hints of autumn

9.4.21 ~ Sheep Farm, Groton, Connecticut

Labor Day weekend with autumn weather! I didn’t think it was possible. We couldn’t resist taking a morning walk in the woods in spite of mosquito and poison ivy threats. I’ve been waiting impatiently for this kind of day all summer.

American burnweed

To include nature in our stories is to return to an older form of human awareness in which nature is not scenery, not a warehouse of natural resources, not real estate, not a possession, but a continuation of community.
~ Barry Lopez
(High Country News, September 14, 1998)

smaller bug with bee on goldenrod

As I’ve often said, I love the sunlight this time of year, in the months surrounding the equinoxes. It seems just right, not too dim nor too bright, and it immerses everything I see in a wonderful presence. Sometimes my camera even catches it the way I perceive it.

Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy. These pure and spontaneous pleasures are “patches of Godlight” in the woods of our experience.
~ C. S. Lewis
(Not a Tame Lion: The Spiritual Legacy of C. S. Lewis & The Chronicles of Narnia)

waterfall in Fort Hill Brook
daddy-longlegs on the top trunk of a tree,
snapped off during Hurricane Henri

Impermanence and fragility are essential components of beauty, and of love. In some mysterious way, we are all here together, one whole happening, awake to the sorrow, the joy, and the inconceivability of every fresh and instantly vanishing moment, each of us a bright light in the dazzling darkness.
~ Joan Tollifson
(Facebook, February 24, 2021)

26 thoughts on “hints of autumn”

  1. You’ve included some great quotes here, Barbara, especially the one from Lewis. And I, too, love this autumnal weather — it’s refreshing, and you can almost see nature rising up out of its doldrums and eager for the next phase of life. Lovely photos, as well.

    1. Thank you, Debbie! I love living where we have four seasons and do enjoy autumn and spring the most. 🙂 That’s when those patches of sunlight in the woods seem so magical. Now if only those blood sucking mosquitoes would hurry up and exit the scene!

  2. Beautiful walk. A few of weeks ago I was surprised to see so many of the last plant food sources in full bloom, it seemed early to me. Now I think even in Tennessee/Kentucky that we will have an early fall.

    1. Thank you, Sarah! I welcome an early autumn, as long as it lingers and doesn’t lead to an early winter. I’ve heard that Kentucky’s fall colors are as lovely as ours are here in New England. May we have a lot of beauty to enjoy this year.

        1. Ah yes, the rituals of seasonal changes. I put the autumn wreath on the front door and packed away the summer one…

  3. This is such a wonderful post, Barbara! I read it this afternoon. The photos are so detailed that captured my interest. I didn’t see daddy long legs until after I read your note. You must have an incredible zoom in camera and a great creative eye!

    I especially was touched by the three quotes. Very appropriate.

    I love how the morning dove has its eye on you all feathers fluffed up and your eyes on it! (In a previous post.)

    I so much enjoy your blog (although I do not always comment, I do read what you are seeing, thinking and feeling about your day).

    This evening I took out my mini binoculars to see whatever I could in my two front oak trees. One is a live oak and the other is an oak, but I have not been able to identify what type. I was amazed to see on the second unknown oak with all the acorns!! The acorns zoom-in are absolutely beautiful to me. It is autumn. I can’t see them with out the binoculars.

    I’m glad that you came through the hurricane on high grounds. My family in New Orleans who live next to the levies check in on social media to say they stayed home through the hurricane and made it through just fine. The next morning however power went out. So they went to a temporary place where they could still work and get things done. Description was a scrambling of what to do and not knowing what to say to people who where trying to check in with them. They are safe and good for now (property will be an undertaking when that becomes possible).

    I enjoy taking walks with you!

    1. Thank you, TD! It is lots of fun and very handy having the zoom lens on my camera. I see the world in pictures and it’s nice having a camera to capture some of what I see. 🙂 And I do love collecting quotes.

      The presence of that mourning dove was such a blessing that day. The universe seems to keep sending me birds and other creatures to remind me that we are never truly alone.

      It’s so nice you can enjoy your binoculars. It’s so true that we don’t have to go far to find so many interesting things in nature, right on our doorsteps. Last year I seemed to be finding oak leaves everywhere, even on the beach, far away from any oak trees that I knew of. Autumn is definitely acorn season!

      I’m happy to hear your family is all right after the hurricane. The scenes we’re seeing on the news are incredible. Seems like the clean up will take forever.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment! I enjoy having you along on our walks. 🙂

      1. I absolutely love your quote “The universe seems to keep sending me birds and other creatures to remind me that we are never truly alone.”!

  4. “My, what long legs you have!” Barbara said to the Daddy Longlegs. These are just the type of photos of items that would get my attention too. Those are the longest legs I’ve seen on one of those spiders. My favorite pictures were the bee on the Goldenrod. Gorgeous color contrast there. Your quotes are perfect for this post. Like you, I’ve enjoyed this last bout of cooler weather too. Will we march right into Fall and cooler days? I’ve savored each of the cooler days. Today it got to 81 and the spike brought the predicted storm and high winds. Mercifully our tornado warning just expired at 9:30 – it was in effect as close as Trenton, where I go to Elizabeth Park with the beautiful bridge over the canal, just 9 miles away. This Summer weather is unsettling and knocked a few years off my life.

