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Friday, September 22, 2017

Welcome, Autumn 2017

(For politics, please scroll down)

God's paintbrush:

Photo credit

According to the Old Farmer's Almanac, the 2017 Autumnal Equinox arrives today at 4:02 P.M. EDT.

Related: best fall recipes from the Old Farmer's Almanac.


  1. Today at 4:02 PM? At that precise time I shall dig out the
    mittens, hats and scarves. (I'd winterize the lawnchair, but am not sure how)

  2. I Cincinnati, it's going to be 86 until next Saturday, then 66

    1. And we are farther north than you by 5 hours and 5 degrees warmer. I've been boating all week. :)

  3. What Kid said. It's forecast to be a high of 92 degrees here in mid-Michigan today. My wife and I had planned on doing the annual apple orchard field trip with the kids today. Canceled and now planning next Saturday, where the extended forecast calls for gloomy steel gray skies (like we are used to here) and a high of 60. If it's too warm for my fleece, we aren't going. Happy Autumn!

  4. It feels like summer here in the D.C. area, too.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. What, for criminy sakes, does your outdated screed have to do with Autumn?

    2. Patsy,

      The trash has now been taken out to the dumpster.

    3. This poem is so much better in German than in English: rhyme, meter, imagery.

      My German is quite rusty, but came back to me as I read this poem.

      Thanks, FT.

    4. Are you aware that September is part of Richard Strauss's "Four Last Songs" –– a cycle publshed and first performed in 1948 when the composer was 84 years old. He died on September 8th the follwing year.

      Of the many recordings available I recommend Elisabeth Schwarzkopf's or Lisa Della Casa's interpretation.

    5. Also lovely interpretations by Elly Ameling, Gundula Janowitz, and Jessye Norman.

      YouTube is the greatest born to those of us who love serious music.

  6. The morns are meeker than they were,
    The nuts are getting brown;
    The berry’s cheek is plumper,
    The rose is out of town.

    The maple wears a gayer scarf,
    The field a scarlet gown.
    Lest I should be old-fashioned,
    I’ll put a trinket on.

    ~ Emiy Dickinson (1830-1886)


    It's the best time of the year, around here; usually beginning in mid-September and lasting through October. Although it can snow anytime during this period.


    Chilly and overcast. I hate fall here, with its false promises.

    1. Apologies for the negativity, but Fall, with its promise of darkness and death, has always depressed me.

      Add to that what the solstices and equinoxes do to my normally blissful sleeping pattern, and I'm a grumpy Gus waiting for the coffee while staring out pale windows at a leaden sky.

    2. SF,

      Maybe you should move to Virginia.

    3. _________ OCTOBER _________

      Scratching –– astringent!
      _____ the brilliant sky assaults the eye
      While wads of cloud, though blinding white
      _____ soften the blows of stinging light.

      Summer’s splendor
      _____ claws at the commanding blue
      __________ hating –– supplicating ––
      Submitting at last in a fiery blast ––
      _____ a scornful array –– deceptively gay
      __________ of every vigorous hue.

      Walls made of stone crack and groan
      _____ at the coming of frost ––
      Flowers die beneath the sky ––
      _____ Pods of seed split open and bleed ––
      __________ scattering –– HOPE ––
      _______________ on earth –– in air ––

      Riding on wind that sounds like Despair,
      _____ But sings in harsh voice ––
      __________ as it stiffens the frost ––
      _____ Nothing is lost!
      __________ Nothing is lost!

      ~ FreeThinke

    4. _______ To An Autumn Leaf _______

      Tempting though it be to mourn your loss,
      O, Precious Leaf, just fallen from the tree,
      A bit of lore may help us to stay free ––
      Not abraded by Grief’s splintery Cross:

      A leaf can’t drop, until a new one starts
      Underneath its fastening to form
      The bud that proves Renewal is the norm ––
      Unceasing, even as old life departs.

      Melancholy though the fall may seem,
      Nonetheless it nourishes the tree.
      Loose leaves join soil to provide energy.
      Eager to join next springtime’s hope-filled dream

      All living things come to us from the Past,
      For Life, infinitely adaptive, is made to last.

      ~ FreeThinke

    5. [NOTE: I posted those two autmunal poems in hope of bringing a bit of relief to SilverFiddle's pervasively melancholy mood.]

      ~ F.T.

    6. @Sf,

      Chilly and overcast. I hate fall here, with its false promises.

      OK you got me, but just because we, in Denver, are having a complete gloomy and rainy day today it only makes-up for the last 30 days of endless sun shine and that isn't bad. We need the rain. I'm sorry to learn that in only 70 miles, south, and with a 1000' increase in altitude things become so horrible . I'm sure that AOW means well when she suggests that you move to Virginia. Hey, why not just move-up to Denver?

    7. Alexander Sage said

      You tell him, Mr. Berg.

