“October is the year at rich maturity, a happy woman arrayed in festival dress and ready for a dance with a giant come down from the hills attired in a red, red shirt, buckskin pants and moccasins beaded with frost. October is a brisk wind in the treetops, a whisper among crisp leaves, a breath of apple cider, a gleam from a jack-o’-lantern, and the echo of laughter under a full moon.
October is bright as a bittersweet berry. October has the high excitement of a hunting dog’s voice on the trail, the day-tang of walnut hulls and sumac berries, the night call of the owl and the bark of a restless fox. Geese honk high, in October, and ducks take off from the river in a shower of diamond drops, southward bound. The lawn mower’s put away for the season, the garden’s sere with frost, and firelight leaps on the hearth at evening. Cider begins to potentiate and the grape begins to find a heady reason for ripening.
The pumpkin’s in the pie, in October. The corn’s in the crib or the freezer. Pickling’s done and thoughts turn to mincemeat. October is plenty and savor and the hearty meal and time to relax. October is the year come to harvest, in the barn, in the mow, in the root cellar, the jam closet, the cold pantry.
October is the long evening and the book beside the fire. It is the blanket-covered night. It is the woodchuck fattening for a long nap, the fat partridge in the hemlock thicket, the deer eating windfalls in the orchard.
October is the power and the glory, to touch, to taste, to hear and to see. October is the splendor and the magnificence.”
–Hal Borland, Sundial of the Seasons, 1964.
**Snow geese photo courtesy of USFWS. Mule deer photo courtesy of Webshots.com**