Monday, October 12, 2009

MOVING THROUGH ASTRAL DAYS


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.


Summer furniture, rainy autumn day













Gray-out with phantom clouds












Migrating turkey vultures

12 comments:

Lin Floyd said...

the seasons do change and the inevitable winter looms in all of our lives. interesting post.

bobbie said...

I always find it sad when there is much rain during autumn. At least the gray sort of rain. I want to see all the color the season offers. - Nice reflection on the table top.

Sylvia K said...

Great post, Deborah, and of course you know that I love your photos. We've had some lovely fall days, but I believe they're drawing to a close as the gray skies have moved in and rain is predicted for the next ten days. Ah, summer was so short this year -- or is it age again??? Probably, can't seem to get away from that one!

Have a great day!

Sylvia

Aleta said...

I remember hearing from my cousins up north, "We miss the birds. They fly south to you, but during winter, they are gone and it's so quiet." We are evergreen and birds galore during our "summer lite" season.

centria said...

Oh I love how you said that the vulture looked almost shy, and young. That description just softened my heart and I will never label vultures a certain way ever again. Promise. P.S. love your photos. It feels like it's still autumn down your way instead of our way early winter.

jinksy said...

I liked the brooding atmosphere of the last photo...

SandyCarlson said...

I hear you. I watched a few frogs hop for their lives the other night. I stopped and waiting. So much precious life. All we have to do is wait.

Wren said...

Fall seemed to appear suddenly this year: it was warm, then suddenly cooler. It was light late, then dark early, with no warning. The trees went from green to bright orange overnight. And the birds all left while I wasn't looking.

fourwindsphotojournal said...

Rain here today, with snow in the mountains. You are right, fall is going fast.

That road shot could be taken here. We must have just about the same climate, and look to the land.

I have only seen a buzzard on the ground once, and I didn't have a camera with me then, either.

Poetikat said...

Driving home from Muskoka this weekend we saw more roadkill than I think I have ever witnessed.
Deb, you really must keep your camera slung over your shoulder all the time. Else how will we share in these fantastic moments you are experiencing?

Quiet Paths said...

I enjoyed your words and the muted colors of the photos, the birds... very perfect for the day we had here as well.

Sue said...

the passing of the season -- well marked. I particularly liked the little photo of the orange rock - very colorful.