.
I hope to have something more substantial than seasonal musings up here next week, but for now, I’m outside enjoying the fine weather, the dried out milkweed pods and their silky seed parachutes inside, the slowly changing glow of copper and russet, the mesmerizing fall of leaves, the exquisite change of life to death.