Posted by: Dave Neads | October 1, 2009

It’s That Time of Year….

It’s that time of year again; hardhats must be worn around the workshop, a light wool vest goes on over the shirt, the sun takes a little longer to climb over the ridge, the mists falling in from the mountains take longer to reveal the blue sky above and the burnt gold leaves on the Aspens are beginning to flutter groundward, silent messengers, flagging the slow transition from fall to winter.

The swallows are long gone, so are the hummingbirds, the grey jays are back along with the nuthatches and the usual ragtag assortment of chickadees, settling in for the duration. The wood shed is full, (better than money in the bank), soon the last big wind will blow, soon the heater will be on every day, soon the last cottonwood leaf will drop from the highest branch, soon we will see our breath in the midmorning air.

It all came so fast is year, it seems like it was just yesterday that the swallows were swooping and diving in the clear blue vault of the morning sky, it seems that only last evening we were sitting out on the back deck, listening to the furious frenzy of a dozen Rufus hummers competing for the plastic flowers filled with sugar nectar, carefully prepared on the gas stove.

All this seems like a mere second ago. Where does the time go? I suspect there is a time thief at work, a mysterious coalescence of energies that sucks time away into the black hole of memory, into the never never dream time that only exists in the outback.

No matter, as in all things, there is a bittersweet tang in the taste of life, in the taste of transition, in the inexorable slide into the future.

As for the hardhat? Squirrel is very busy throwing cones from the tops of the pines and firs, he has no particular aim, he simply cuts ’em loose and they fall like stones. Bang! Bang! Hitting the red tin roof of the workshop with such force, the small explosions splitting the still morning air. Unless you are just making a quick dash to get under the roof, a hard hat is the order of the day.

From hardhats to empty nests to returning winter friends, this is the rhythm of autumn, the solid, eternal march of the soul in the wilderness.

Squirrel on stump


  1. lovely, lyrical writing – good to see yu back at your blog – i ave missed your postings.

    And I was really wondering about the hardhat!

    • Well, thank you. Not sure how much I’m going to do, but it is a start anyway.


  2. Yes, keep it up Dave…. at least once per week. We all appreciate the thoughts.

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