Char and I had the pleasure of sitting in the September sun this afternoon, twisting wild vines into wreaths for our barn and coop doors, listening to the sounds of early autumn, late afternoon field and farm life, sharing the companionship of our furred and feathered ones. Cricket, sphinx-esque in the grass with an apple between his paws, Pippin the duckling “drilling” the aisle way of the barn with her bill, making nests near our feet in the branches and leaves.
The morning winds had long shushed and the quiet provided a showcase for the sounds of the hour:
Ducks quack, quacking in the distance,
occasional rooster crows,
a bit of baah-ing,
warning guinea fowl cacophony in a distant field,
crickets, grasshoppers sis-sis-sissing in the grasses.
Our bounty of branches came from the bordering hedgerows to our fields and we dragged them across the pastures. Counting out the wreaths we’d made we thought “one for Grammie, one for Aunt Joan because Uncle Larry’s birthday was coming up, one for a friend who has been so kind to us…” and etc.
In the end, there was enough left over that we bundled it into corn shocks to decorate the mailboxes and lamp posts. Evening cool was starting to settle in and we battened down the hatches on the critters. However, while we’d been out and about planting wreaths and corn shocks, the wandering turkeys had discovered our litter, and loved it.
Autumn, for me, is a bitter-sweet time of year. Unlike Spring in Vermont, which lolligags and takes it’s time to arrive, the Fall crisp and color open the door and step right in. One moment you were plunging into a pond to cool off from summer sweat, the next you’re looking for that extra sweater, socks for your toes, more tea, please. The garden produce makes puppy-dog eyes and simpers, “I tried! I just. couldn’t. quite. finish. ripening…!” and you find your old sheets to cover basil & nasturtiums another night.
Vermont is gorgeous and country life is rich with cider-making parties, red Macs falling onto the ground around the bunny-hutches every day, glowing foliage, ponies becoming fuzzier.
It’s o.k., Autumn. You can come in. I’ll not be reticent, I’ll greet you warmly. Just tell your old man, Winter, that he has to wait his turn…