Treading lightly the path to enlightenment.

Posts tagged ‘fall’

October Piece

As an October tradition here at ACZ, the annual posting of “October Piece”

– Paz

 

(Click any image to begin slide carousels)

 

October Piece-

 

O! 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.

Ah! To be that white-tailed deer,

Browsing ‘mongst the elms and pines,

Walking the tumbled-down rock fence lines,

As I bid the first snowflake “Appear!”.

 

 

Oh! To be that fox of the glen,

Who seeks all manner of food and forage,

To fatten his flanks with winter storage,

When drifting snows will surround my den.

 

 

Alas! To be that little one,

Raking leaf piles, carving pumpkins,

Stuffing a scarecrow country bumpkin,

Breathlessly awaiting Halloween fun!

 

 

Seek peace,

 

Paz

One Perfect Day

Noni among the flowers

It seems we get this one perfect day in the spring.

The temperatures rise and we can go out comfortably, perhaps a light wrap is all we need.

The sun breaks through the spring rain clouds, and shines on the greening Earth.

Birds sing. Hyacinths and daffodils and colt’s foot and crocuses bloom gaily.

And then it’s gone.

Next day, all the flies come out, accompanied by the ticks.

Mud tracks everywhere.

Before you know it, someone is complaining about the summer.

One perfect day.

Demanding? Perfectionists? Ultra-sensitive?

Next thing I know, folks will be complaining about the heat and humidity, the mosquitoes, the lawns we can’t keep up with.

The memory of that one perfect day fades quickly, and is lost in all the terrible days of summer.

After suffering a lot of sunshine and birdsong and camping and fishing and relaxing, you’d think folks would be glad the awful summer is over.

September first, or Labor Day, someone will turn to me and say “Next thing you know, it’ll be snowing.”

And I’ll be glad this nasty summer business is behind us so we can get back to freezing and shoveling.

 

Seek peace,

 

Paz

No Time for Time

 

Geese at Bowmaker’s

I will no longer be fooled by

Time.

Lulled into mistaking

Linearity for longevity,

Feigning limitlessness.

I move in circles.

Seek peace,

Paz

A Thousand Words

They say “a picture is worth a thousand words”, and most days I have a camera practically attached to my hand. This fall I’ve worked on a project, daily photos of a hillside covered with sugar maples. It’s on my ride to and from work, and it’s at its greatest glory in the fall. Stretching a quarter mile or so, I call it “The Wall of Flame” when the foliage turns deep orange. Each day through September and into October, I shot a few frames of the trees, looking to track their changes day-by-day. An idea for a post.

This day, I decided to put the camera down and actually see the beauty before me. Just to ride home like a regular Joe, enjoying the fall scenery. The day turned out to be one of those amazing golden days as I drove home into the sunset. Before I knew it, the words and phrases describing the view were spilling onto paper, writing on the tiny memo pad while driving. Some of the scribbling is tough to read, but herein I try to capture the essence of this glorious season, this beautiful world, without pictures.

The Ride Home-

SEEING it. The Wall of Flame and no camera. I feel as if I’ve missed it. Missed the slow turn from green to pale to yellow-ish to orange. Too much time with a camera stuck in front of my face. Thinking the peak has past, thinking it was a slightly duller year for leaf colors. I realize it’s as beautiful as any year, any season, as it is every day. In the clouds I see a bird-shaped formation. A body and two broad wings spread and soaring. A wingspan of a hundred miles, flying five miles high.

A brilliant pink-orange sunset, backlighting the big ridges, all the way to my own Victory Mountain. Truly purple and majestic. Worthy of an anthem. Gray undulatus stretching hundreds of miles across our blue blanket, to the opposite horizon, a deep indigo.

Leaves fall like snowflakes across our path, construction-paper colors and looking like decorations made by the kindergarten. Copper and red, umber and orange are reflected in the farm ponds. Vast cornfields have been shaved, leaving only the stubble standing, like grandfather’s beard, geese notwithstanding.

