October drifted into our lives, already alive in colors changing to their true hues, with several flocks in flight stirring up fallen leaves beneath our stately Rock Maple trees. Cedar Waxwings, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, solitary Blue-headed Vireos and Bluebirds flit about calling out in high pitched trills and tweets. A pair of Pileated Woodpeckers dash and tear the sheath of air around the shivering, nearly golden Black Cherry. Everything is in constant motion most all of the time, but just now there is an excitement to the changing season and journeys underway.
The male Bluebird returns to his garden after some weeks of silence and secrecy . . . "Where have you been?" . . . I silently wonder. I have missed your soft murmuring warbles. The couple furtively, though in plain view, raised two broods here this summer and will claim their chosen homesite to begin again when springs slips over the land. Until then . . . come what may . . . we will have months together, on this east facing hillside, beneath the mantels of autumn and winter. For now, I must get out and clean their nestbox.
Just at the edge of the Crabapple Orchard a Tree Hydrangea's off-white petals melt into blush pink below a heavily laden Crabapple tree. Flocks of Robins and Cedar Waxwings, along with a Flicker or two, have already been testing the tartness of these tiny apples.
Ruby-crowned Kinglets are busy gleaning the trees of, even more tiny, insects but never seem tempted by the small apples.
Light and colors are ever in a state of change. Soon the serpentine Black Cherry will be wearing all flaxen tresses and when a large breath of wind moves through her mane . . . golden rain will shatter and fall freely like a flight of butterflies into the pathway of breeze. At this moment . . . here . . . having lived this time . . . years upon years . . . the images are like parts of a tapestry . . . each year another woven picture within a large hanging called . . . a seasonal life. A life well seasoned . . . nearing an autumnal age. Yet, I never tire of the excitement of such profound changes within the tides of nature surrounding me.
Plants and shrubs become poetic in exhaling one last flower before inhaling their life fluids deep into their inner trunks and cores. People too may pull in towards their winter souls and move slower through the pages of months yet to be turned. These last blooms will nurture our poetic natures and fuel the many pollinators still busy about the gardens and fields.
Light dances throughout the landscape creating colors of cooler and warmer tones.
The Ruby-crowned Kinglets are delighting in the black aphid population occupying a giant Impatiens glandulifer Royal. The teeny morsels of protein will aid them in their flights south. There is an abundance for all . . . I am not sure what this tiff is all about . . . respecting boundaries I would guess. These might be females or just not very seriously upset, for if they were males and truly pissed, a bright red tuft would suddenly appear atop their heads. We all hide parts of ourselves, don't we.
This Blue-headed Vireo flies about with, and looks very similar to, the much smaller Ruby-crowned Kinglets. Careful observation reveals the true identity, however. As in all life it helps to pay attention to the details and not lose sight of the true nature of things. Not to hint at our country's present state of affairs too lightly.
This morning there is a thick blanket of fog hanging between Flower Hill Farm and Walnut Hill . . . the river below gushes rapidly from the heavy evening rain . . . wearing and lapping down the memory of what the stones might have been. Earlier, as I was reading, soft chatter of birds and people's voices wafted in between the words and paragraphs . . . guests from Pakistan and Florida . . . a beautiful child wearing a white unicorn stealthily steps about the garden paths with her elegant grandmother who floats in a hammock for the first time in her sixty years. Her kind face, lush dark hair and rich light yellow and pumpkin colored finely woven silk shalwar (loose trousers) and kameez (long tunic) fill the roped hammock and wild garden with an unknown joy to its being as well.
Each day the hillside fades just a bit more . . . from forest greens to oranges, yellows and reds reminiscent of springs early blooms.