It’s hard to believe how late in the year it's getting—the ides of October are this Thursday. The days have slipped away one by one, like shriveled leaves from the elm and maple trees, until one day we look at them with the sky is showing through, and realize that autumn is over. So far this month we’ve had some somber days of light steady rain; days when the horizon on the lake disappears. There have also been some brighter days, filled with white clouds and patches of blue peeking through, but, on closer inspection, the clouds look a bit ragged around the edges, and their underbellies are a heavy gray.
This fall has been especially hard on the animals along my road. One morning I saw the car-killed bodies of two raccoons and three opossums. That’s quite a toll, but it still doesn’t take into account the numberless wooly bear caterpillars and migrating monarchs that died crossing the road. The only one who seemed to be grateful for the carnage was a lone turkey vulture who noticed one of the ’possums, and descended, rocking its V-wings from side to side as it circled ever lower. Of course, I didn’t have my camera that day. It would have been a shot to have, as it’s the first time in the four years I’ve lived here that I’ve actually seen a vulture feeding at roadkill—I’d wondered why they never took advantage this abundant food source. I slowed down to almost a stop; the bird continued to pick at its grisly meal, keeping a bald eye on me. Was it my imagination, or was the look on its face the shy, almost trusting look of youth and inexperience? As I pulled out slowly into the oncoming lane and crept past the bird, it hopped tentatively to the side of the road, then gently took to the air.
OCTOBER GALLERY (click to enlarge)
Top: Autumn color on the beach--orange with a lingering touch of green.
The Cloud Messenger (Meghadūta) is a lyric poem by the respected Indian poet, Kālidāsa. The poem centers around a yaksa in exile. Longing for his beloved, waiting for him on a Himalayan mountain, he asks a cloud to take a message to her. The sights he tells the cloud it will see on its way make up most of the poem.
The idea of recording observations appeals to me. I thought The Cloud Messenger was the perfect title for a blog about the journey that we all make as we move through our days.
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.