Saturday, October 31, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Another killing frost last night. Clear skies and a million stars this morning. Orion dominated the southern sky when I got up. The moon--which has been a slender crescent paired with Venus in the eastern sky these past few mornings--has vanished for now.
A thick layer of frost coats the back deck and the alder leaves glisten, reflecting the sunrise from rimed surfaces. My sweet peas lie defeated on the deck. I had only a couple of blooms from them before this killing frost. I love the fragrance of sweet peas but my growing season is too short for them. The relationship always ends with disappointment.
There are cat-tracks on the deck. Max? Probably not. The red cat seems to patrol here regularly and I haven't had a clear sighting of Max for weeks. We will know more when the snow comes and we have a chance to read the story of what goes on around here when we aren't looking.
As the sun melts the frost, the leaves begin to fall. The landscape is changing into winter.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Most of the lush vegetation of summer has lain down now, wilted by the first frosts and beaten down by rain and wind. No longer overshadowed by native plants, little clusters of "volunteer" violas--grown from seeds escaped from my potted flowers--have shown up in the ditches and the margins of the yard.
The hardy blooms are among the last to succumb to the cold and may last into November in sheltered locations. I have found several pockets of color in the gravel of the french drain that curves along the alders behind the house.
I capture the transient cheer of the little blossoms with my camera, preserving them before their brightness fades.
The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Despite wind storms and the first few frosts, my potted garden still sports a few hardy flowers, but I know their time is limited now and one clear night can wilt them down to frost-burned shards. So today I cut most of the remaining blooms to bring inside and enjoy before they are gone for good.
Summer was good this year and I have been very pleased with how my garden turned out.
I suppose transience is part of the beauty.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Friday, October 09, 2009
Thursday, October 08, 2009
The bright red leaves of the vine maple in our yard inspired me to make a seasonal candle.
I filled a vase with dried leaves and placed a smaller votive glass and tealight inside, on top of a glass spice jar (concealed by the leaves.) I like the way it turned out.
Monday, October 05, 2009
...we had our first snow on October 5th.
This year, it is sunny and warm (55F in the shade.)
I have a feeling our first snow isn't too far away. The peaks across the bay are snowing a snowline down to around two thousand feet, so another clear, cold night followed by a cold front may transform our autumn-bronzed landscape to white.
But for now, Denny is working outside in his shirt sleeves.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
October is a pivot month. At this latitude, October starts as Autumn and ends in Freeze-up--that gray, wet, cold period that lies between true Fall and Winter much as Break-up lies between Winter and Spring. So though it seems as though Summer has just left, I expect only another few weeks of Fall weather before another turn-of-season.
Seasons--the natural cycles--are important in pagan spirituality. The yearly but eternal cycle of birth, growing and fulfillment, followed by decline, death and regeneration, is a metaphor for the mysteries of life and death. My eclectic spirit draws energy from the dynamic pulses of the lunar cycle--ever-changing and yet eternal--but our yearly circuit around our star the Sun provides the slow,steady background beat to the lunar calendar.
So we mark out the circling year with sign-posts, pivot-points of time when our relationship to the sun changes. Solstices and Equinoxes; most cultures still find means to celebrate these turning points of seasonal change.
All of which is just a prelude to my saying that October--my birth month--is my favorite time of year. They say that wine tastes of its grapes, that the season of growth is forever captured in the vintner's product, which is why some years are better for wines than others. So I think October has marked me as her own. I love the sense of completeness, the faint air of melancholy that hangs in the autumn air. I love her frost-crisped mornings and glorious, sun-drenched afternoon before the rise of the Hunter's moon.