In Like A Lamb

Monday

Only the bronze tint of waterside grasses betray an idyllic scene that has appeared changeless since July.
  • In Huntington, March weather does not match that of Merrie Olde England.  But a reversal of the old proverb usually fits October perfectly _ it comes in like a lamb and leaves as a lion. 
  • To start there are cooler days and especially nights, a few chill breezes, earlier evenings.  But gardens are still intact, flowers bloom, lawns grow.  Once in a while there is need for a light jacket.  Greenery remains mostly in place on the trees.  Rain is light and storms not too ferocious.
  • Ah, but in the 31 allotted days, all reverses.  Deep cold and frost hit hard.  Nights constrict daylight and shortly after Halloween, take over as daylight saving ends.  Children running about in shorts as the month begins have to put on heavy sweaters or coats under their costumes.  Harbingers of fierce November tempests arrive.  Clearing leaves is an ongoing chore.  Those who have put off winterization scurry to their tasks.

Tuesday

Goldenrod dominates most scenes, bees are busy gathering nectar even as temperatures drop.
  • Skies hover blue and fair, with high white clouds.  Almost impossible to imagine the coming purple heavy gales, or possible snowflakes, or killing frost.  Sunsets have started to be glorious, all red skies and garish painted colors.
  • I force myself to walk about, savoring each moment as if it may be the last of the year.  The last dahlia bloom, the last day without a sweatshirt, the last time barefoot on the grass.  Personally the month of October, more than any other, is the time of loss.

Wednesday

Montauk daisies are in full display, some clumps thriving on little more than sand and salt water.
  • Gather ye rosebuds ….
  • Or rosehips, which will also soon shrivel and vanish

Thursday

Old green-apple tree beside the ancient farmhouse on Lloyd Inlet.
  • I’m enjoying about the last of local field tomatoes, and fresh corn is becoming rare.  Harvest lingers, but except for vineyards, most crops have picked and stored.  This is no change from generations and centuries past, except that we no longer care much.  Once October would begin a time of resignation, and possible panic.   Were the food-crops plentiful, is a great deal stored away for the privation of winter, are we truly prepared for eight or more months before there is again anything fresh?  If a disaster like hail or drought or flood had ruined the plantings, many would go hungry and too many might die.
  • Now, of course, we like to pretend we can eat locally, but only as a fetish.  We are confident food can be stored indefinitely, and brought from anywhere else on the planet, and even grown fresh further south while we shelter snowbound.   The terror is gone.  Perhaps we fool ourselves _ the supply chains are, after all, quite fragile.   But the fact that it is October does not matter at all.

Friday

Weighed down by heavy seeds but not yet battered, grasses float elegantly in water reflecting the clear sky.
  • Goldenrod has flamed into glory, taking over whole fields and roadsides.   For a few weeks, its yellow mist pervades the scenery, then it too shrivels brown with white patches of seed carriers.
  • As for the rest of the vegetation, brown and brittle is gradually edging out the greens and yellows.  There are no young replacements, except in foolishly planted human gardens.  When a leaf falls, it is gone.  When a stem dries, no shoot springs forth below.  For a little while, cultivated roses will continue to grow, bud, and flower, but the long nights are already taking toll on that last growth as well.    

Saturday

Asters are another joy of autumn, springing from nowhere into full, furious blossom as temperatures fall.
“Looking sharp, Mr. Shadow!”
“Thank you, thank you, Ms. Sunbeam.”
“How’s your crowds, these days?  Doing well, I hope.”
“Could be better, could be.  A month ago they couldn’t get enough of me, everyone jamming into shade everywhere.  Now they even seem to be avoiding me whenever possible.”
“Fickle.”
“You can say that again, Ms. Sunbeam.  No longevity in our business.”
“Well, just talked to Billy Wind.  They used to cheer when he showed up in July and August, now he claims they not only complain but sometimes boo and curse.”
“Fickle indeed.  Not like the old days.”

“Nope, Mr. Shadow.  It was all better back then.”

Sunday

Huntington Fall Festival beginning to fill up on a beautiful hot morning as families forget the cares of the world.
So warm this early October
Not Indian Summer, no cold spell yet
We appreciate sunny skies
At least for today
Worry a little

What it may mean long term

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