One of my neighbors was sighting in his hunting guns the other morning. You could tell because of the long delay between each crack, followed at the end by a quick volley, then again with a gun of lower pitch. Another neighbor was still getting in firewood – the sound of his chain saw alternating with the solid chunk of a splitting maul.
Geese are starting to fly in formation and the nights are cooling down toward the frost point. I hear hammers pounding as procrastinators decide they are running out time to finish their roof repairs. And I hear a rototiller, turning the garden debris under to fertilize a new spring.
There is a tang of wood smoke in the air as stoves start their heating season labors, and a tang of something else I can’t quite name, as if you could smell the leaves turning color.
Cider donuts are in the store and islands of sorted pumpkins decorate a lawn beside the highway. $1 to $7, the sign says. Apples taste amazing again, after a long season of mealy substitutes. It’s soup season, and sauce season and pickle season – anything to stash away the summer’s abundance.
All is as it should be in the fat of the year. Breathe deep, walk far; the woods are beginning to glow.