Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Halloween

I used to love dressing up for Halloween. Putting on the costume gave my younger self permission to be somebody other than myself, at least for a while. The candy was nice but it was the garb that made me love the whole spooky routine.

As an adult it was fun seeing the little kids come to the door, especially the tiny ones who hadn’t quite got the knack of Trick or Treat. Then there was a period where the innocence of door to door went away and kids too old and too aggressive muscled in on the fun.

We’ve moved away from suburbia and where we live there is no ringing of doorbells, no costumed children. My memories of what once was are the ghosts of Halloween that visit here.

Whatever you do for the holiday I wish you fun… and perhaps a return to the way it was once upon a time?

Monday, October 12, 2015

The F(L)ight of the Flicker

This morning began, as many of mornings do, with my almost-daily argument with one of the local Red-Shafted Flickers. He/She arrives around sunrise to bangety-bang on the wall at the corner of the house. I know what sort of damage these wood pecking critters can do so I’m less than thrilled.

It goes like this: Sound of quiet tentative rapping on the outside wall of the room where the family computers reside. I grit my teeth and hope it will stop. Rapping repeats, louder, more intense and directed. I rise and head toward the front door, my teeth grinding and various unladylike epithets beginning to spew from between the aforementioned teeth. Out the door I go, volume increasing, whereupon the offending bird gives a burst of avian invective (or maybe a snort of birdy derisive laughter?) and flies away. Unscathed. Darn! I was sure I was totally scathing.

Usually one go-round is enough for a morning but today I’ve been privy to a repeat. And a repeat of the repeat.

I love birds and have been a casual bird-watcher for decades but had I a gun and a decent aim there would be at least one less Red-Shafted Flicker in the neighborhood. Lucky for said bird(s) I don’t and probably couldn’t.

But in my imagination…….

Monday, October 5, 2015


Autumn is certainly in the air. Recent days have been summer-warm but they cool quickly toward evening and the air lays down a heavy blanket of dew to coat the grass, drip from the barbed-wire fence, and bespangle the cobwebs hanging heavy with the moisture each morning. The sun is later now to peer over the eastern hills, earlier to hide itself over the western horizon.

There is such a sense of nostalgia for me in each breeze and each stirring of the trees that brings down the first leaves. The alders are losing their green and edging toward yellow. The dry grass in the pasture droops back toward the ground as if eager to rest after all that growing and seeding that kept it busy all summer. Birds that migrate are gathering together for their trip to warmer places. Some have left already and I watch for the return of those that winter here.

The larger animals that live around us, the deer and wild turkeys, are active in their search for calories to fatten themselves up in preparation for winter’s diet time. The apples remaining on our trees are welcome calories and they are quickly eaten as the drop to the ground.

Inside my home there hasn’t yet been a need for the heater but early mornings and late evenings have me eyeing my long-sleeved flannel shirts. My summer bare-feet are wiggling their toes in wool slippers. Shorts have given way to long pants and at night I consider pulling the warmer blanket over me though as yet that hasn’t happened.

So many autumns have passed for me and each one now is savored a bit more than the one previous. How many more will there be for me to taste?