Friday, September 23, 2011

Pecan Equinox

Time was when folk would be out celebrating today, on the morning of the autumnal equinox, and the beginning of fall. Nowadays, of course, some might notice mention of the seasonal change in the morning papers or, more likely, hear about it on the morning TV show they watch whilst preparing for work. We don't get an actual celebration until the end of October, and then it's got less to do with fall than with other nonsense.

I'm still an odd bird, I guess, for checking my east-facing dining room window (my "house clock" of which I've made note before), to mark the last morning the sun will appear in that window until next spring. But I'm a great fan of seasonal moments, especially since the weather has cooled down considerably (it'll max out in the 80s today), and we've had a little rain. Things are greener than they have been all summer, and I've pulled up most of the dead things that had littered the garden. Soon, we'll be raking leaves for compost, as all those leaves begin to drop.

The fall equinox also marks the end of another quarter at my college, so I get to spend the first weekend awash in grading--at least until Sunday, when the Beloved Spouse and I will spend the afternoon at our last baseball game of the year. We like to attend the final home game, and this year it will be especially sweet, win or lose, because the Rangers should have clinched the Western division championship by then. Baseball is, of course, the quintessential summer game, but the heat has kept us away from all but one trip out to Arlington this year.

As I type this post, the roof is being pelted by pecans. Despite the drought, the trees (we have eight of various varieties) are loaded this year. But the tree rats are underfed and are having at the still-unripe nuts, nibbling bits and then tossing them aside. It sounds a little like a hail storm's going on, and I have to keep my clogs by the back door because I can't venture out of doors bare-footed any more, even for a few inches. Half-eaten pecans are no fun to step on.

Today's Skywatch Friday entries are nothing special. But the sky's blue, the light from the autumn sunrise looked pretty on those pecans, so that's what I shot. For the moment there's a bit of seasonal promise in the air: thoughts of harvest stews, squashes and pumpkins, baked apples, pecan pie, and all manner of goodies that couldn't be cooked all summer. I just wish, as a culture, we spent more time enjoying these moments, and less time rushing about. Any grading I do tomorrow morning will be undertaken out of doors, with the pups, among the birds and squirrels, and with a nice cup of tea. And a hat to protect me from pecan debris.

Have a great weekend, Folks. And happy fall!


Unknown said...

Raking leaves was the only thing I didn't like (because it took up so much time) when we lived in the forest - long time ago:)

clairz said...

It's funny how days just twenty degrees cooler can send our minds into autumn mode. I love this time of year, and your post about it is lovely.

Anonymous said...

I wore long sleeves all day today! I have such a great picture of your tree rats,working the pecan,tasting,rejecting the bitter unripe ones onto the roof!
Welcome Autumn!