Guess it is that time again, y’know. The thought hit home as I gazed out my kitchen window, first coffee in hand. Out across from the hay field and down a steep bank flows the Etchemin River which is not visible from my kitchen window. But this morning, with a reddish sky as a background, I saw vapour. That means, for you city folk, that the temperature of the air is colder than that of the water. A sip and a glance and holy smoke, or maybe holy vapour, 35° was the reading.
Maybe, like you, I have been ignoring the signs of the birth of the changing of the season, preferring more to remain in the arms of green grass and BBQ suppers outside. Speaking of green grass, it seems that just a short while ago I was in my kitchen window, with a coffee, and admiring those new leaves, you know, those leaves with the pale innocent colours of green which denote a rebirth of spring. And now those leaves have turned dark green, the tips rolling up and instead of getting grey, they get brilliant, like the finale of a great summer. They are now old and senile and, like us, are giving it their last and best shot.
Last week they put in the third cut of the hay out in the field in back here. The seagulls were having a mousy picnic for sure. Then just before the cut, starlings showed up. Let me tell you, starlings know how to gaggle up. Hundreds of them all flocked and they come down and feed in the backyard for a few minutes and suddenly they are gone and we can hear them chirping as they re-group in a big maple at the end of the field. Suddenly they are off again to someone else’s yard. They are nervous, anxious and seem to me like a group of grammar school kids heading out on their first trip to Yankee Stadium. Those birds will soon be on their way elsewhere.
I should have paid more attention to these events I think, that way the acceptance of the advent of colour would be easier to handle. Actually I am glad that I did not adhere to the signs, as if we dwell too much on the future we shall lose the present and presently those senile old green leaves are soothing and will be peaking out in about a week, ten days at the most. And then a tear shall shed, a small shower to send them gracefully to their resting place where they shall yet again change colours, to a brownish hue. At that point time stops, just for a moment, until those ashen browns go to sleep under the cover of a snug white blanket.
Hallelujah, we ain’t there yet! Yes. I have prepared my friend, the truck, for the upcoming wave of everything from gathering nuts, to hauling wood, to sitting on a pier watching the sunset. That same sun which played hide and seek through the bright hardwood leaves while I tried to capture a scant few of the million potential photos, always telling myself that the last shot would be the best and then along comes a cloud and the entire foliage changes. Drat, I’ll be again late for supper. What do I have in my truck? Well the walleyes will begin to bite, I’ll need my rubber boots because my camera and my friend the truck sometimes take me to some strange places, my chainsaw and hook, naturally and I also have rain gear and very often, my podnah of 35 years sitting as shotgun. His seat is reserved in my truck.
Me ‘n’ him, well we just love to wander on dirt roads in the back country where the colours are beyond belief. He too can shed a tear as he is an old green leaf himself, 83 and absorbing all, especially deer, just in case he does not make it to the next falling of the leaves. We used to snare partridge even though it is illegal, but just a few for a meal. Some people call it poaching but we just file under ‘’special’’, for it is special. You have to set up your snares before the leaves fall, which is always before hunting season, as the birds will not see the red berries on the ground. Huh, birds, they all seem frantic nowadays. They definitely know something but a few species such as the geese and ducks are cool. They float and dive and eat and they get into the fields and make a really nice foreground for leaf pics. Of course, with autumn colours in mind, we cannot let pass a pumpkin field, can we?
‘Tis truly a time of the year which generates on a daily basis, something new and exciting and the salad of colours is only perfected by the vinaigrette of fresh autumn air. What a beautiful ‘’plat de résistance’’!
Yes, do me a favour...do not sit at home and watch TV, not even football or NASCAR. Get out and live the dying of one season and the re-incarnation of another. For you in the South, c’mon up here y’all, and you’ll want to transplant our autumns to your Dixie beauty and get the better of the two worlds…