Posts tagged autumn

From the Bus Stop

In spring we watch, day by day as the snowball bush goes from a tangle of limbs to a magical green. Days pass and the blossoms of white start to appear and the green darkens among the growing snowballs. Weeks pass quickly ad we count the days until school is out. the snowballs, now so heavy that they weigh down the limbs have taken on a purple hue towards the middle ad the begin to wither and die.

Summer has come and we have watched the dogwoods change their shades of green leaves, observe the daily opening of the blooms, and
once again , watch them wither and die.

When summer has ended (way too soon) and we are back in the morning mist of August, we see that the Joe Pye Weeds are waving in warm winds beau the rushing stream.

Soon the dogwoods take on an increasing reddish hue and leaves of gold flutter down from the many deciduous trees on the hillside.
As the leaves fall from the dogwood trees, clumps of red berries have appeared in the frost where blossoms once sparkled in spring storms.

As we watch time go by, from the first buds of spring to the lushness of summer, the glory of autumn and snowdrifts of winter, my children and I realise how quickly tome goes by and how fast they are growing.

Like the seasons, we grow and change. Each age, each season having its own special beauty. As a tear rushed down my cheek when I think of how quickly my children ate growing, I look longingly at them and realise that soon, they will be watching the seasons change with their own .

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Autumn Gifts from Mother Nature

DSCN1095Fall is definitely a beautiful time of year in the mid-south.  I love the webs of orb weavers, like the huge Black and  Yellow Argiope (garden spider) who tends to stay in the middle of her web.  Males build smaller webs around hers until they see a chance to mate. Then there is the araneus, a smaller orb weaver whose webs are often attached to telephone poles and wires, tree limbs and weeds. Unlike the Argiope, she tends to hide near the edge of her web until prey lands within her trap, then she goes in for the kill, wrapping them in her silk for later eating.  Both of these spiders  are mature females waiting for a mate and then for making their paper-bag brown egg casings, often attached to one of the tall, stiff weed stems where they have made their web all summer.

Mushrooms are just amazing in autumn.  The colors and varieties are enormous!  My daughter spotted some mid-sized yellow mushrooms with brown marks on to the other day.  I didn’t look them up or take a photo, but I remember what they looked like, and will definitely check my book!  last year, I spotted some beautiful mushrooms sprouting from the ssump of a rotting tree.  They would start out with a bulb at the top, and as they matured, they opened up, sporting a detached cap.  Their tan color made them blend in with the tree trunk, I did take photos of them. I had trouble finding an exact match in my book, but will try to do some up-dating on mushrooms soon and add the name into the article.

I love the variety of autumn asters.  The tiny white ones are often pulled up as weeds, but I let them grown, ungainly and tall until to burst into bloom in late September and bloom until frost.  Honey bees and butterflies find the late blooming asters to be one of their few sources of nectar this time of year, I wish people would be aware of how important honey bees are to crops!  Diseases and decreasing habitat have greatly reduced the number of honey bees in the Southern Appalachians, please nature lovers, leave the wild asters, both the small gangly white variety as well as the more attractive and larger purple asters so that the bees and butterflies that are still around in autumn will have food!

I cannot forget the beautiful red berries that appear on dogwood trees. They become aparent only as the leaves start to fall near the time of the first frost. Wild roses also sport red seed buds in fall. Both provide food for the creatures who stay for the winter in the Southern Appalachians,-anywhere from birds like the cardinal and gray squirrels.

Wild muscedine grapes seem to flow from the branches of trees at the edge of forest and yards where they can get plenty of sun. They are dark purple, and smaller than grapes that we grow, but were often used by early settlers for jellies, juice and jams. The leaves are dark green and fluted, just as a “tame” grape.  The grapes hang in bunches similar to tame graoes, as well.

Nature doesn’t leave us empty handed in the fall of the year, it just shows the products of summers growth and becomes food for the animals who stay with us during fall and winter.

I will end with a favorite poem that I learned in fifth grade. I appologize for not remembering the author.

Autumn

A road like brown ribbon, a sky that is blue,

A forest of green with that sky peeping through,

Asters, deep purple, a grasshoppers call,

Today, it is summer, tomorrow, it’s fall.

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A Trip to the Past

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“Serena,” Raven sputtered excitedly as they walked to the cafeteria beneath the beautiful autumn maples.

Raven turned around and giggled. “Serena, what’s wrong with you?

“There’s this new cafe off campus.”

“So?”smiled Raven, walking as they talked.

“Well, they serve tea ,coffee, hot chocolate or pastries, but that’s not the exciting part.”

“Then what is?” Raven asked, stopping in her tracks.

“When you walk in the door, you go back in time.” Serena whispered. “I swear. I thought I’d been drugged. Even my clothes were from the middle ages. Everything was, the food….”

“Raven grabbed Serena’s hand. “What are you waiting for, let’s go!”

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The Sun and the Ice

Here in the lovely autumn of the Appalachians, the sun streamed through the abundance of multicolored leaves still clinging to the trees. It was a day when I was compelled to take that last walk, look at my marigolds and asters one more time. The were so beautiful, it seemed that they were at their very peak.

But, I had read the weather forecast in the newspaper. The first frost was expected tonight. In the morning, the ground would be white with the first ice of winter, flowers would have that dark color, death awaiting the sun’s first glimmer, and that being their last. Winter.

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Autumn Morning (haiku)

pink ripples drift above

autumn has come at last

the last asters bloom

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A Breath of Fall

We wait at the school bus stop in the summer sun. The air conditioner is on high at 7:30 a.m. It just cannot be that summer is over. There is a dogwood tree that I watch, next to a wild aster. They are my calendar, my watching, waiting for fall to come.

