It’s Time

After the quiet humid hum of August, September has picked up in activity. Out walking, I can feel the subtle uptick of movement, which I didn’t expect until late September. But here it is. Squirrels scurry everywhere gathering nuts, chipmunks dart in their straight-line habit, birds seem to be everywhere. I’ve seen two owls in two days early in the morning and late in the day. I came face to face with a four-point buck, who stamped his front hoof and snorted at me before bounding off down a steep hill.

It’s full-on spider season and webs are plentiful. They are on my back porch as I walk out, on my car, and threaded between every dead branch I pass on my walk. Beautiful and glittering in the sun, they’re secret portals that you can only see if you stand at a certain angle. As special as they are, they are also a bane to the walker. I carry a “spider stick” these days that I hold out in front of me to break webs on instead of my face, which is a disagreeable feeling to say the least. I gather a lot of silk strands this way, and by the end of my walk the stick can sometimes be draped with many floating threads.

Out on the river, the ducks and geese are beginning to gather, socializing with their amiable quacking sounds. Great white egrets hunt for fish in small groups, their tall shocking white bodies like paper boats far out in the bright green meadow of the water chestnuts that blanket the surface of the shallow parts of the river. Great blue herons are out there too, closer in, more solitary, easily disturbed. They fly off when you approach, honking their warning cry that sounds like someone blowing through a vacuum tube, which is, I guess, how their long graceful neck is shaped.

And the mushrooms! They are finally here, not in profusion, but enough to keep me occupied. I thought they would come a long time ago, but they never did. Now that we’ve gotten a bit of rain, they have popped out here and there. It’s their last chance before the cold sets in, so maybe September will be their time to shine. I’ve never seen so many chicken of the woods in the past few years. I still haven’t seen one chanterelle or black trumpet, sadly, but there is still time.

It is time. Time to get ready for winter. Time to harvest what you can. Time to move on to a warmer place. We are all feeling that invisible pull that moves us along.


The Oysters Knew: speaking of the pull of time, I found this article mesmerizing and inspiring. I plan on reading the book it is excerpted from.

Confirmed Spotted Lantern Fly sighting on Staten Island

Currently reading: The Forest Unseen by David George Haskell.


  1. Such a beautiful post in every way, Jules. Doesn’t time feel bent in a new arc these days? For all the slowing and stopping, September came so fast.

  2. I like your “spider stick” idea. I read “The Songs of Trees” by David George Haskell earlier this year. I will have to look for “The Forest Unseen.” He had some interesting ideas about how much nature and people need each other. The picture of your woods is very inviting, in spite of spider webs!

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