      Reality is born new each day in the soul and psyche of the beholder. It's a different thing for each person.

    8. The sun is shining today. Despite what I said, I love it here. Yes, we needed all that rain, so I never complain about free water!

      Move to Denver? Are you crazy? Why not just move to Mother California?

      I lived in Denver in the 80's. It was a wonderful place to be for a young man. It has totally changed since then.

    9. FreeThinke: Thank you for the original poetry!

    10. @SF,

      "Move to Denver?" Hey, I hope you know I wasn't serious. Yes, when I moved out here, 45 years ago Colorado and Denver were fantastic but I remember even back then there were concerns about CALIFORNICATION, well it happened and what was freedom and beauty is now just one big rat race with unaffordable housing!

    11. JonBerg, if the leftwing progs can get TABOR killed off for good, we will become California.

      It's already too damned crowded here. I remember when we would drive up to Turquoise Lake on a whim to go camping. Now, you need to reserve 90 days out.

      I really am turning into a crotchety old man... ;-)

  9. We skipped Fall in the Sierra Nevada and went straight to Winter.

  10. ______ TOWARD AUTUMN _____

    Summer slips away in soft retreat
    Invasive morning light with ruthless stealth
    Stalks the blossoms by the Garden Seat.
    Insidiously it plunders summer’s wealth.
    Hey lazy air now drops its veil,
    Then sharpens –– stiffens –– with a hint of chill.
    Youth begins to see that it must fail ––
    Lose its bright assurance, then its will ––
    Being to inevitable change ––
    As earlier darkness sleeps in from the east.
    But fire and woodsmoke soon will rearrange
    Our sense and new hope will be released.
    Reaping fruits of earth from frosty fields
    Provides more joy than moaning ever yields.

    ~ FreeThinke - The Sandpiper

  11. The way a crow
    Shook down on me
    The dust of snow
    From a hemlock tree

    Has given my heart
    A change of mood
    And saved some part
    Of a day I had rued.

    ~ Robert Frost (1874-1963)

    1. My turn.

      Night Seasons

      I love the night,
      The way snow falls through the light.
      As if it just magically appears
      From just out of sight.

      I love the spring rain,
      The way it heals pain.
      The staccato running sound,
      As it rushes down the drain.

      I love the summer wind,
      The way tree limbs bend.
      Howling storms in the dark
      That seems to never end.

      I love the fall,
      Most glorious season of all.
      Bone dry colored leaves
      Scatter rustle and sprawl.

      These things I hold dear
      When my loved ones are near.
      All through the long night,
      I have no fears.

    2. Very nice. Is that yours, Warren? You gave no author. I doubt if it is Robert Frost, because I looked it up.

      Whoever wrote it deserves credit –– especially if it is you. ;-)

    3. Yes, it's mine. I wrote it about 1989, never published anywhere except the Internet and you would have to do a deep search to find it.

      "Whoever wrote it deserves credit –– especially if it is you. ;-)"
      Damned with faint praise again.

      Seriously, thank you.

    4. Warren!

      You write poetry?

      You're a Renaissance man!

    5. @ AOW:
      Renaissance Man??
      I'm not "that old"! ;^)

      What the hell are you smiling about? ;^)

    6. I always suspected that you might by one of those "closet" rhymers. Now that you're "out"... what now?

    7. I can say that, with some certainty, I won't be penning a sonnet any time soon.


    8. Then I can look forward to your continued and much appreciated efforts here at AoW's! :)

    9. ....driving terror into the hearts of abusive trolls since at least 2004.

    10. That would be poetry in action (as opposed to poetry in motion). Definitely a yes.

  12. Got up to 98 degrees here in St. Louis today. Summer's last gasp.

    1. Since I'm about half way between TC's home and Kids', same weather for me.

    2. 98 degrees? That's good riotin' weather there.

  13. ________ After Apple-Picking ________

    My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
    Toward heaven still,
    And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
    Beside it, and there may be two or three
    Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
    But I am done with apple-picking now.
    Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
    The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
    I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
    I got from looking through a pane of glass
    I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
    And held against the world of hoary grass.
    It melted, and I let it fall and break.
    But I was well
    Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
    And I could tell
    What form my dreaming was about to take.
    Magnified apples appear and disappear,
    Stem end and blossom end,
    And every fleck of russet showing clear.
    My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
    It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
    I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
    And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
    The rumbling sound
    Of load on load of apples coming in.
    For I have had too much
    Of apple-picking: I am overtired
    Of the great harvest I myself desired.
    There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
    Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
    For all
    That struck the earth,
    No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
    Went surely to the cider-apple heap
    As of no worth.
    One can see what will trouble
    This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
    Were he not gone,
    The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his
    Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
    Or just some human sleep.

    ~ Robert Frost (1874-1963)

  14. Oh my gosh, what a wonderful picture AND recipe link!

    1. Baysider,
      Finally somebody comments on the recipe link.

      Thank you!


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