One foggy day, the dogwoods leaves have a tinge of red, now the berries show their cardinal souls. The aster that has looked like an ugly weed all summer explodes into a wild white bush, excited, thankful bees all around. Relax, close your eyes, fall has come.

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Harvest-a Breath of Fresh Air

 

It creeps upon us-Autumn. One day, we are sweating in shorts, wishing the wind would pick up a little, then the next day, there is a chill in the air, we grab a light sweater as we run out the door.

 

Harvest-such a beautiful time for those of us that are weary of lawns to be mowed, mosquitoes, waves of heat mirroring from the pavement. 68

 

The welcoming sight of pumpkins ripened in over gown gardens, leaves turning the colors of crayons in the box of 64.

 

A breath of cool, fresh air, we have waited patiently.

 

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Changing seasons

As the heat of summer turns gently into fall, the deep green of growing leaves take on a tinge of scarlet.

I walk, slowly, deep in thought, down the narrow lane as rain drops begin to patter gently on the leaves far above me.DSCN2077

The rain drops mix with my tears as I remember how I loved these days. The birth of four sons during these months, the joy of life, growing so quickly as if every plant and creature knows that the time is coming for a long winter’s nap.

Now, I walk alone, the evil senseless nature of “life” having stolen one of my sons and the natural progression of time having me look up at my youngest son, six feet tall already and only fifteen.

I walk on. Some turkeys, who have become like pets, follow me along, knowing that I will feed them sunflower seeds. As they gobble and nod their heads, I think of how wild creatures survive and how hard I worked to feed 19 people for lunch today. I think of my six kids and how quickly time has passed. Now six grand kids are noisily ‘destroying’ my house.

 I stop to listen to my son and his friend tell about the bears they saw eating garbage up the road as the gentle raindrops cool my arms and cheeks. Up in the forest, I hear the crashing of branches and the crunch of leaves and I imagine that the bears are on the way down the mountain. I don’t hang around to find out.DSCN1983

 Summer is life, sweat, heat, the dreams of growing and hope of change. Autumn brings a chance to slow down, remember, smile and cry as well. Autumn always makes me reflect upon the past, some of it brings a smile, like the look of psychedelic leaves in the pasture as they shiver in the sun. Other times bring back the endless nightmare of watching my beautiful healthy son collapse on a ball field, never to come home.

 Suddenly, I remember 5th grade, a year filled with joys and sorrows, but sweetened by a school teacher who was one of the most amazing people I ever met. She taught me to love art, to believe in myself, to learn poetry that I have taught my children and grandchildren, and still remember today. Every year, on this day, I think of one of her poems, this one written by Edwina Fallis many years ago. The words float through my mind. It is called, simply, “September”.

                                                                     A road like brown ribbon,

                                                                       a sky that is blue,

                                                                    a forest of green,

                                                                       with that sky peeping through.

                                                                    Asters, deep purple,

                                                                     a grasshoppers call.

                                                                    Today, it is summer,

                                                                      Tomorrow, is fall.

 

I think how baseball took my son, his black obsidian stone shining from a hill side where it should not be for many, many years. I think of having to endure the brushes with my own death that loosing him caused, and how brave I have to be to let my younger son even go to a ball game.DSCN1416

Life and death, the mystery of which we will never know. Home. I hear the screen door as it creeks shut and I step back into the world that I often wish I didn’t have to live in. There are tiny smiles and tears living within my broken heart. There is joy and pain, the lovely simplicity with which nature creates miracles. There is the unspeakable grief that can turn a life into a nightmare.

Today, it is summer, tomorrow, it’s fall and then what? These are things we will never know, not even in our dreams.

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Autumn Rain

I didn’t mean for my tears
to mingle with the
cold splash of rain
as it filtered through
golden leaves, falling, slowly.

I thought of him sitting
beside me on the porch
whispering  how he loved
to watch the rain.
hear its voice in the wind.

He loved the way we
could see it  clearly,
as it rushed over the mountain.
The soft patter transformed now.
Hammering, battering, loudly.

I sat, soaked by cold rain.
drenched by hot tears.
in a place that we had laughed in.
lived and loved in.
Rain and tears, in autumn.

Inseparable now, forever.

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Autumn Ending

One day, I notice a crunch of leaves beneath my feet,
The fading final blooms of wild asters brushing my shoulders.
I spy the orb web of an araneus spider blowing in the wind.
The morning mist sends a chill down my cheek,
When only days ago, the mist had me whispering  a quiet, “Ahhh!”

The fields, once filled with clumps  of multicolored leaves and mushrooms
Are now  deeply covered in deep, crisp, and ruffled leaves of brown.
The tempting smoothness of buckeyes, sends young  children,
Out into the fields to gather them, smooth, round, tempting, into baskets.
I reach down and find one, memories, flooding in.

Though pines are not supposed to shed leaves, it seems that they do.
Perhaps not all at once, but I can gather them as mulch for my azaleas.
A silent flock of nameless birds flies overhead, southward bound.
Only their silhouettes against the creamy blue sky reveals their path.
I wonder where their flight will lead them, what they seek.

With a sudden gasp, the heat of summer  becomes early autumn
and then a chill sweeps the land, dries the leaves, calms the growing.
I wander among the fading leaves and fallen mast crops,
Thinking of the difficult days ahead, that first snow flake.
Soon, I will hunt for the first sprig of green. Time, life, leaves me breathless.

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