STILL LOOKING FOR FOLIAGE?

No, we can’t ignore our glorious fall foliage.

My slide shows and Yankee autumn essays archived in the New England spirit category, August-November 2013, of my Chicken Farmer I Still Love You blog are well worth revisiting. Our regional character comes forth in the intense, all-too-brief flurry from summer into long winter.

Take the tour, if you haven’t already. No wonder we treasure the color! And feel free to react with your comments.

First, the slide shows, beginning with a hike before the color shifts and a taste of the apple harvest. And then the sequence of full autumn foliage:

And then, ponder the influence all this has on our emotions and thinking:

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Click away as you will.

Just another mill town, right?
Just another mill town, right?
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SERIOUSLY SCORPIO

Why wait for the dust to settle? Here are 10 bullets from my end.

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  1. Am imagining evenings for violin and piano. How long since I’ve even picked up rosin and bow!
  2. A drive through a stretch I call the Black Forest can be quite amazing now. So luminescent, a golden-yellow tunnel of light.
  3. Indian Summer officially comes after the first killing frost. It’s almost scary.
  4. How much I feel myself a dilettante. A little of this, a little of that.
  5. The Big Question? (Questions! Yes, it’s questions!)
  6. It’s important to have a place to wind down, to fester, to percolate. To look at the messy side of your existence. (Nothing of that in a Frank Lloyd Wright home.)
  7. Reza Baraheni is the Iranian poet I heard read after his release from prison and torture. He warned that the alternative to the Shah would be even worse.
  8. My Mediterraneo poetry project had me reconsidering Greek and Roman mythology and then seeing that in contrast to theology. What strikes me is how convoluted it is, more than even Hindu cosmologies, and how anthropromorphic, down to the birthing or immortals slaying other immortals while frozen in time. How intricately it’s bound to a specific locale and its people. In contrast to the One Truth implicit in monotheism, i.e., science, the mythologies give us a cosmos that’s chaotic, ruled by caprice, fear, vengeance, conflicting deities as the source of human suffering. How do you find direction in such confusion?
  9. A neighbor’s 2 1/2-foot iguana is on the loose, according to the poster on the telephone pole. There’s a $100 reward.
  10. You don’t shoot your own troops. Not if you want to win. Otherwise, there’s every reason to mutiny.

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Along the Community Trail through Dover.
Along the Community Trail through Dover.

 

Just in case you were looking for red.
Just in case you were looking for red.

 

MY VIEW FROM THE TOP OF THE BARN

Some maples are red and others bright yellow. Either one can catch my breath.
Some maples are red and others bright yellow. Either one can catch my breath.

 

October is one of my favorite times for sitting and working in the loft of the barn. The sun no longer turns its air intolerably stuffy but rather adds some welcome comfort. I can still leave the loft door open for natural light and fresh air, if I want. And just look what’s happening around me!

 

Our season of outdoor dining is just about ended.
Our season of outdoor dining is just about ended.

GOING FOR THE GOLD … FOLIAGE

Being mindful of what’s right in front of us can always be a challenge. Here are 10 new items from my end.

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  1. We’re well into the foliage watch. Weather plays into it, too. Heavy rain, followed by glorious clear. Or sunlight blazing against slate-gray clouds. As for the chores, in advance of winter? “I’ve been on my feet all day.”
  2. Each October I revisit the symphonies of Charles Ives. It’s not just his birthday month but also an acknowledgement of his deep New England roots. The annual tradition often leads to the symphonies of George Whitefield Chadwick and then John Knowles Paine. Inevitably, I wind up with the one symphony and the piano concerto by Amy Beach. Big, magnificent, often richly Romantic pieces, for the most part. Wish they were much, much better known by the public. (For more.)
  3. A stay-at-home morning: pad about, get some writing and reading in, finally shower and dress at 2 p.m. And then? Swim in the indoor pool.
  4. Am wondering what might have happened if I’d achieved “success” – at any number of points. I would have wound up moving along that groove the rest of my life, likely without exploring many of the other facets I now find overlapping.
  5. My third-floor lair and my loft in the barn are both tree houses!
  6. My wife resisted when I insisted on the dishwasher. How much she objected! My, my, how that’s changed! These days she even argues it can be cheaper than hand-washing the plates and flatware in the sink.
  7. We live close to the state university but partake of so little of its arts programming. Even now that we know where to park.
  8. Bought a new calendar but back home saw it was for the wrong year – this one, rather than next. Still, the illustrations are marvelous.
  9. To gain the reader’s trust is the central issue of each work. It’s how transformation through action across time connects.
  10. Degrees of Truth? Now this really gets complicated.

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Stone angel in the city cemetery behind the Quaker meetinghouse.
Stone angel in the city cemetery behind the Quaker meetinghouse.

WATCH HOW THE FOLIAGE UNFOLDS HERE

Check out my slideshows of autumn in New England. The foliage erupts everywhere. Much of it reflects fleeting sunlight.

Let’s start with a hike just before the color changes and then turn our attention to apples. And then? Well, we’re ready for the progression of fall color.

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Click away as you will.

We feel a spell cast over the whole region.
We feel a spell cast over the whole region.