Treading lightly the path to enlightenment.

Posts tagged ‘autumn’

The In-Between Time

November's Palette

November’s Palette

Just a few weeks ago, I could find nearly every color of my palette as I observed my world.

Sap Green and Phthalo Green, Mars Violet and Alizarin Crimson, Naples Yellow and Cadmium Yellow.

Now we slip into November, the In-Between Time.

Not Autumn exactly, but not yet winter.

Now the palette is limited, like a tonal study.

A study in Earth Tones.

Burnt Sienna, Van Dyke Browns, Raw Umber, Golden Ochre.

These swatches appear against a brilliant Cerulean sky, or alternately a Payne’s Gray backdrop.

The Wonder Woods, so recently reposed beneath bright colorful leaves, now an open space with sunlight streaming in, an unrestricted view of the sky where once there was a canopy of green

Wonder Woods

Wonder Woods

And then there is this In-Between Time. Barely discernible if you’re not paying close attention. Like a great pendulum swinging, as it reaches the height of its arc, and for one brief moment there is no motion. A kinetic pause, placed and required by the Great Cosmic Clockworks.

Like a breath held in, it seems our world has stopped, ever-so-briefly.

There are no green things growing, there are no red leaves falling.

No litters of newborns or fledglings in nests.

There is a stillness, a silence to my world, to our Wonder Woods.

It is the shortest of all the seasons-within-seasons.

If you are fortunate, you may be out in the Great World of Wonder when this season falls.

It is rest and respite, it is calmness and quiet.

Like coffee at sunrise or a granddaughter’s hug, it is over before we know it, and leaves us wanting for more.

Alas, the In-Between Time is that momentary motionlessness of the swing in the pendulum of the Great Cosmos.

And in an instant, the pendulum begins to drop.

If you blink, you may miss it.


Move slowly now, these shortening days.

And on to the Winter Solstice.


Seek Peace,



A Warm November

It was an uncharacteristically warm November this year, with just a single passing snow shower. The flora and foliage stretched the show out, held over for a couple of weeks.

Season's Colors

Season’s Colors

The trail has a warm autumn glow in golds and browns, tans and rust, splashes of crimson and the bright green die-hards.

The apple is nearly empty, sporting only the hangers-on. A crabapple feast awaits deer and rabbits on the ground.

The Crabapple

The Crabapple



A morning frost gives way to a foggy day. November always contains an element of gray, dappled with muted tones of summer past.

November Sky

November Sky




Morning Frost

Morning Frost

Ground Clouds

Ground Clouds

It’s an exciting season, as the world around us evolves daily. Now, without leaves, we can see Maggie’s pond from the top of the hill, through the trees. A change of scenery, like the biggest stage play ever. Swapping backdrops, changing out props, set decorating, as we prepare for the new opening: the glittering, frosty Winter Show.

Now the sun races from us. Walks after work are out of the question as darkness falls two hours before home time. Weekends are premiums, and we’ll ply the trails twice a day, morning and sunset.

The strawberry plants display bright red leaves against a background of deep, green lichen and mosses, looking like early holiday decorations.

Christmas Colors

Christmas Colors

My Throne

My Throne

The Passing Days

The Passing Days

Leaves are still piled high in places. We had a long fall period with no frost and little wind or rain, so the leaves held on and we have a bumper crop! It was, however, windy on the day of our Leaf Pile Party. So windy we couldn’t get the pile high enough to beat last year’s record of 56 1/2 inches. We’d barely make four feet and the brisk wind would take the top of the pile off.

Against The Wind

Against The Wind



Big Enough

Big Enough

Alas, November is behind us, in the books.

Now December ┬ábears a resemblance to November. Grass still green, remnants of leaves and leaf piles continue to blow across the yards and trails. Bit by bit the underbrush loses a few more leaves, pales a bit more, leans towards lying down for a winter’s nap.

The smell of snow is in the air often these days. Christmas is just not the same without a good snow cover.