The globe progresses rapidly as the Big Red Ball drops past nautical twilight, cotton-candy cumulus are bathed in salmon and blue. Clouds in the shadow of the Earth now deepen, lavender wisps and smoky vermilion. The hilltops are now slow burning embers, and tangerine spires of light shoot beyond my field of view. Giant fingers of the gods giving the tiny fragile sphere the gentlest caress.

Trees are now flattened, backlit, and drawn out in india ink as the last Starlings dance and twirl in the umbrageous sky. Now lights must illuminate the road, and watch must be kept for deer.

Before I know, I am standing at my door, watching the last of the deepest colors fade from the sky. As if on cue, a flock of Canada Geese transits the glens of Engleville on a southwest course, silhouetted against the last light of the day. They call to us as they fade into the distance.

I turn, to see the evening star rising.

 

Seek peace,

 

Paz

This Is Not A Post

This is where you would have found a post, if I wasn’t busy outdoors, drinking in every precious moment of the season.

Typically, there would be an article here about the beautiful trail, the crisp air, the smell of dried leaves, the colors of the foliage, all accompanied by brightly-lit photographs.

I would have written (and shared photos) of my drive to Syracuse. The geese in the corn stubble. The rolling hills painted in lovely-sounding colors like crimson and persimmon and peach and burnt umber.

If I had the time, I’d write about the shortening days, the cooling of the northern hemisphere. The natural clocks I follow: birds migrating, the tilt of the Big Dipper in the night sky, the sunrises growing later with each passing day.

I would have regaled you with tales of the Wonder Woods, walks with my Sassy June, preparations for the seasons that lie ahead: hunting season, a Leaf Pile Party, closing of storm windows and the putting-away of lawn chairs and garden hoses.

There lies in the journal notes for many posts: watching the “Wall of Flame” grow bright, then dim to embers, for the twentieth year, this hillside covered with Sugar Maples. The attempts to photograph it each day, to observe the subtle and not-so-subtle changes over the course of an autumn. The tale of the deer caught in the urban environment, trapped and surrounded by highways.

If not otherwise occupied, you might have read the musings of an old armchair philosopher. About putting the camera down and opening the window. About¬†really seeing that which is before me. About the tiny circles we inhabit and the great circles our globe makes around the sun, wobbling through summers and winters. About the grandest circles, cycles of the cosmos, reminding us that “the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.”

You may have read about how much I love this life and this world and everything it holds, animate and inanimate. About the way I worry about tiny helpless animal friends and other living things facing a challenging future. About the way I fervently believe someone will come along after me that loves these things, this blue ball, and will care for them as I have.

There would have been a few paragraphs about how beautiful our world is, not just in this superlative season, but every day, in every season and the seasons-between-seasons.

And I would have once again related how joyful I feel when I am immersed in our world. How I feel I am never alone. How being a tiny insignificant speck on a rock on an arm of a galaxy in a universe filthy with galaxies makes me feel as though I am part of it all. As if this entire Great Cosmos is all mine to enjoy and revere.

Oh, yeah. It is.

 

Seek peace,

 

Paz

October Piece

(Click any image to begin slide carousels)

 

October Piece-

 

O! 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.

Ah! To be that white-tailed deer,

Browsing ‘mongst the elms and pines,

Walking the tumbled-down rock fence lines,

As I bid the first snowflake “Appear!”.

 

Oh! To be that fox of the glen,

Who seeks all manner of food and forage,

To fatten his flanks with winter storage,

When drifting snows will surround my den.

Alas! To be that little boy,

Raking leaf piles, carving pumpkins,

Stuffing a scarecrow country bumpkin,

Awaiting Halloween with joy.

 

Seek peace,

 

Paz

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

Bounty!

Bounty!

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

Pilers

Pilers

Big Enough

Big Enough

Alas, November is behind us, in the books.

Now December ¬†bears 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,

 

Paz

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,

 

Paz

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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