    1. We used to have a lot of daddy-longlegs in our basement growing up so I was surprised to see one in the woods. According to the internet there are more than 6,000 species of them! Wow! Thanks for liking the bee pictures. 🙂 There were hundreds of them on that patch of goldenrod and I had to force myself to stop taking pictures. Talk about golden opportunities… We’ve had the air-conditioning off for 5 days now. Yay! It’s put me in a great mood. I wish you didn’t have to live with so many weather alerts and warnings to fill your days. The stress of the climate crisis will eventually get to all of us. Sigh…

      1. I can remember seeing those Daddy Longlegs in basement corners too and I must admit they are the only spiders I’m not afraid of. I had no idea there were so many species! A fellow blogger is interested in macro photography and he has a woodsy area near his home. He goes out and takes bug photos and loves the little jumping spiders and magnified by a macro lens, they look like some type of monster! The bee photos were gorgeous – the goldenrod is so vibrant this time of years. I have some bees to use on Wordless Wednesday, but they are not as striking as yours. I think they were on Daisies or Lantana at the Nature Preserve. The weather last night was horrible and nerve wracking. We’re good now until Sunday night, then we have another torrential rain/heavy thunderstorm – hopefully no tornado threats, but they are saying we’ll have a very warm September. Sigh. I heard a story on the news where people were asked if they were more afraid of climate change or the pandemic. Surprisingly, many people said they worried about climate change. I figured people were not that concerned about it given the disparaging comments beneath the weather-related stories about climate change.

        1. Eeeek! It’s funny, I’m not afraid of daddy-longlegs either, after my parents told me they don’t bite. But I am so terrified of other spiders that I cannot even bear to look at pictures of them. Especially close-ups! (I was bitten by one when I was a toddler.)

          In the past most of my bee pictures have come out very blurry. Somehow I think the light and the background and my distance from the bees made these come out even better than I expected or could have hoped for. A stroke of luck this time around, a happy accident. I have a lot of trouble photographing white flowers and black birds, too… Not enough contrast?

          I was terrified of climate change until the coronavirus pandemic reared its ugly head. Now I am equally afraid of both. The scientist in me understands that nature is working to restore balance but the self-centered human in me wants to enjoy a long, comfortable life. Sadly, though, we humans are a cancerous growth on this beleaguered planet, spoiling things for ourselves and many other beings.

          1. I guess I think Daddy Longlegs Spiders don’t look mean and just kind of hang out and are not running along a floor or up a wall. I was never bitten by a spider but I am deathly afraid of them. I will hyperventilate if one is in the room with me, especially if it is in a place where I can’t kill it. I had a trap-door vacuum just for spiders and centipedes (Remington Bug Sucker) but they stopped making it. I don’t like them outside either. In Northern Michigan there are Wolf Spiders – they are huge with a big body and thick legs. If I saw one in the house, I’d likely have a heart attack. We have Brown Recluse Spiders here and they like to hang out in wood piles. Years ago my father worked with a man who was carrying wood from a wood pile into the house to use in the fireplace. A Brown Recluse Spider was in the wood and bit him on the arm and he lost a large part of his arm as there was extensive nerve and tissue damage. He could not perform his job anymore after the bite and was on disability the rest of his life. I don’t blame you for being scared of them.

            My white flowers seem to blur together and not look three-dimensional. I have only taken a couple of crow shots, but haven’t used them yet. I don’t use the settings on the camera though when using the DSLR and I know I should. My hawk photo was taken with my digital compact – I was extremely close to that bird.

            I noticed the climate change almost five years ago … before then I had read about, but not really thought about climate change, then I noticed erratic weather and wondered why I didn’t notice subtle signs earlier. Too much worrying and yes, we have done this to ourselves and our planet. When will it sink in with the rest of the population? I worry about the pandemic as well Barbara and now am worried about this new Mu variant. We have cases in Michigan.

          2. Thank goodness brown recluse spiders are not native to Connecticut, but I do worry about them with my grandchildren in North Carolina… I’ve been known to vaccum up or step on spiders when I’m alone, but if Tim’s home he usually escorts them outside… I cringe even thinking about it. We do have wolf spiders, however, and I have encountered them often as a child playing in the woods. Once there was one sitting on the hood of my brother-in-law’s car. Yikes!

            I’m not sure when I started noticing the effects of climate change. I do remember that February 2015 was the coldest month ever recorded in Connecticut and wondering how that could be happening with global warming. Another blogger pointed out to me that’s why it is called climate change instead of global warming now. The weather is getting more extreme, hotter and colder. The other day I read that scientists are now saying the oceans have warmed up to the point where we’re going to need the designation for a category 6 hurricane soon.

            Wish I could feel more optimistic!

    1. Thank you, Donna! I had so much fun taking pictures of those bees. There were hundreds of them buzzing around in the goldenrod…

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