Today is officially the autumn equinox, the first day of fall. But fall has been creeping up on us for a few weeks now, though we've been in denial about it. I've written plenty about our summer here on Garden Island, at the top of the St. Lawrence in Ontario, Canada. It was glorious - day after day of perfect weather (albeit a tad hot now and then) and calm waters. Mother Nature's token of compensation for the awful Covid spring.
One of the first signs was the meadow-takeover by Golden Rod. It seemed to have happened overnight as if some sprite cast a wand across the large inner part of the island. Then other fall wildflowers like asters and black-eyed Susans (a kind of daisy) showed up, not to be outdone by their more flamboyant relative.
|Golden Rodin the meadow|
The community gardens (and gardeners?) in the meadow have passed their peak, surrendering to the season.
Birds sweep through on their way south. Canada geese and varieties of ducks congregate on the shores here where they instinctively know they're safe from hunters. For autumn is also the start of Hunting Season. A week ago a pair of loons floated around for two days, resting on their trip south from up north. Turkey vultures careen overhead daily, looking for food and the rare sight of a bald eagle generated much excitement!
Some islanders too, are migrating back to their city homes, their cottages already shuttered up. Now there are only about 12-14 people on the island during the week. If I want to, I can go whole days without seeing another person on this 65 acre of land.
Usually the docks in the back bay are full of boats.
The small herd of white-tail deer vacationing here over the summer have become emboldened by the drop in the island's human population. Rather than waiting for dusk to venture out from the woods or meadow, they stride around in mid-day as if they own the place. And they soon will, staying on after we've all gone before they swim over to the much larger island adjacent to ours. Going back home, much like us.
Other creatures are prepping for the colder days ahead. The chipmunks run off to bury the occasional treats we scatter for them rather than eat them right away. I'm not sure where all the spiders have gone, but I no longer have to sweep the corners of my bedroom every night. If only I could locate the incessantly chirping cricket hiding somewhere behind the fridge or stove in the kitchen. We don't have a pet to sniff them out and its plaintive pitch for a mate goes on all day and night. I Googled the life span of a house cricket, hoping the kitchen would soon be quiet again. Ninety days is the average life of a cricket! Hmm. Think I'll be gone before he is. On the other hand, I learned that the cricket spirit animal is supposed to bring good luck, protecting the home from misfortune.
I've always liked fall and its totally different persona from summer. But this year autumn is a sign that soon we'll be back in the big city where the virus still lurks. Back to distancing probably from our daughters (both teachers who've returned to real school) and our grandchild. I try not to dwell on that too much because I have so much to be grateful for. And writing is a perfect pandemic past-time. :)
What does your autumn look like in the place where you live?
Thanks for joining today and Happy Autumn!