In the four years I’ve lived here on the lake, this is the first autumn that the burning bush under my front window actually turned to flame. Last year a lack of rain caused the leaves to wither and drop early, and before that, temperatures dropped too quickly and steeply, and the green leaves seemed to turn brown over night. I guess each of the seasons is the same in general, but unique in detail. This fall, everything happened in the right amounts, the right sequence, and the colors of my bushes, in fact all the trees in the area really blazed forth.
I took a walk around my house early yesterday, checking things out. The lake was perfectly still, and a couple of con trails above the thin line of Pelee Island on the horizon made a face in the sky that looked like the morning was sleeping in. After the recent strong winds, the red maples had really thinned out, and the lawn was once again littered with their large leathery brown leaves. As I walked towards the breakwall, one leaf on the ground stood out among the rest as being a much darker charcoal color. On closer inspection, it turned out to be the leathery foot and partial leg of a Canada goose. It seemed so shocking, lying there in the daylight. Who was it that carried that goose leg, perhaps from a kill it did not itself make, only to abandon it beneath my tree? What nameless, featureless second-hand predation went on when my friendly, bright yard was given over to the dark? Darkness comes early this time of year, and I’m quite happy to stay safely warm inside and let the snuffling wild creatures take their turn. This morning I walked out again, and the leg was gone. Nothing ever goes uninspected, unclaimed for long in nature. Such incidents probably happen around my yard all the time, and I never even know it.
At sundown, the geese gathered on the motionless lake, and sailed across the pillar of reflected light. Perhaps since was so still, they lingered out there where it's safe, waiting for the moon to rise.
2 days ago