Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Naked Caterpillar

They say when the caterpillars have dense furry coats, look for a hard winter. But I just saw a naked fellow who had green skin and that was it. We may be in for the warmest winter on record, because this August had near-record heat and six days over 100 degrees.

The first signs of fall always make me think I am hallucinating. I can hardly believe what I see. Nonetheless, there are signs, and they now seem very real:
  • Monarch butterflies
  • Goldfinches at their most vibrant level of yellow
  • With less daylight, tomatoes ripen at half their July size
  • Falling hickory nuts dent the gutters and roof, and squirrel-emptied shells litter the earth
  • Scorpio low on the southern horizon
  • Thinking fondly of wintertime root vegetables
  • Seeing pumpkins in a field and wanting to buy one (I resisted. It is still August. Let's not rush things. There is a very particular annual joy in bringing home the right pumpkin at the right moment; it is almost as good as first-crocus joy).
The seasons are changing. These are days of surprise and awe.

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