"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pre-Autumn Days

              Those 'lazy, hazy crazy days of Summer' are fast dwindling and Mom Nature is rummaging in her closets, changing out the decorations and shaking the wrinkles out of her jackets.  At the festival of summer the band is still playing but the audience is beginning to drift away as the Earth itself turns its head in a new direction. Even before we notice that the morning light is somehow different, the trumpeters arise, as one, and send  the announcement  pealing across the prairie. "Pay attention! Something comes!" Surprising us as we wearily plod past, heavy with the heat and dust of August, on our way to somewhere else, some other thing that needs tending, not having noticed that on stage the cast has begun changing their costumes and is preparing for the third act: The Autumn Jubilee.
        Here in Oklahoma the trumpeters are what we call 'naked ladies' which rise on stout but slender stems in late August and burst into a glorious pink fanfare for the coming of the 'ember' months, or the 'amber' months if you will. In my mind Summer is yellow and green, blue and gold but Autumn is brown, orange, red and purple.A cool season with warm colors, warm clothing and warm drinks in hand.
    The Orb Spiders are busy at work in the tall, dried grasses at the edges of the fields, weaving their elaborate webs with a distinctive white zig-zag in the middle.  The Orbs, wearing ancient designs on their underside, sit center stage, their long elegant legs ink tipped and motionless as they wait for an unsuspecting wanderer; supper, wrapped in silk and tied with a tassel.

Perhaps the insects are unable to see the spider itself, their attention having been caught and held by the striking white pattern before them.  I had a terrible time getting a photo in which I could actually see the spider; they weave a small bit of web across their backs and it seems to reflect the light in such a way that they are oddly camouflaged. In fact, I never got a good shot of the spider in webs which were woven in the dried grasses and had to find another in greener surroundings.
   Our friends, the locusts, continue to buzz in the tree tops, competing with the crickets and all the little hoppers that inhabit the bushes and gardens. B and I found a locust, just dead, and nearby, the empty brown husk of a one on the bark of the cottonwood when we were on an adventure the other day. He is very curious about nature and has left the early fears of babyhood behind him. He loves to learn new things.

Take time, as we slow to turn this corner of the year, to stop and breathe in the sights, sounds and scents of the season; the in-between time which ties Summer to Fall.

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