I was using some vacation hours today to work on a personal writing project, so naturally I took a three-mile walk. I assumed the day’s theme would be fall colors, but assumptions are often wrong. Also, the world around is full of astonishing finds if you pay attention.
First find, two doors down. A new resident in the neighborhood? You can’t tell from the photo, but this figure is BIG. I estimate at least seven feet tall, maybe more.
This gentleman has a polite request for us:
Whoa, how did these two get trapped here? Was it when the veil parted on Halloween? I nearly walked right over them without noticing! They’re not drawn on. They were put into the original sidewalk design when it was poured as far as I can tell.
I don’t know who Joe and Betty Wood were, but it seems they’re fondly remembered. Hi, Joe and Betty.
And finally, I did see some colors, too. ‘Tis I, Autumn.
The trees I saw on yesterday’s walk inspire me to share a poem I wrote.
Instead of dreary gray strands threading subtly widening paths about my head, I desire blazing red for my autumn color interspersed with patches of can’t-peel-your-eyes away yellow and clusters of an orange so perfectly sun-toasted it holds its own as an independent hue not remotely a blend of the other two. I wish for the colors to burst out all at once so that people I meet will feel their breath catch at the splendor, the glorious culmination of my maturity.
I strolled my neighborhood in unseasonably temperate weather, perfect for a walk — the last few warm hours before a predicted winter storm.
I heard leaf blowers, but never saw them. I saw people raking the brown, drying remnants of autumn, and running them over with mulching mowers. I saw a family taking photos of their toddlers playing in a leaf pile. At one house, a determined man used a front-loading Bobcat to push the masses of leaves from his lawn into one big stack near the edge.
Maybe I should have been have been doing yard work instead of playing tourist to all of the neighbors doing theirs. I still have undone weeding, left over from the summer. On the other hand, the mess of my yard might not be visible under the snow by this time tomorrow.
The bodies of the leaves are gone, but their spirits have not yet crossed over:
I walk a fair amount. I usually commute to work on foot. I also walk recreationally. It occurred to me to share what I encountered. I know I’m not winning any awards with my photos. I’m as amateur as they come. But here’s life as I see it.
On today’s walk, carpets of leaves:
My own elongated shadow:
A large deer in someone’s yard. Some kids off-camera called to him, “Here Bucky. Bucky, Bucky.” Until he turned to face them. Then one of them yelled, “Run, before he stabs us with his horns!” Spoiler: there was no horn stabbing.
Look behind the bench.
What you looking at there behind that bench?
I perambulated 1.75 miles, just around the neighborhood.
Instead of dreary gray strands
threading subtly widening paths
around my head,
I want blazing red
for my autumn color,
interspersed with patches of
can’t-peel-your-eyes away yellow
of an orange so perfectly sun-toasted
it holds its own as an independent hue,
not remotely a blend of the other two.
I want the colors to burst
out all at once,
so that people I meet
will feel a catch of breath
at the splendor,
the glorious culmination of my maturity.