Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fall In Your Face

Sixteen years ago (this week), this black oak tree at the edge of the back yard was just an acorn.  It wasn't here when we moved in.  Now it is my season indicator.  This photo doesn't do justice to the leaves that were flashing gold in the afternoon sun, but does show that the foliage is thinning and turning color.  Fall has arrived.  Walking out to the garden to pick the tomatoes that have finally turned red (very slow this year), I gathered dry leafy branches that the wind had knocked from the oak in the front yard and tossed them into the goat pen.  The girls had been resting down at the bottom of the big pen but came running up to the corner for their favorite treat.  As if I'd opened a bag of potato chips, they were munching and crunching and calling for more.  Like vacuum cleaners, they cruise the pen looking for any goodies the wind might blow their way.  It's a pity the only tree in their yard is a live oak.  They've de-leafed the branches as high as they can reach, but it is an evergreen and doesn't drop any snacks for the girls.  When Tree Guy gets around to planting the deciduous mulberry trees along the inside fence line (which I'm hoping will be soon), there should be enough leaves in the fall to please the insatiable goats.

The first vee of geese going south honked their way past the house yesterday, another sure sign that fall is here.  I wonder if the vultures that stay in the area as the maintenance crew drew the long or short straws; if staying behind is pleasure or punishment, not having to make the long trip down to the Owens Valley versus losing the companionship of the many that leave.

It's not cold enough to light a fire, but I did consider pulling the Snuggy out of the closet last night.  Bessie Anne and the goats are putting on their winter coats.  The chickens are re-feathering, thank goodness.  They stripped down to bare-back bikinis during the heat of summer and I was worried they'd freeze as cold weather approached.

All the portents are in place.  Fall is here.

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

Bring on the mulled cider and pumpkin pie...oh, and leafy oak branches for the kids!