Tonight the full moon shines over the city. The trees are not ready to give up their leaves yet. The view of the moonrise was dappled with leaf silhouettes. The weather is getting cooler, the leaves are slowly turning color and the air has a smoky scent. The cat is getting clingier and the dogs seek warm places to nap. Sweaters are needed outside and clouds gather on the horizon. Sunsets are colorful and landscapes are dotted with trees putting on their autumn foliage. The Harvest Moon is bright and no clouds obscured its light. The magic of the season radiates from the glow of moonbeams.
Rain clouds have moved in and the wind is blowing through the trees. Hopefully they will be gone before the harvest moon arrives. Even if the weather is cloudy, the moon may be visible. Sometimes cloudy weather makes the night sky much more interesting when the full moon is present. For the above picture I envisioned an autumn night with a bright moon shining on the branches and trunks of trees. Stars glow in a violet sky and it would be cool enough to wear a heavy sweater or fleece-lined jacket. The leaves are gone, probably blown away in a series of windstorms. The floor of the forest is not shown, but it would be littered with yellow, gold and rusty leaves. The air might have a scent of wood smoke or, if the weather was cold enough, a hint of snow.
Despite the warm weather, I still get inspired by autumn. The brilliant colors, the scattered leaves, the big orange pumpkins and the promise of cool breezes brings out the craftier side of me. I recently went for a walk in the neighborhood and found two twigs that were in good condition. They were just right for a craft project I had been thinking about. I made them into a frame for an Ojo de Dios decoration. There were enough autumn colors in the extra yarn I had sitting around to use for the project. I first learned how to make this craft in the 3rd grade. They were a Christmas ornament project and I enjoyed making them. I looked for all sorts of materials to make them. I used old popsicle sticks and straws for the frame and left over yarn for the rest.
Last week I took a walk and was surprised to see several different types of flowers blooming. The plants looked healthy and hardy even though no one was tending them. They grew by the side of the road. The morning glory (or it might be sweet potato) and a trumpet vine had twined themselves together around a cable holding a power pole. This was near an active railroad track. As for the small red flowers, I’m not sure what they are but they were doing very well. After my effort to make a garden grow, I couldn’t help comparing the lack of effort that resulted in a lovely show of blossoms. Some plants have all the luck and no doubt the region is ideal for their growth.
I had my garden, such as it is. The cucumbers are still blooming and I expect them to continue for a little while longer. As far as I can say, the fact that I received any type of harvest can be taken as a sign of success. I haven’t grown vegetables for years and that is a comfort. The insects have been plentiful and many people posted complaints about them. There was a scarcity of spiders as well. I’m grateful for the beans, the cucumbers and the corn. I’m also grateful for the rocks I found while digging in the garden. For a while there was a lush, verdant garden and that is a delightful sight to see.
Summer brings thunderstorms to the area I live in. The rain is good for plants, and gardens. Lawns stay lush and green. The pavement gets a good soaking. These storms don’t happen every day and they mostly arrive at night. They tend to skirt around the edges of the city and then blow out to sea. It is fascinating to watch them, especially the ones that bring wind. When they are overhead, the thunder sounds like we’re in a war zone. The house shakes and the rain seems to fall in buckets. A few nights ago I captured a video of part of the storm. lightening tends to be less frequent when I have a camera pointed at the sky, but I managed half a minute of the storm. I took one of the frames out for a picture. It isn’t very good and doesn’t reflect the excitement of the storm, which went on for about an hour more.
The recent full moon has inspired several photographers to take pictures. I’ve been looking at them on various sites. I was inspired to make a moody forest picture. Imagine yourself in a cool forest, thick with trees. The air smells of moss and late summer blooms. Any light is filtered through the leaves and branches of the trees. The path crunches beneath your steps. Never mind the bugs buzzing around your face and caws of crows.
The temptation to make pictures with simple digital tools is too great. Of course by using simple tools I got simple results. I wonder why computers have a tendency make my work look like a first grader’s. It doesn’t make sense. Computers should make us look like geniuses, or is it their job to keep us humble?
The image is what it is and the spirit of autumn is there. The following is a poem I wrote to take us from the hot days of summer to the pleasant coolness of fall.
Grateful for Change
Stifling heat and humid days A bright yellow sun Feel its burning rays
Melted asphalt and burnt leaf Smoky skys, choking air Vegetable garden come to grief
And then the rain, pouring Season’s end anounced Send our hearts soaring
A seasonal mug holding treasure Savoring flavors long missed Inhaling aromas that bring pleasure
Crackling leaves bring delight Mist on the Harvest moon Shreded veils of the night
Time to take an autumn walk Gather leaves and seeds and moss Feel the soft breeze and talk.
I know it is still summer. The temperatures have roasted the garden and the thunderstorms have flooded what is left. The heat of summer will be around for several more weeks and the humidity will remain high. I’ve found a few yellow leaves which is normal. The trees bravely stand in the hot air of summer, when the sun shines brightly and they sway with the winds when the storms come. Occasionally they let fall a leaf. There are plenty left for October’s fall foliage.
It is in the last part of August that my thoughts turn to autumn. There is a practical reason for this. My hobbies include making holiday ornaments and if I was making crafts for Halloween, I would be starting on them now. Crafters understand this and many might even say I was starting late. And then there are those who just can’t wait for autumn to arrive.
Summer is certainly here and the plants around me show it. I’ve focused on what is happening in the garden, and the plants are doing well, but the garden is surrounded by established trees and other wild plants. There is a honeysuckle vine that is still blooming, a pecan tree with promises of nuts in the fall and every tree is a lush green despite the heat. The plants have a delicate balance with the weather. The heat is withering, and yet there are frequent thunderstorms with high winds which also bring rain. I believe the cucumbers will have the best luck with the weather. The sun gives them energy and the rain gives them water to expand. I only hope the tomatoes follow the cucumbers. There are five ripening on the vine and what a delight they will be.
It’s easy to forget about the brilliance of the summer sun when winter turns the sky grey. Summer and the dapples of light on the lawn or the wooden fence is a favorite sight. Today there are white puffy clouds and perhaps a thunderstorm later.