Back in September when I ordered my daughter’s Halloween costume, the end of October seemed an eternity away, but it’s here now. Crop dust fills the air now, creating orange, pinks, and purple-greys at twilight against which the newly naked trees find themselves silhouetted. No longer do colorful songbirds hide among leafy branches, instead giant ravens perch on spindly branches cawing their “Nevermore” warning. The wind blows in change.
Fall is in the air. Darkness greets me when the alarm goes off in the mornings now, and the desire to snuggle in a warm blanket, sip on an aromatic cup of coffee and watch the sunrise in quiet comfort is almost irresistible.
The landscape is decorated with gold and crimson—soybeans turning golden brown, golden rod in full bloom, sumac plants with their crimson leaves, and red and orange rose hips and hawthorn berries color my days.
Migrating geese and cranes and cackling turkeys provide the sound track for the day. Crickets and cicadas perform a twilight symphony each evening to bring summer to a close. Stars sparkle in the clear night sky, and Orion becomes prominent in the sky—the hunter returning as autumn approaches.
I love this time of year. There are apple orchards to visit, hikes to take, fall color change to anticipate and watch. The days are clear and crisp. The air is clean and fresh. I can inhale deeply, sigh and be at peace with the changing world around me.
And, there’s one more important thing about this time of year.
This year, when I heard my first cricket chirping, I counted out 13 weeks and calculated that our first hard freeze would be sometime the third week in October. At least that is what the old wives tale says, 13 weeks from the first cricket chirp to first freeze.
There has always been something emotionally stirring in the chirp of the cricket. As the gentle, occasionally funky, calls of frogs and toads give way the insistent songs of cicadas and crickets, my soul stirs—expectant of the change not only of season but also of life that these messengers of nature signal.
Perhaps it is because for so many years the crickets and cicadas heralded the beginning of a new school year, new teachers, new friends, and new adventures that I still harken to them today. Continue reading “The Call of the Cricket”
Robins and other birds are greeting me with their songs in the mornings now. The red-winged blackbirds are back, staking out their territory with a fierceness that few other birds can match. The Cardinals are singing “What cheer, spring is here” in the tree tops, and the woodpeckers are busily starting on their summer headaches as they tap on trees for food and shelter. Facebook Walls are buzzing with posts about beautiful days, the need to buy sunscreen and other exclamations about the end of winter. Continue reading “Springtime Transformations”