As the season swings open, ushering us in, it is abundantly clear: If the whole year were just one day, October would be its prized golden hour of dusk. A bittersweet pageant of precious hues - impossible to hold - begin their procession. The willows, not at all ones to weep, volunteer to go first. Stalwart and unabashed they burst into flame along the waters’ edges; pond and river. Like the lighting of a torch so commences the beginning of the most beautiful, and fleeting, season on the ranch.
The aspens follow suit. The constant communication within the colony is made visible in fall. One grove at a time they take turns transforming in a slow wave from east to west. Rationing their magic as if they were to all turn at once the brilliance would be just too much to take. It is a long piece of artful orchestration. Their quaking turns from summer afternoon giggling into a crescendo of vibration that seems to alchemically shake the green to gold. All the while, in the shadow of their fanfare, the towering Ponderosa Pines molt. Pine needles are not truly ever green.
Pearl’s winter coat arrives in time for early mornings that fall below frost point. Soon she will be stabled at night. Porcupines lumber slowly toward bed as late as six am in these last weeks of daylight saving time and run the risk of crossing paths with early rising dogs. It is a month in which beauty and pleasantry linger and entice one to stay outside to live the afternoon to its fullest and even to brave the thought "what if it were my last..."
"What is left undone?" is the question at hand both practically and personally as the close of the month demands the last of "wintering in" and celebrating the endings that allow for a new year to begin again
Fall River, Oregon
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