In the meantime, we’ll enjoy the unique opportunity to stretch out our fall, autumn, early-winter days. To observe all those colorful things on the ground that would typically be hidden about now. To wait another week before we dig out the snow boots, the big suit, the gloves & hats box.

For some of us, perhaps those who don’t read calendars, it makes no difference what day or month you call it. Sure the mild days are easier than the wet or windy or cold days.

But then, each one is a work of art. A thing of beauty. One of a kind. Another blank page in our Wonder Book.

For some, it’s just a good time for a nap.

One Tired Puppy

One Tired Puppy


Seek peace,



Circle of Seasons


Schoharie Creek Sunrise

It’s great to live in a place that has such changes of season. Sure, idyllic life on tropical islands has its appeal, but I’ve never known that so won’t miss it I guess.

Moving through the seasons is like an annual reminder of the larger circle in which we linger, that of our own mortal lives. Metaphors speak of the “springtime” of one’s life, call out May-December marriages, and observe happenings that occur “once in a blue moon”.

I’ve recently chosen not to choose a favorite season.

Little Bit on the Cape

Lots of folks love summer, our own short piece of idyllic tropical life, doled out in 3-month stints. Shirtsleeves or less, the smell of mown grass, flowers, swimming, vacations and camping. Naps in the hammock, afternoons by the lake, long days with sunset stretching the light out ’til nine o’clock. What’s not to love about summer?

Winter does nothing by half-measures. People love winter or despise it and rarely fall between the two extremes. Some will ski and ice-fish and snowshoe and snowmobile gleefully through the most inhumane conditions with mile-wide smiles and bright eyes gleaming beneath frosty eyebrows. Others will build warm fires and libraries, and take up origami and macrame, fly tying and model-building, one-eyed tv watching and after-lunch couch-napping.

A day on Duane Lake




Spring! Spring has the heart and eye of every poet born to the art. Spring leaps to mind in metaphors for everything from circles and cycles to hopes and dreams. From the embryonic starts of life itself to the romance needed to keep the chain going. Change! No more dark, no more brown, but green and yellow! No more snow-covered ground but…well, mud-covered ground (especially in the kitchen)..but soon to be green!




Noni among the flowers

Alas, there is Fall. Autumn has so many colors, smells and flavors. We enjoy the Earth’s bounty as all around us she prepares to mothball the northern hemisphere and concentrate on summer in Australia. Noisy flocks of Canada geese and silent flocks of European starlings assemble overhead to begin their southern trek. Apples are ready to fall from trees, pumpkins are ready to be spared from frosts only to be sacrificed to Halloween.

As the air cools with these advancing autumn evenings, our instincts tell us to prepare the dens for the winter.

I don’t remember when it began, maybe it’s a past-halfway thing in life, but fall finds me reminded of the unwavering march of time. As we stare into the barrel of another winter, I am reminded of life’s own circle.



Maxie & the milkweed

We each are born in late winters, grow through our springs, enjoy the short summer of marriage; children, living and loving, learning. As each year passes we find ourselves closer to the autumn of our lives, and as we vow to enjoy every moment of it, we may turn around one day to discover the trees are bare.



You can regret and mourn the approach of winter.

Or you can learn to fish through the ice.


Be at peace,



October Piece 2

Ah! To be that Canada goose and see through those geese eyes,
That patchwork carpet below arrayed,
All nature’s vainglorious color displayed,
As I fly through blue-gray October skies.

Ho! To be that white-tailed deer,
Who browses ‘mongst the elms and pines,
And walks the tumble-down rock fence lines,
As I bid the first snowflake “Appear!”.

O! To be that fox of the glen,
Who seeks all manner of food and forage,
To fatten his flanks with winter storage,
When the drifting snows surround my den.

Alas! To be that little boy,
Raking leaf piles, carving pumpkins,
Stuffing a scarecrow country bumpkin,
Anticipating Halloween with joy.

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