First and foremost, I wish to send my sorrow and love to the victims of September 11, 2001. May their spirits soar and may their loved ones find peace with their loss. Blessed be.
Can you hear her? While I was sitting on the retaining wall, she whispered into my ear. “Soon, I will be here. Watch for me.” Autumn. The lady of the seasons who colors our world with gold, orange, and flaming reds. It’s time to buy apple scented candles and put the lilac scented ones away. Time to put out the pumpkins and pull up the scraggly impatiens. The trees along the river are already closing down for the season, their leaves taking on the tinge of colder days to come. Even the ducks are flying more. Instead of running when they hear the dinner bell, they fly to and from the water, as if practicing for the long flight ahead of them.
There was a plant growing in the front yard. I knew it was a type of squash, so I decided to leave it alone, mow around the leaves, and wait. Sure enough, I have a pumpkin plant!
Chris wants to set up a stand selling the pumpkins. With about three pumpkins we won’t be rich but at least it’ll get him off the computer and out into the fresh air.
As the weather cools, the cicadas are singing less and less. Their mating dances are over, egg laying time is upon them and then death.
Holding a cicada, dead or alive dosn’t phase me. They’re such gentle looking creatures. However, if you put a roach in my hand I would start shaking. Not sure why, perhaps roaches need better PR. The adult cicadas will spend six to eight weeks above ground, mating and laying eggs. Once hatched, the nymphs will drop out of the trees (watch out!), crawl under the soil and spend the next 17 years eating, growing and doing what a young cicada does–perhaps a little texting too. I showed a video of the cicada’s life cycle to Chris, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjLiWy2nT7U) which truly grossed him out.
There’s an old wives tale about wooly bear caterpillars being able to predict the winter season by the condition of their fur. True, they aren’t really covered with fur. It’s actually short, stiff bristles. But who am I to challenge an old wife? When I was a child, I was told it was the thickness of the “fur” that predicted winter. The thicker the coat, the colder the weather would be. Not true. Wise old wives know that it’s the width of the middle brown section the is the weather indicator. A narrow brown band is said to predict a harsh winter. According to the wooly bear I met the other day, the weather will be mild and pleasant.
This time of year the caterpillars start to look for places to spend the winter, which is why we see so many of them crossing the roads and sidewalks. Come spring they’ll emerge, spin cocoons and become Isabella tiger moths. For now, I’ll try not to walk on them when I come home at night.
Blessed be :}