Signs and Glories

Now that fall seems to have arrived decisively, the dress code here is all sweaters, bib overalls, and wool hats. Plus rain gear and muck boots. The harvest goes on, whatever the weather.

It’s not just the weather that’s been heralding the new season. Two weeks ago, a flock of sandhill cranes glided low over the field, bugling their strange, ancient cry back and forth to each other. I’ve already written about the wasps and the bees hustling up the last of summer’s sweetness before the cold drops down on them. And I haven’t checked lately if the bats in the barn’s loft have left to hibernate, but, if not, I expect they will soon.

We’ve had a couple of mornings with patchy frost—the latest one this morning, light enough to only blacken and crisp the tops of the most cold-sensitive plants in the field. The pods of the milkweed are starting to open and send their wispy seeds along in the breeze. By the barn, the leaves on the sumac are starting their annual fire-red show, and all along the edge of the field, the trees are just starting to turn color.

Signs abound all around us. And though the days grow short, and the light dims, there are yet glories here to witness.