Between Seasons

Today (Sunday) was a perfect fall day.  Yet it still feels like we have one foot in summer because the humidity remained unseasonably high.  We have yet to close our in-ground pool, put away the lawn furniture, cover the grill, empty the flower pots of annual flowers, and, of course, the most dreaded task…. rake the leaves.

But there are definite signs of a seasonal shift. The squirrels almost become like crack addicts in their frenzy of gathering and hiding acorns. They scamper from dawn to dusk, walking on the edge of fences, across the backyard on electric and telephone wires, and up and down the surrounding trees.

Leaves are already accumulating in my neighbor’s front yard, dropped by the grand oak tree that grows on the border between her property and ours. For now most of the leaves are on her property, thank goodness.

Daylight is disappearing.  By 7 o’clock, the sky becomes dark.  We haven’t really adjusted to this change and are still in full swing as the sun goes down, wondering “where did the time go?” Kids are no longer in the park past 5 o’clock.  Instead they are at home on their smart phones or computers.

The crickets have been deafening of late. They serenade us at night if we happen to be outdoors finishing a task, or just popping out to bring out the garbage or steal a glance at the “harvest” moon.

(Fall moon 2018, known as harvest moon)

I am making a promise to myself to try to notice when they stop singing. Most of our outdoor plants are on their way out.  Many have been savaged either by slugs or moths who chomp through them at night when we’re not looking.

The occasional goldfinch still shows up for a dip in our backyard bird bath. The sunflowers have come and gone, so they won’t be around much longer.

We haven’t seen the cardinals for weeks, nor the titmice or woodpeckers.  We stopped feeding them mid-summer when we realized a rat was showing up for the food, so the cacophony of birds that delighted us with the arrival of spring has dwindled to nearly nothing.  We miss their songs which have been replaced by the chattering of busy squirrels burying their acorns throughout the day.

Along the harbor road the seasons are noticeably changing.  The exotic birds (herons, egrets) have moved on to warmer places, but the cormorants are perched in groups on the boats still anchored there.  Goldenrod is abundant everywhere we look, and the bees are grateful for that.

Almost without noticing, at home we have switched from summer fare to more substantial grub. We have eaten yams a few times lately, as well as roasted chicken and potatoes.

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At the supermarket I find myself eyeing the pork loins and meatloaf mix.  The occasional mojito at a nearby happy hour has vanished and isreplaced by red wines and frothy beers. Suddenly, we crave pumpkin soup, baked apples, cauliflower, baked squash and apple cider.

As a family we are mostly winter people.  My husband craves the silence of winter and the relief from tedious outdoor chores including mowing the grass and doing the necessary pool and yard maintenance.

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My daughter loves winter walks in the park nearby and along the shores of our coast.  Together we’ve learned to identify several species of ducks, but there’s so much more we need to learn. My son is congenitally biased toward winter holidays, his favorites being Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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I love brisk autumn and winter walks, when the bones of the landscape become visible.  When there are no leaves to obstruct the view of the horizon. When you come across an abandoned osprey nest and wonder where its former inhabitants have gone and whether they will come back.

Ancient humans were much more in tune with the change of seasons. Their survival depended on it. Many of their remaining ruins remind us of how important the movement of the sun was for them, as they were aligned to capture the summer and winter solstices.

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(Summer solstice dagger at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico)

I am fascinated by how, for centuries, we moved almost unconsciously into the next season as we adapted to the changes.  How much longer will we have actual distinct seasons…or will we suffer extreme weather in our winters and summers? Will we be driven back into a deeper awareness of the seasons because our lives will again depend on that awareness?

 

 

 

Published by

barbara suter

I'm a retired teacher who enjoys writing and sharing in this; unique blogging community.

17 thoughts on “Between Seasons”

    1. I am a nature lover. I christened our family walks with the kids when they were very young as “The Church of Nature.” So, given what’s going on in our world today, i.e. ignoring the messages that nature is sending us, I am grieving for what we’ve already lost, and what we stand to lose if we keep going in the direction we’re going. I, too, was surprised at how my ending turned out. I certainly don’t have the answers, but these are questions I live with. Thank you for sharing that comment.

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    1. I love seeking out the “ordinary things” that we don’t see when we’re living on an overly full schedule. Unlike you, I really dislike summer (except for going for a swim) so I am joyful about the change. For me it couldn’t come soon enough! Vive la difference!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad you love the pictures. It takes a lot of extra time to add them to the post, but I always love a post with pix so I try to take the time to do it. I think we are all enjoying this transition into fall after such a dreadfully hot, rainy summer. Enjoy that pumpkin latte!

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  1. Great pictures and commentary. Autumn is a beautiful transitional season. The warm days and cool nights are my ideal weather patterns. Although I miss the summer birds, I know that when I start filling the feeder for the winter months I will be treated to a colorful sight outside our dining room window. With so much to be thankful for, it is fitting that Thanksgiving should fall during this colorful season.

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    1. I love your line “With so much to be thankful for….” My daughter and I love walking in winter when few people are outside. We’ve grown to love the winter ducks that visit our shores and ponds, and we’ve even learned to identify each type and their names. And what’s not to love about autumn when we’ve had such a miserably hot, rainy summer. By the way, how was the weather while you were in California?

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    1. I’d love to take walks with you. And I’m glad you like the pictures. Sometimes I get hung up on the right pictures for the post and can lose hours on the computer. But enough of that! Soup….hmmm. I once wrote a poem about making “soup from the bone.” Maybe I’ll post it soon. It’s great to hear from you.

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    1. I am aglow. Several people including you seemed to really enjoy my walk thru the seasons. I loved reading books about seasons to my ESL students and getting them to tell me what they like to do in each season. Many are not even aware there are seasons. It’s never been discussed in their homes. Thanks for the writing compliment. It means a lot to me.

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  2. It’s supposed to be 80 and rainy tomorrow. How do you dress for that?!?!?

    I love the change from summer into fall. However, it doesn’t feel like we’re quite in autumn yet. (Hoping to get some pumpkins and apples this weekend to change that!)

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  3. It’s funny…but I was thinking the same thing! An umbrella is a must. I’ll probably end up in shorts or crops because I don’t do well in the heat. I went to DSW today for shoes, and ended up sweating bullets because their a/c wasn’t working properly. Like I said in my intro, we have one foot still in summer.I bought some ornamental cabbages that made me feel a bit like fall. I’ve started eating apples (chilled in the fridge). I am thinking about making an apple blueberry cobbler in the next day or so. Yum. And last, but not least, hold on to that baby, I’d give anything to have my kids as infants for a day again. Nothing else feels or smells like a baby.

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